Michael Owens

by Yes Weekly Election Coverage

Residential address: 4250 Salem Landing Drive,27101

Incumbent or challenger? Challenger

Age: 37

Campaign website or blog: None

Occupation and employer: Unemployed

Previous elective experience(including election campaigns): None

Civic and volunteerexperience (including service on local government commissions and boards): None

Education (highest degreeattained and name of institution): High school graduate, Southeast Guilford HighSchool, Greensboro

Party registration: Republican

Where were you born? Greensboro

What year did you move to Winston-Salem?2002

Paid consultants working oncampaign: None(as of July 15)

Campaign manager: None (as of July 15)

Treasurer: Self

Articles about thiscandidate:

• Urban circulator, jobs and regional competition mark fault lines between candidates (link

Themajority of Winston-Salem City Council declined to intervene in Kalvin MichaelSmith’s federal petition for a new trial although citizens have requested thatthe city take responsibility for a flawed police investigation that arguablyundermined the judicial process leading to Smith’s conviction in the brutalbeating of Jill Marker. What is your position on this matter?

I’mafraid I know very little about this case. The attack took place 1995; I was 19years old and living in Greensboro. If I knew more about it, I would offer anopinion.

Doyou support the proposed Urban Circulator (streetcar or enhanced bus) thatwould connect Baptist Hospital and East Winston through downtown? Pleaseexplain why or why not.

Ido not support this program. Winston-Salem had a streetcar operating in thedowntown area for years, it didn’t generate enough money to justify itsexistence and I don’t see a new one doing any better. The $179 million pricetag is terrifying; I can’t imagine what the ride fares would have to be to evenbreak even. We still have PART services.

Whatrole does the city need to play in ensuring that residents who live east ofHighway 52 benefit from the development of the Wake Forest Innovation Quarter?

Easy.Promote education. Encourage the young people in the city to learn math,science and engineering to take advantage of the high paying job opportunitiesthat the Innovation Quarter will provide.

Citycouncil has focused on revitalizing downtown over the past 10 years, mostrecently approving the first entertainment district in the city. Should thecity continue to promote intensification of shared commercial and residentialuses in downtown or slow growth to protect existing businesses and homeowners?

[Candidatedid not respond.]

Whatrole should city council play in the Business 40 improvement project, includingrecommendations for traffic alignment through downtown when the project iscompleted?

[Candidatedid not respond.]

Whatis your position on the use of incentives to promote economic development? Ifyou support incentives, why? If not, what other tools does city government havefor promoting job growth?

Idon’t support giving millions (in tax incentives) to large, internationalcorporations that could easily afford their tax bill. I’d rather see a thousandsmall, already established businesses, each receive $10,000 in tax incentivesthan one large corporation get $10 million. Why shouldn’t we reward those whotook the chance to build a business in our city and are making a difference intheir communities? Let’s help a thousand small businesses each hire one or twonew workers and let the multinational corporations fend for themselves…they canafford it.

Whatis your proudest achievement?

Convincingmy girlfriend to become my fiancée.

What’syour favorite way to unwind in Winston-Salem?

Ienjoy playing disc golf! Throwing weighted Frisbees into metal baskets.