My parents moved to Asheville when I was three years old. Now at the grand young age of 72, I often joke that the natives are finally beginning to accept me. But the truth is, Asheville IS my hometown, always has been, always will be. These days, I find myself a widowed, mostly retired dentist and a sometimes Harley cruiser. There is just nothing better than enjoying nostalgic flashbacks of a youth well lived while cruising on a Softail. Memories like cruising Tunnel Road and meeting up with pals at Buck’s Drive-In, or walking from David Millard “uptown” to get fries at Cosmos. We skated every weekend at the Skateland, we swam all summer at Rec Park. I went to David Millard Jr. High School and Asheville School, then attended Duke University and dental school at Emory.
I think the best thing about growing up in Asheville was the connection with the people. And that was what ultimately brought me back home after college, where I established my dental practice in 1977. For the next 40+ years, I would meet over 5,000 Ashevillians up close and personal, so to speak. During that era, I was deeply connected to my community, through serving my synagogue as well as volunteering with civic organizations. As the 80’s and 90’s rolled by, I recall so many good times had at Bele Chere, and very fondly, I remember the parades …Oh how Asheville could throw a good parade! Christmas, Veterans Day, Bele Chere, even when the Circus came to town. I loved parades in Asheville as far back as I could remember. I especially loved the clowns! And that’s how I became BoBo the Hobo. One of the original members of the Health Adventure clown troupe, I drove my little “wind up” MG midget convertible in just about every parade Asheville hosted for almost twenty years. My kids, Adam and Jamison were so proud, until they were mortified teenagers!
I must admit I desperately miss Asheville the way it was. But I also appreciate some of the great accomplishments that came out of the 90’s and 2000’s. The revitalization of downtown and Historic Montford, and the efforts of the Tourism & Development authority to rebrand Asheville as an international tourist destination, even becoming the Beer Capital. But now, the erosion of downtown and other areas around town was becoming obvious. Panhandlers reappeared at intersections, crime began to rise and huge opioid and fentanyl busts made regular news. In 2020, as Covid made it way into the fabric of Asheville and the world was rocked by the death of George Floyd…major deterioration here was rampant. Protests turned violent, buildings and merchants were vandalized. Our crime rates, including our murder rates have made national news. The City Council in place, ignoring a court order to stop, removed the 125 year old architectural obelisk honoring Zebulon Vance. Talk of reparations, increases in property taxes, and our DA continually dismissing cases against those who bullied citizens the most, became top of my mind. But worst of all, the police became the target of rampant disrespect, dismantling and ultimately…defunding.
The ONE thing I now know about Asheville is that it is no longer the safe, happy, and diverse city it once was. My fear is at the rate things are going, much of the damage may be irreparable. The current mayor has been in place almost eight years, When she announced she would run for a third term and it appeared no one was going to challenge her, I knew that it was my duty to step up and offer better government to the citizens of my hometown.
As mayor of Asheville, I pledge to…
- Bring transparency to citizens regarding city’s fiscal responsibility, budgeting and examine where all grant funding monies received by the city are directed.
- Bring transparency to Asheville Government via LIVE monthly town halls to answering citizens’ concerns live and in person.
- Investigate the root causes and provide solutions for homelessness by accessing local, knowledgeable, recognized agencies here in our community with working programs that can end homelessness with compassion and rehabilitation.
- Refund, defend, and restore the Police Department to a safer Asheville, as well as promote an environment that respects all our first responders who sacrifice so much to serve our communities.
- Work to expand affordable housing that addresses and reaches beyond just those who receive Government assistance.
- Work with the City School system to promote excellence in education, transparent fiscal responsibility, and the promotion of strong parental school board involvement.
- Make Asheville’s regulations and taxes more business-friendly by researching and proposing better business tax codes and regulations.
- Investigate Tourism Development tax income and fees charged to businesses and developers that are not directed at attracting Asheville tourism.
- Research further reductions of property taxes for senior citizens, as well research grants and federal programs already existing to help seniors.
- Scrutinize every expense in the City’s budget for waste and eliminate unnecessary and/or duplicated effort programs.
- Work to improve the quality of our air and water and investigate EPA collaboration for federal suggestions regarding air quality improvement.
- Protect and defend our Constitutional rights and heed the majority opinions. We will be a City government of the people, for the people, and by the people.
- Stick to policy – not party or politics, supporting what is beneficial for the majority of our citizens.
Clifford O. Feingold, DDS
ASHEVILLE THE WAY IT WAS – Dr. Cliff Feingold has lived in Asheville since the age of three. Educated in Asheville until college and dental school, he knows the old-time Asheville values and traditions. Dr. Feingold is a widower and has two children, Adam and Jamison, who were born and raised in Asheville.
TRANSPARENCY – Dr. Feingold is not a politician but has a lifetime of leadership. He has been president of most of the many organizations in which he has participated, and he understands that the constituents deserve total knowledge about the organization’s inner workings. Policy is what is important – not politics.
BUSINESS-FRIENDLY – The fees and taxes charged to businesses and citizens need revisions. Dr. Feingold will actively recruit new businesses to Asheville, so that our citizens can enjoy a living-wage. Asheville needs to lose the dubious “honor” of being the second most expensive place to live in North Carolina.
1956-64 Asheville City Schools (Grace School, Ira B. Jones, David Millard Jr. High)
1964-67 Asheville School, Cum Laude 1967
1967-71 Duke University, B.A. 1971
1972-76 Emory University School of Dentistry, D.D.S. 1976
1975-76 President, Alpha Omega Dental Fraternity, Emory University
1977-2021 President, Clifford O. Feingold, DDS, PA
1980-82 Chairman WNC Sports Award Banquet and Sports Hall of Fame
1986-90 Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader
1990 President, Buncombe County Dental Society
1992-94 President, Congregation Beth Israel
1999 Member of the Year, Congregation Beth Israel
2000-03 President, Asheville Smoke Pro Hockey Booster Club
2003 Chairman, NC Dental Society Annual Session
2009 President, Zebulon B. Vance Debating Society
2010-12 President, Asheville School Alumni Association
2010-12 Board of Trustees, Asheville School
2005-08 NC State Board of Dental Examiners
2012-18 NC State Board of Dental Examiners
2015-16 President, NC State Board of Dental Examiners
2021 Treasurer, American Association of Dental Boards
2019-21 President, Aberdeen Meadows Homeowners Association
If you care to contribute to Dr. Feingold’s campaign fund, please send your personal check to:
Committee To Elect Dr. Feingold Mayor
P.O. Box 7097
Asheville, N.C. 28802
(Roger Gregg, Treasurer)