Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide


The non-paid board of supervisors meets monthly to establish local soil and water conservation priorities based on the needs of the district. The Board chairs work groups to address these priorities through the installation and implementation of best management practices that protect and improve the natural resources within the district. The work is accomplished by partnering with local, state and federal agencies; businesses; and non-profit organizations for technical and financial assistance. . The Division of Soil and Water Conservation administers ACSP, AgWRAP and CCAP, and holds each local board of supervisors accountable to these state programs. Each district is governed by a five-member board of supervisors. Three supervisors are elected on the general ballot as non-partisan candidates during the regular election of county officers, and two are appointed by the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission upon recommendation of the local district board of supervisors.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Alan Ditmore

  • Candidate picture

    Gary Higgins

Biographical Information

What do you see as the job of the Soil & Water Supervisors? (700 characters max)

What experience do you bring that makes (will make) you an effective Soil & Water Supervisor? (700 characters max)

What are the most pressing needs facing the District right now and how do you propose to address them? (700 characters max)

What is the most effective service/program the District provides currently for your county? (700 characters max)

Age (optional) 55
Contact Phone (828) 380-2580
email address
Position/philosophy statement All environmental projects must involve contraception or they are mostly damaging diversions.
To promote contraception and oppose most projects that do not involve contraception as polluting distractions. I am also standing (as in England) as a write in candidate for every office, especially the most elitist ones like Judge and Prosecutor; with the exception of those offices in which I have been endorsed (for SWCD) by another candidate on the ballot for that office. Standing for office is a bit more passive than running for office as is customary in the USA, which saves personal energy for doing the job well if and when the time comes.
I oppose experience and qualifications, (a score on which Trump beats Reagan and W.) Though every 55 year old has 55 years of relevant experience.
Contraception! including it's effect on rental housing demand, agricultural demand and used diaper supply. I intend to vote against most conservation projects that do not involve contraception, unless their cost/benefit ratio is in the top 10% AND I believe just before voting that I may have the deciding vote.
Probably consulting. Staff and board members know some clever ways to minimize erosion and and are usually quite willing to share them when asked, however some methods are not cost/effective and do as much to export pollution as to prevent it. For example; where does the plastic come from in plastic silt fence? The Nickel in Hybrid batteries? and the Palladium in catalytic converters?
Age (optional) 65
Contact Phone (828) 665-0708
email address
Position/philosophy statement I believe in strong, capable leadership that is willing to commit time and resources to their service
In the broader sense, the function of the Board is to provide leadership and guidance to the Soil and Conservation District as it plans and carries out programs that protect the District’s soil and water resources. The Board works with staff to develop long range strategic plans and annual plans of work that guide the District’s activities. Administratively, the Board has oversight and approval functions of several state conservation cost sharing programs, as well as educational programs. The Board works in a cooperative relationship with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, and the N. C. Division of Soil and Water Conservation to match cost-sharing funding with conservation needs.
I worked as a Soil Conservation Technician with the District and Soil Conservation Service from 1978 to 1980. In 1983, I was hired full time as a Soil Conservationist with the Buncombe SWCD and worked there until 2019 when I retired. I was Director of the Buncombe SWCD for twenty-three of those years. After retirement, I served briefly as an Associate Supervisor on the Board and in March of 2020, I was appointed by the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission as a Board member to serve out the term of the Board Chairman who resigned due to a move. I am a life-long resident of Buncombe County, having grown up on a farm in Alexander. I graduated from Mars Hill College with a B.A. in 1976.
Two of the most pressing needs are; 1) increasing state cost-sharing funds, especially in the Community Conservation Program (CCAP), and the Agricultural Cost Share Program, and; 2) increasing the availability of engineering assistance for all programs. I will work with the State Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts to lobby the state for increases in cost-sharing for all programs, but especially the CCAP, which receives minimal funding. Additionally, I will work with the State and the Natural Resources Conservation Service to add engineering staff and to increase the job approval authority of District staff to enable them to do more engineering conservation practices.
Probably the most effective service is Conservation Technical Assistance. This service involves providing professional, science-based technical assistance to a variety of landowners in the County. This can be anything from a telephone consultation to developing a conservation plan for a unit of land or providing engineering plans for a project. This service has been vital to protecting our soil and water resources since the District was chartered in 1951. Cost-sharing for installing conservation best management practices is vital part of this service. Environmental Education and Farmland Preservation are also very important programs that are a top priority for the Board and Staff.