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Tonia Holderman: 'Sustainable infrastructure,' environment protection for Board of Alderman seat


Ty Roush   | Black Mountain News

Black Mountain News will be doing profiles of all candidates for the three open Board of Aldermen seats.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Tonia Holderman remembers her neighbors stopping to welcome her when she moved to Black Mountain. Now, they’re helping place campaign signs.

Holderman, one of nine candidates for three open Board of Alderman seats in November’s municipal election, is now a 16-year resident of Black Mountain after moving from Swannanoa. After later serving as president for the town’s Chamber of Commerce, she says she’s looking to continue working for her community.

“I feel strongly that we need to preserve our town values,” Holderman said. “And most of all, just ensure fairness for everyone without segregation of political affiliation, race, gender or socio-economic background.”

Holderman is currently the regional admissions director for N.C. State Veteran’s Home. Having grown up in Asheville, she later moved to Swannanoa after marrying her husband. 

She says one of her main focuses is infrastructure and environmental protection.

“I definitely want our poor road conditions be addressed on a consistent basis,” Holderman said. Ensuring there’s funding to maintain this, as well as “preserving our trees from water runoff from all of the increase in construction we have going around the town.”

From her time with the Chamber of Commerce, Holderman said she saw some town residents struggling to find employment. She hopes to establish and support a program to ensure basic needs to families in need.

“I definitely want to make sure that our businesses are successful and people have a place to work, a place to live and just the basic necessities of clothing, food and shelter,” Holderman said. She sees herself seeking to be “the hands and feet” for the unfortunate. 

“People deserve to have access to living in this town,” she said.

Her final focus is reinforcing and supporting the town’s police, fire department and emergency services.

“They work very hard,” Holderman said. “I know they were very close with the community, but it’s something I would definitely like to see continued and emphasized again so that people understand the vital roles that they play in our community.”

The community that first welcomed her to town.

“I remember thinking ‘Wow, this is such a great place,’” she said. “People, your neighbors stop to talk, when someone’s walking down the road they wave and smile, and I just feel like that’s why everyone wants to live in a place where you feel welcome.”