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Donna Ensley, County Commissioner Candidate

Donna Ensley is running for Buncombe County Commissioner on the Democratic party ticket. She has been an Asheville resident since 1987. Donna has years of leadership experience with nonprofits like MANNA food bank, the YWCA, and the United Way. Her background is in capital campaigns. This work involves helping companies plan strategically for growth and development with community involvement. 

As commissioner, she aims to help the county manage growth. Donna believes the county needs a specific strategic plan for growth – it’s changing too fast, and we need action now.

Planning for strategic growth  

  • A focus on infrastructure and land use would help support new development. She would make efforts to reduce crowding and overwhelming schools and public services.
  • Donna thinks the county should try to attract businesses that pay a living wage. 
  • Working with the Tourism Development Authority (TDA). Projects like greenways and sidewalks would provide safer transportation options for pedestrians and bicyclists.


  • Due to budget shortages, schools have canceled and cut down programs like music and art. Donna Ensley would have the county work with the superintendent and help provide funding. 

Above all, Donna would like the county to examine the cumulative impact of growth. That’s not just focusing on one project, but the entire effect it’s having on the culture and environment. 

Visit, email [email protected], or listen to our interview for more!