Alderman Candidate Talal Asad: Carrboro Needs More Parking, Business Growth
Talal Asad is one of three candidates competing for a seat on the Carrboro Board of Alderman this year.
“My goal is to facilitate business owners with as easy a process as possible to continue to sell their goods and services, not only to Carrboro, and to provide them not just to the Town of Carrboro, but also to Chapel Hill and other surrounding areas,” says Asad.
“We should become a destination, I believe, as opposed to just an insular community.”
He’s running against Planning Board Chair Bethany Chaney, and youth mentor and IT specialist Theresa Watson in the May 6 special election for a seat on the Board of Aldermen.
Asad is 27 years old, and a 2008 graduate of the Max M. Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University.
“I do have a lot of experience dealing with a wide group of people, especially in an executive committee sort of role,” he says.
“When I was in college, in my student organization, I was part of a national fraternity, and I was the treasurer of that fraternity. And we were one of the largest in the nation.”
He’s referring to the Kappa Sigma fraternity. Asad says that student leadership taught him to work with a diverse group.
Currently, he’s director of operations at Son Information Systems, a software consulting business in Durham.
In 2010, he moved to Carrboro, from London, England. He lived in Toledo, Ohio until he was seven, when his family moved to the Middle East.
Asad attended high school in Amman, the capital of Jordan. According to Asad, he formed the schools’ first student council.
He says his desire to run for alderman was sparked, in part, by what he sees as the lack of younger voices on the Board.
Asad says it also came from speaking to local business owners, who told him about parking problems, predatory towing, as well as zoning and regulatory hurdles.
“My goal, as alderman, is to try to fight for increased access to the town,” he says, “and to allow more business owners to thrive, and to increase the tax base based on our business owners, so it doesn’t have to fall on the backs of the homeowners and the residents.”
He says he generally thinks the current aldermen do a good job of governing. But he has some concerns.
There’s talk of making Carrboro more pedestrian-and-bike-friendly. Asad says the town is already very accommodating to bikers and walkers.
“I do think there needs to be a lot more education given to the actual bikers in town, to protect themselves and to protect cars from actually, you know, impeding in regular traffic,” he says. “I do notice a lot of times that most of the — I want to say, violators on the road, are, in fact, bikers.”
Asad says he’d like to see more structured parking in town, in addition to the new parking garage at 300 East Main Street. He suggests using the lot near Open Eye Café.
In the coming weeks, WCHL will be talking to candidates in all local races.