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Volk challenger focuses on families

Political newcomer Daniel James “D.J.” Harrington said recently he is running for mayor of Hendersonville because he wants the city to remain a place for families.

“The biggest thing is I love the city,” he said. “We raised a family here. I want my kids to want to stay in this area.”
Harrington, 48, moved to Hendersonville from Charlotte 20 years ago and is the owner of a granite countertop company in the area. He is married to his high school sweetheart and has four daughters, an 18-year-old, twin 14-year-olds and a 7-year-old. Harrington is running for office for the first time and is challenging three-term incumbent Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk.
He said he understands why the city’s administration proposed raising taxes by seven cents over three years — three cents this year and next and one cent in 2023. But he said he would like to consider other options first.
“We need to be careful of raising taxes more,” he said.
Harrington said he thinks Hendersonville needs more affordable housing but said city government plays a bigger part in providing services to residents than providing affordable housing.
“I’m a working man, that is the hard thing. The secret is out. People want to move here,” he said. “I would question how much role the mayor and city council really have.”
Harrington supports the city’s policy of requiring annexation for developments outside city limits when those developments need sewer service.
He also supports plans for the new Fire Station 1 on North Main Street, which calls for removing the current station and moving the Laura E. Corn putt-putt course to Edwards Park.
“As we grow, the strain on our fire department is over the limit,” he said. “To move anywhere else would be costly and not provide the service that station provides.”
Harrington said he would like to see the putt-putt and tennis courts moved to another location in the area.
“My 7-year-old is always asking, ‘Can we play putt-putt,’” he said.
Harrington said he was unsure about whether parking meters are needed downtown to help fund a parking deck.
“We need to make sure people can get into businesses,” he said.
Harrington said he wants to consider both the long-term benefits and long-term costs to the city when he makes decisions.
“Some of these decisions have to be made not for today, but for tomorrow. Ten or 20 years from now, what will benefit the city,” he said.