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Candidates file for Laurel Park board, Volk gets challenger

Challenger Debra Hinson Bridges has joined incumbents Kristin Dunn and Paul Hansen in filing for three seats on the  Laurel Park Town Council and a Hendersonville Mayor Barbara Volk has drawn a challenger in her bid for a fourth term.

Daniel James “D.J.” Harrington filed for mayor on Friday. (The Lightning was unable to immediately connect with Harrington. He will be profiled in the coming days.)

Dunn, 31, is married, the mother of a daughter and is a licensed foster parent. She is the operations director for Thrive, a non-profit organization that helps people with mental health and housing instability in Hendersonville.
“I’m running,” she said, “because I really want Laurel Park to be poised to succeed for the next decades.”
Roads and housing prices are important issues the town needs to address, she said. Dunn said she would like the council to find more options for affordable housing and do more to maintain roads while keeping taxes low.
Laurel Park should spend “money wisely on things that make sense for us on a daily basis,” she said.
Because she was appointed to fill a vacated seat in 2020, Dunn will run for a two-year term.
Bridges, 63, is a retired business owner and professional musician. She is married and has two children and two grandchildren.
“I love Laurel Park. It’s a very rare place,” she said. “I have the privilege to live here. But I also have a responsibility to contribute what I can.”
She said she supports the town’s uniform development ordinance and is concerned mostly about the environment and roads in Laurel Park. Bridges said she would like to see the town address wild fire risks in town, invasive species and landscape issues. Improvements to roads should include easy access for emergency medical services, she said.
Hansen, 70, is retired from the aerospace industry and is not married. He is seeking a third-term on the council. Hansen said he is proud of the work the council did during his tenure creating the Rhododendron Lake Nature Park.
“That is something the whole town can be proud of,” he said.
Hansen said he hoped to improve city-maintained roads if he is reelected. He said the narrow roads in the town have taken a beating from heavy trucks since home construction spiked in recent months. Roads, growth management, the improvement of U.S. 64 at Laurel Park's eastern gateway and planning for the town's centennial in 2025 are other priorities Hansen mentioned.
"We have 13 historical markers and we have 14 more to do and the council hopes to have it done by the centennial," he said when he filed for office last week.