Ashley Traynum-Carson, Interim Neighborhood Services Coordinator, has a passion for working with neighborhoods that stems back to her childhood. She vividly recalls walking around the neighborhood with her grandparents and feeling a sense of pride and a real connection to where she lived, a feeling that she believes every citizen should have.
“I firmly believe that a neighborhood should be a source of pride for its residents and a place where they feel safe and secure. Working with neighborhoods is a continuing tradition that was passed on to me.”
Ashley transferred to the interim position from the Transportation Department at the beginning of March, replacing 10-year veteran Marsha Stickford, who retired at the end of February. It was her passion for people and neighborhoods that brought her to apply.
A buckeye born and bred, she came to Asheville following a role in the Executive Office of the Mayor in Washington, D.C., where she worked as a Program Analyst, implementing a program to assist women returning to D.C. from federal prison.
Now a proud resident of East Asheville, Ashley is eager and excited to work with the various and diverse neighborhood associations, learn more about Asheville’s unique communities and continue to encourage neighborhoods to work with and be involved in their local government.
“At my first community meeting several older African American citizens came up to me and said they were surprised the City hired someone like me,” Ashley said. “One of my goals in this new position is to work to strengthen neighborhood relationships where there is distrust or where those relationships currently do not exist.”
Dawa Hitch, Director of Communication and Public Engagement, is excited to have Ashley as a part of the team. “The City of Asheville is committed to building partnerships with neighborhoods in order to improve the quality of life for everyone who lives, works and visits our community,” Hitch said. “Ashley has just the right combination of attention to detail and people skills to be the conduit to sustain and grow these vital community relationships.”
The interim position will last between six and 12 months. In order to ensure that we are providing the best possible service to the community, the City will seek input from both the community and staff regarding the type of support and leadership required of this position. The information collected will directly influence the final job description.