Boyle: Does Asheville need a ‘strong mayor’ system?

From Asheville Citizen-Times columnist John Boyle:

After more questions about the Asheville Police Department emerged this week, a thought occurred to me: Would a “strong mayor” make a difference?

Not a “strong mayor” in the sense of, “We need a mayor who will stand up and fight for Asheville.” A strong mayor in the sense of an elected mayor who actually runs the city — while directly answering to its residents.

In the latest dust-up, a man says he was stabbed in a fight outside an Asheville tavern by a reserve deputy for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. The man, Michael Del Buono, said an Asheville Police officer responded to the scene, but the officer’s demeanor changed completely when he found out the attacker was a reserve deputy.

Del Buono was charged with being intoxicated and disruptive, while the reserve deputy, who has since been dropped by the Sheriff’s Office, faced no charges. The police, Del Buono says, are dragging their feet and not approaching the case in the same way they would if the reserve deputy were just a regular resident.


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