AC-T: State legislators making changes in Asheville

Here’s some excerpts from the Asheville Citizen-Times article:

City Council has seven members, but on some issues two other people count most — and their offices are in Raleigh.

State Reps. Tim Moffitt and Nathan Ramsey, both Buncombe Republicans, have sponsored more than 30 bills this year that would affect local governments’ powers and finances.

The bills represent unusually broad state involvement into matters typically decided by local officials and, critics say, are a departure from past practices in which Buncombe legislators consulted with local officials and each other before wading into municipal or county issues.

Some touch on high-profile issues, such as who will control the Asheville water system. Others would affect more mundane matters, like who Buncombe County commissioners can appoint to a board that helps set transportation priorities, or whether Weaverville can exercise its zoning authority on areas just outside town limits. …

Mayor Terry Bellamy objects to the substance of some bills affecting Asheville and the manner in which some have been drafted.

“We’ve had an inordinate amount of … negative bills proposed,” she said.

During most of her 14 years on City Council, Bellamy said, legislators typically discussed possible local bills with council members before they introduced them. That sometimes resulted in changes to proposals and helped maintain better state-local relationships in cases of disagreement, she said.

Now, she said, “I sit down with Rep. Ramsey, but that’s it.” …

Moffitt made no apologies for taking on local issues.

“I am a representative elected locally to serve my community and also to serve the state,” he said. “To suggest that I would only serve the state and not take an interest in what’s happening locally suggests that I either don’t know what I’m doing or I’m not paying attention.” …

“I would challenge really anyone to sit down and logically go over the facts that are involved in each one of these issues and demonstrated how (a Moffitt-backed bill) has a negative outcome for our area,” Moffitt said.


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