At tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting, two major issues will get aired publicly: an update on changes to the Asheville Police Department evidence room and a hearing on the budget for the next fiscal year. Some police officers and firefighters have announced their intent to show up and demand a higher raise than the one percent in the proposed budget.
Missing guns, drugs, and money from the APD evidence room have been a huge scandal, especially as local media push for the release of the audit revealing the extent of the missing items. Tonight, for the first time since the audit was approved last year, the issue is back before Council, as new APD Chief William Anderson details a “management plan” that includes hiring a new civilian manager.
However, a fair deal of secrecy remains. The document about the management plan cites an improved security system and that a sworn police sergeant will directly oversee the new manager, but notes that any “additional steps cannot be disclosed at this time as they relate to the on-going investigation” over the missing evidence.
The city will also hold a public hearing on its budget for the next fiscal year. City staff have not had a raise for three years, and the new budget includes funds for a one percent cost-of-living increase. But some city employees, especially police and firefighters, have announced that they will show up to ask for a higher increase.
Council will also consider a ban on future digital billboards within city limits and funding (through up to $1 million in low-income housing tax credits) for new development in the Eagle/Market Street area.
The meeting begins at 5 p.m. in Council’s chambers on the second floor of City Hall.