Instead of candlelight dinners, the members of Asheville City Council (and any staff and members of the public who happen to be in attendance) at tonight’s meeting will spend a Valentine’s evening in City Hall. A resolution supporting the city’s control of the water system and ordinances ending the Occupy Asheville encampment top the agenda.
The water system resolution supports the city’s retention of the system, currently in question due to a state commission investigating giving the system to another entity. The issue is a contentious one, and last night over 200 people showed up at a forum on the topic.
Council will also consider a resolution supporting the end of corporate personhood. This is part of a larger attempt at a deal with the Occupy Asheville campers currently in front of City Hall, one of the last remaining in the country. However, late last week, Occupy Asheville made a series of additional counter-demands, including a permanent camping site for the homeless and a living wage throughout the city. Two other ordinances on the agenda would extend the current borders of Pack Square Park — with its camping ban — to the site, effectively prohibiting the current camp. The ordinance would also designate a spot in front of Vance Monument and the swath where the campers are currently located “public forums” exempt from the park’s usual 10 p.m. curfew. While protesters could demonstrate at those two sites any time of the day, they could not camp there. The rules would take effect this Friday, Feb. 17, at noon.
Asheville City Council meets at 5 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 on the second floor of City Hall.