Asheville City Council tackles a full agenda (initial Twitter coverage of Jan. 12 meeting)

Here are the highlights of tonight’s meeting of Asheville City Council, as tweeted by Mountain Xpress reporter Brian Postelle, who is covering the meeting and will provide additional coverage in coming days.

• Big items for tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting: stormwater buffers, design review, energy independence. 5:03 PM
• Mayor makes proclamation of Dr. MLK Jr. weekend Jan. 14 to 18. 5:07 PM
• Health Dept: everyone should get H1N1 vaccination, but college-age are esp. at risk. Second peak could hit later in winter. 5:16 PM
• Outside auditor from Dixon Hughes: #avl annual audit “went very smoothly.” 5:22 PM
• Assistant City Mgr. Giving Council a brief on December snow storm and response.“It was considered 10-year snow event.” 5:31 PM
• Emergency services during snowstorm operated for the most consecutive hours since the 2004 floods. 5:37 PM
• Dec. 19: Asheville Fire Dept. responded to approx 50 calls during snowstorm. 5:39 PM
• Asheville Assistant Manager says city is due $525,342 in FEMA reimbursement from snow storm response. 5:44 PM
• Mayor: Many people didn’t know city law says property owners are responsible for clearing sidewalks in front of home or biz. 5:48 PM
• On FEMA $$: Bunc. Co. is compiling total $$ spent to submit. Must hit min of $667K. The Asheville tab is $525K, but Asheville doesn’t expect it all back. 5:59 PM
• Assistant Mngr: Not all storm expenses will be reimbursed by FEMA. 6:01 PM
• Council vote unanimous to amend Glen Rock conditional use permit changing landscaping and giving greater flexibility for hotel phase. 6:19 PM
• Mission Hosp. looking to build five-story $59 million outpatient cancer facility. 118K sq ft. w/ its own parking deck. Needs Council approval. 6:29 PM
• Council unanimously approves new Mission outpatient cancer facility. 6:41 PM
• Newman pitching Energy Independence Initiative to Council. It’s a financing plan to make loans to private citizens for energy efficiency improvements. 6:44 PM
• Public comment praising energy independence plan for reducing footprint and sting of upfront upgrade investment, creating jobs. 7:01 PM
• City of Asheville to explore feasibility for pilot program for Energy Independence program. Unanimous vote by Council in favor. 7:30 PM
• Council delays stormwater ordinance vote to send it for review by Planning and Economic Development commission. 8:01 PM
• Well she IS sitting in his seat: Planning Director addresses Manheimer as “Councilman Mumpower.” Manheimer’s response: “Uh oh.” 8:29 PM
• Asheville City Council discussing development review recommended in Downtown Master Plan. No adoption tonight, but staff wants direction. 8:34 PM
• Lack of ability for citizen appeal a pivotal point in discussion of development review process discussion. 8:47 PM
• Asheville city staff to return to Council in May with options for Downtown Master Plan 9:14 PM
• Plea during public comment: please extend municipal water lines to Chapel Hill Church Road. The drinking water there contaminated by CTS site. 9:32 PM
• Mayor: Asheville is ready to run lines to CTS neighbors, but city cannot pay for lines outside city jurisdiction. 9:40 PM
• Mayor: Buncumbe County or property owners would have to pay for lines. City has estimated the cost at $277k. Or neighborhood could voluntarily agree to be annexed. 9:45 PM
• Asheville City Council meeting is adjouned. 9:45 PM

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3 thoughts on “Asheville City Council tackles a full agenda (initial Twitter coverage of Jan. 12 meeting)

  1. Pitchforks & Torches

    ENERGY INDEPENDENCE IS ILL PREPARED – Just a few comments.

    !!Asheville has been hijacked!! Sure, they squeaked out a victory but this does not entitle council to push their IDEOLOGY or IGNORE their duties. A CITY government is suppose to provide ONLY services necessary to run a city and protect its citizenry, NOT interject and FUND personal goals such as the ideological driven goal of reducing carbon. Here are a few points to ponder regarding the “Asheville Energy Independence concept”:
    1 – Brownie Newman WORKS FOR A COMPANY WHO HAS SIGNIFICANT INTEREST IN, AND WILL PROFIT FROM, THIS RIDICULOUS LEGISLATION. HE NEEDS TO RECUSE HIMSELF IMMEDIATELY OF ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE GREEN ECONOMY AND THE SPENDING OF ASHEVILLE TAX DOLLARS ON SUCH PURSUITS. Does anyone see this as being WRONG?

    2 – THE BLOGGER SMITH STATES “the bank assumes the payback” – wrong, the bank has nothing to do with paying the tax bill. It is called a tax lien and the city would have to initiate a legal proceeding to collect if not paid back I believe (which costs the city MORE money). Great we elected a blogger with almost zero business acumen and it shows by his pitiful knowledge of the issue. Nice powerpoint, should have some of that Al Gore poetry going in the background for more impact though. (more to come on the powerpoint and the details of the documents, if this was turned into my high school teacher they would fail it as it is terribly prepared, [it even is titled -unfinished] and should not be allowed to be used to INFLUENCE anyone on council)

    3 – Mr Cecil ALSO has financial ties to the ‘green economy’ as he has so proudly stated. Great, we elected another person lacking significant business acumen with a penchant for green (our green hard earned cash). His agenda IGNORES everything important accept what HE deems as important. HE IS A KOOK PEOPLE OF ASHEVILLE.

    4 – Currently what is the percentage of PROPERTY TAX bills that are NOT paid in full over the past few years?? Let’s see the numbers and the associated costs? Or does your ideology ignore facts that dispute your beliefs?

    5 – What if the real estate market continues to lower property values (and they are still going down) and people become upside down in their mortgage, or lose a job, or worse? Do you think their ideology will make them pay US back? That’s right, us.

    6 – Robin Cape’s ideas were focused on green initiatives – Ideology so overwhelmed her she wanted to charge people by the POUND for their trash removal, but give recycling for FREE. You can find her comments on the city website under council meetings minutes. Another council member LACKING basic business acumen who was spending YOUR tax dollars. Glad she is gone.

    7 – Job Growth – Isn’t this a tired way to come at things when people are HURTING? Yes, maybe some job growth for BROWNIE NEWMAN’S company, and Cecil’s pals?? The powerpoint stated 50 million dollars would create 300 jobs. Sign me up, I could afford to pay future Asheville taxes then.

    8 – EDUCATION – I have yet to hear any major discussions on improving our schools locally. If you want to improve your society, let’s issue bonds for high tech learning centers, robotics, medical magnets, and invest in the future. Schools focused on the environment are wonderful but they are siphoning away money for MATH and SCIENCE programs at an alarming rate. Asheville and surrounding areas are failing on all levels and being left behind. Other cities are ATTRACTING WELL PAYING HIGH TECH COMPANIES which require an educated work force. We continue to put out great football players and people destined for ‘service related jobs’. This is NOT because we have bad teachers or bad schools, we are NOT GIVING THEM THE RESOURCES. WHY, because we are focusing on the wrong things. While AB tech is doing good things, you are getting your butts kicked by other cities more focused on the future. It is a joke people.

    9 – Downtown Asheville – Hey council, have you taken your lunch down to Pritchard Park lately? Your visitors are being SCARED AWAY. I am not kidding, we had 15 different guests visit us last year, and every single one said “what’s up with downtown, the scary place in the center of town and the overwhelming amount of panhandlers”. Let’s focus on that (oh right, you did by putting BOXES up). People shooting up drugs in plain view seems to me a more pressing issue that paying for overly inflated costs to retrofit. ALL of the people that visited us last year are not planning a return trip. OUCH, once your tourist dollars go, how will that affect your budget and your ability to issues bonds?

    10 – MAYBE YOU SHOULD CONSIDER HAVING ALL THE COMPANIES THAT WILL DIRECTLY BENEFIT FROM THE RETROFITTING BECOME A FINANCE COMPANY AND FINANCE THESE IDEOLOGICAL PURSUITS WITH YOUR OWN RISK & CAPITAL. IT IS TIME TO STOP NURSING OFF THE PEOPLE. MAYBE TAX FREE CHURCHES WHO DO A FANTASTIC JOB OF HELPING PEOPLE, START TO RETROFIT HOMES AND PEOPLE LIKE CECIL CAN DONATE HIS MONEY TO THEM. THAT IS IDEOLOGY YOU CAN BELIEVE IN!

    11 – Sustainability – This word has been hijacked as well by IDEOLOGS to use ‘THEORY’ to distort the root meaning of the word. Dictionary.com states the root SUSTAIN as “to provide for (an institution or the like) by furnishing means or funds.” It should read, the City of Asheville will need to focus on the common sense approach to sustainability of providing core services to, and protection of its citizenry and not to deviate from that mission or else will find itself in a bigger hole than we have now. What, was it 5 million we could not come up with???

    12 – BTW – I USED to be an environmentally focused Democrat until I came to Asheville, NC and saw that COMMON SENSE was no longer part of the Democratic Party philosophy and am now left with nothing but common sense and a really small voice. I also have been paying to retrofit my own house with money I earned and not sucked off the Government ninny. If I can’t pay for it, I can’t do it. Maybe the COUNCIL should think about that before making us pay for everyone else.

    13 – And finally, no-one states this but burning of fireplaces, 2 cycle engines, ridiculous mopeds, poorly tuned traffic light patterns, transit system bus drivers driving with the pedal to the metal (have you almost been hit by a bus multiple times as well?), tourists in cars, polluting businesses, the 25+% of water wasted by a dilapidated system, and the madness of the daily Smoky Park bridge back-ups is polluting our environment and wasting resources FAR MORE than this ideological boon for SOME will ever save. Let’s talk about THESE items first before we make the tax-paying citizens pay for your lofty goals. By ignoring these items you prove to us you are lacking Common Sense, and not truly focused on saving the world. Flame away people, flame away. WHO IS JOHN GALT

  2. JWTJr

    Any council member who has a profit motive buried in any legislation should recuse themselves from one or the other. Its as simple as that.

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