Speaking to about 100 people at the Leicester Community Center on Saturday, June 30, in a polo shirt and khaki pants instead of a suit and tie, Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt touted his accomplishments as a freshman legislator during a town hall forum.
The Republican, who represents the largely west Buncombe District 116, is running for reelection in the fall, where he will face challenger Jane Whilden, a Democrat he beat in 2010.
Highlighting the recently passed forced annexation bill that he sponsored, Moffitt called his self-proclaimed “signature pieces of legislation,” common sense for protecting “us county folks from the encroachment of those in the city.”
With a notebook of talking points in one hand, he said, “If a city is going to compel you to join them, you should at least have a voice on whether or not that should be permissible because they are essentially going to double your taxes.”
At this statement, the crowd applauded.
However, though he has spent a year and a half working as a state representative, Moffitt was quick to say he does not consider himself a politician.
“I never considered myself to be a political person, I consider myself to be a practical person,” he told the crowd. And, speaking with Xpress after the town hall, Moffitt said he also considers himself a city person, too.
“I think folks in the city have been led to believe things about me that are just not true. Folks in the county, know that those things aren’t true,” he said, adding, “I think that people believe that I have issues with the city, but I don’t. I was born and raised in Asheville, I’m a city tax-payer and I think the city has a responsibility to uphold the word they have given.”
And he wants to see the City of Asheville keep its word, especially when it comes to the hot-button topic of the Asheville water system. Moffitt, who serves on the state’s Metropolitan Sewerage/Water System Committee, said the study committee found the consolidation of water and sewer to be the best option for the region.
“We’ve left it to the local leaders to make that happen. And for those of you who’ve been around, you know this process was resolved in 1994 and a regional water agreement was adopted in 1995. But the recent leadership changes in the City of Asheville have moved the city in a direction where they don’t want to honor long-standing agreements, and that’s our outcome,” he said.
Though he said he thinks the city has become “very myopic,” he said he plans to repair his relationship with city residents by holding similar town hall events in the future.
“I think I’ve accomplished a lot, but we have a lot of work that needs to be done. We hope that you’ll continue to support our vision for the state, and just listening to what you have to say is the most important thing,” Moffitt said.