Elections are over, and we have a new mayor and City Council. So what's on the horizon, and where do we go from here?
Well, based on recent history, we can definitely look forward to increased traffic, population growth, limited parking and an overcrowded downtown — also known as "smart growth" to our local politicians.
Since the economy has stabilized, the developers have returned with a vengeance, marking out their territory. Airport Road has already become a strip mall, and Sierra Nevada is building a Disney World-type brewery nearby.
And if the idea of Trader Joe's, Harris Teeter and Greenlife all bunched together makes you warm and fuzzy, then you will love the McGibbon Group (that wants to add two more hotels) and Mr. Tony Fraga (who wants his "legacy" to be a 14-story edifice across the street from the Grove Arcade). Boy, do they have a downtown for you. And our local politicians — who have yet to see a developer or development that didn't make them swoon — have basically given the city over to these interests.
Asheville Redux. I keep waiting for Asheville to elect officials who "get it," who come with a new paradigm and who understand you can't develop your way to sustainability. I keep waiting for officials who understand that if you come to Asheville to build or develop, you need to come with a living-wage model. You know, stuff like that.
So far, with rare exception, all I've seen are acquiescent politicians who can't see beyond the next election … "Makes me wanna holla throw up both my hands."
God I used to love this city …
— Jesse Junior