[Editor’s note: This letter is satire.] In a recent announcement by beleaguered Rep. Tim Moffitt, he introduced House Bill 666 to take ownership of the recently defunded Bele Chere street festival.
In the bill, the text of which was leaked to the press, the state would not pay the city of Asheville any compensation for the festival, which will be moved to Raleigh. "I want to assure the citizens of Western North Carolina that this bill is in the best interests of the state. This bill will not only preserve the heritage of the 35-year-old festival, but will improve it."
Mayor Terry Bellamy responded: "Normally, we'd fight for some compensation. After all, the city put many dollars and many years into building the brand of Bele Chere. But in this case, we may have to let it go. We have to pick our fights with the Legislature."
When confronted by angry Asheville voters regarding the future of their festival, Moffitt said, "Everyone I've talked to said they don't even attend the festival, so the city shouldn't miss it."
As of now, Moffitt claims there are no plans to sell the festival to private concerns. Moffitt is on the board of directors of ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, which seeks to privatize public resources.
In related news, LAAFF festival organizers are worried that a corporate takeover may be imminent. Director Arieh Samson said, "We will fight tooth and nail to keep LAAFF in Asheville, even if we have to permanently cancel it."
Unconfirmed reports have come to light that Rep. Moffitt has "a list" of other public resources he plans to take control of and move to Raleigh, including the HardLox Jewish Food & Heritage Festival, the Asheville Greek Festival and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
— Mark H. Bloom