Tensions run high over tackling Asheville’s graffiti

Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at Friday morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill.

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community-attachment0

Portrait of CIBO: Council of Independent Business Owners rallies Asheville business community

The Council of Independent Business Owners has been called a lot of things over the years.

Few could argue that the nonprofit — whose members serve on such powerful public bodies as Asheville’s City Council and Planning and Zoning Commission, the Western North Carolina Regional Air Quality Agency’s board and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners — lacks influence. But how far does it reach? And does the group still have the kind of impact that it did in the past?

Candidates question each other, development at CIBO forum

The five Asheville City Council candidates squared off at the Council of Independent Business Owners’ forum yesterday afternoon as this year’s campaign entered its final stretch. Many of the topics discussed had been dealt with at previous forums, with some exceptions. In this case, the candidates questioned each other, and spoke frankly about their thoughts on development and NIMBYism.

Doubleheader: Mayoral candidates tackle forums sponsored by business and bikes-attachment0

Doubleheader: Mayoral candidates tackle forums sponsored by business and bikes

The stages and the supporters could not have been more different for the Asheville Mayoral candidates yesterday: A power lunch at Magnolia’s Bar & Grille sponsored by the more conservative Council of Independent Business Owners and an evening forum at the Odyssey Ceramic Arts Studio hosted by the multimodal-minded group Asheville On Bikes. (Photos by Max Cooper)

Crowd shows up to object to Progress rate hike-attachment0

Crowd shows up to object to Progress rate hike

At a five-hour hearing conducted by the North Carolina Utilities Commission last night, every speaker except those representing the Council of Independent Business Owners and Biltmore Farms objected to rate hikes proposed by Progress Energy. The speakers’ reasons for opposition ranged from the impact of the rate increases on the working poor to projected environmental damage. Photo by Max Cooper

Storify: State house candidates face off at CIBO forum-attachment0

Storify: State house candidates face off at CIBO forum

The Buncombe County candidates running for seats in N.C. House districts 115 and 116 faced off at a Sept. 27 forum organized by the Council of Independent Business Owners.  Candidates were asked a range of questions, giving them a chance to show where they stood on issues like Asheville’s water system, jobs, education and more. Roughly 75 people attended the forum. Here’s a look at the event in words, photos and videos as it unfolded, via Storify. (photo by Max Cooper)

CIBO talks taxes, appoints new officers and board-attachment0

CIBO talks taxes, appoints new officers and board

Whether it was talk about the tax revaluation facing Buncombe County or the new tax rates coming from the Affordable Care Act, presentations at the Sept. 7 Council of Independent Business Owners breakfast focused on how these changes could impact the wallets of local business owners. These are the highlights. (Photo of Scott Huges, above, and Gary Roberts by Caitlin Byrd)