Last year, relations between the North Carolina General Assembly and the city of Asheville were marked by hostility, public wars of words and even a lawsuit. At a special meeting yesterday, March 18, however, multiple Asheville City Council members expressed a desire to improve things this year, even though looming legislation could cost the city further revenue. They also signed off on efforts to better coordinate the city’s own lobbying efforts in Raleigh.
Today Asheville City Council appointed Robin Currin as the new city attorney, formally swearing her in at a special meeting. Currin, a Raleigh-based attorney with experience in local government, land and zoning law, will take office on May 1. Photo by Alicia Funderburk.
State Senator Martin Nesbitt, the minority leader and longtime Democratic legislator from Asheville, died yesterday at age 67.
While Friday’s part of Asheville City Council’s annual retreat focused on broad policy matters, Saturday morning’s session focused on perceptions (including “very bad” ones) and relationships (sometimes not very happy ones) with the legislature in Raleigh and the local public.
Gov. Pat McCrory spoke to the Council of Independent Business Owners this afternoon, asserting he was “stepping on some toes” to lower taxes and make the state run more like a business.
To a packed house at the Diana Wortham Theater last night, leaders of local and state organizations condemned the policies of the North Carolina General Assembly and heard concerns from local citizens.
Behind-the-scenes negotiations over a lawsuit, a push from Raleigh to force district-based elections for Asheville, and the fate of a parks-and-recreation bill that could save city government millions — all this and more are revealed in emails between Council members, city staff and North Carolina legislators. Recently obtained by Xpress, the documents show a candid […]
At the end of a rollercoaster budget season marked by dire predictions, unpredictability at the state level, and Asheville City Council members trying to find the cash for their own plans, there’s finally a vote on the budget this evening. For the first time since 1995, city residents could see a major tax increase, intended to pay for an “aspirational” list of major projects.
More emails obtained by Xpress shed new light on the push by some local lawmakers to impose a district election system on the city of Asheville.
What kind of mentality does it require for the N.C. Senate to pass a law restricting alternative means of transportation, legislation that could improve our physical and environmental health? Shouldn't North Carolinians seek more rail transit, bike and pedestrian projects? Our Senate has amended House Bill 817 prohibiting state funding of passenger rail service, as […]
The perfect storm of revenue overhauls in Raleigh, a property revaluation and a major reorganization of city departments make this year’s city of Asheville budget complicated, to say the least. Here’s some important things to know before tonight’s public hearing.
Emails obtained by Xpress reveal that some state legislators have asked city of Asheville representatives to drop their lawsuit contesting a state-mandated transfer of the water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The emails also show legislators discussing the fate of legislation that consolidates Asheville and Buncombe County parks-and-recreation services — a move that could save the city $5 million a year. Further, the candid discussions shine a light on a long-rumored proposal that the state may force Asheville to switch to district-based elections.
After much discussion, projections of potential fiscal disaster, and speculation about the next legislation to issue forth from Raleigh, the city of Asheville’s budget is finally unveiled at tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting.
While noting that much of its fate remains in the hands of the state legislature, at a special meeting this morning Asheville City Council gave staff the go-ahead to start drafting a budget based on a plan that calls for a 1 cent property tax increase and assumes the city and county may consolidate their parks and recreation operations by January.
At a relatively brief Asheville City Council meeting tonight, city staff announced that a judge in Wake County has agreed to delay a state law forcibly transferring the water system. Council also approved $1.1 million in financing for energy efficiency improvements and the creation of a new multimodal transportation commission.
Friday morning, Asheville city officials past and present were joined by some of the local legislative delegation to voice their opposition to a state bill that would forcibly transfer the water system to a new regional authority and the Metropolitan Sewerage District. At the press conference they supported City Council’s decision to sue the state in an attempt to halt the new law.
At a special meeting tonight, May 7, Asheville City Council members voted unanimously to sue the state of North Carolina over a bill forcibly transferring the city’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. City Attorney Bob Oast cited “legal, constitutional, and practical issues” with the mandate.
As a forcible transfer of Asheville’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District clears its last legislative hurdles in Raleigh, city staff say relinquishing the system by May 15, as the bill requires, is an administrative impossibility. So what happens to the city’s water system in two weeks? “That’s a good question,” Water Resources Director Steve Shoaf says.
A $330,000 reduction in Pisgah Legal Services’ state and federal funding could leave more than 2,200 local domestic-violence victims without legal assistance. The Asheville-based nonprofit is scrambling to close the gap but may reduce services.
Tonight, Asheville City Council discussed a possible tax hike to help offset some financial impacts that pending state legislation could have on the current budget crunch, and Mayor Terry Bellamy said she’d vote to sue the state if it went through with a proposal to forcibly transfer the city’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. Council also approved a Tunnel Road commercial development anchored by a Whole Foods.
The city of Asheville has dealt with budget concerns for a number of years now, but this year state legislation has pushed a manageable situation into a dire one, to hear staff and Asheville City Council tell it. How did the city get here?