Asheville’s last comprehensive city plan was completed in 2003. Since then, the city has gained 16,000 residents and embarked on a wide range of revitalization, infrastructure and multimodal transportation projects. Now it’s time to begin a new planning process that will span a year and a half and involve a broad cross-section of the city’s residents.
In addition to her new role as Vice Mayor, Asheville City Councilmember Gwen Wisler serves on a long list of important city boards and commissions, as well as civic organizations. Xpress talks with Wisler to find out what’s on her mind as she leads city projects from the budget to the update of the citywide comprehensive plan.
One clear winner from the 2015 City Council elections: local hopes for a public space for the city-owned lots facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. Not so clear: exactly what kind of space Asheville needs and who will pay for it. The city’s Planning and Economic Development committee took up the hot potato issue to try to figure out how to move forward.
At a Southside neighborhood meeting on Monday, Feb. 1, Parks & Recreation director Roderick Simmons said his department has no plans to close the Walton Street Park and Pool at 570 Oakland Rd.
If the 23 mature oak trees at 11 Collier Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope are to escape the chainsaw, it will have to be without the city’s help. While City Council followed through on its commitment to explore possible strategies for preserving the urban forest, in the end Council decided that committing resources to the effort in advance of significant private fundraising wasn’t a responsible use of taxpayer assets.
At a luncheon on Jan. 14, Mayor Esther Manheimer and Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler welcomed new and returning city board chairs and commissioners to their important positions in city government. Roundtable discussions produced suggestions for enhanced collaborations between the city’s 34 boards and commissions and other parts of city government.
In its first full meeting since three newly-elected Council members were seated, City Council moved in new directions on a public space for a city-owned lot on Haywood Street and on including some accessory dwelling units in the city’s homestay ordinance for short-term rentals. Council also considered downtown development review standards and passed a resolution on the I-26 connector project.
Newly-elected Asheville City Council members were sworn in on Dec. 1. The new Council selected Councilwoman Gwen Wisler as Vice Mayor. Mayor Esther Manheimer pronounced the short, upbeat meeting a “good start” for the new body.
Asheville City Council passed revisions to the city’s Homestay ordinance for short-term lodging and approved an extension of the management contract for the Asheville bus system at its Nov. 17 meeting. Outgoing Councilmen Jan Davis, Marc Hunt and Chris Pelly were honored for their service.
Asheville City Council passed $90,000 in incentives for Moogfest this evening, both in cash and services, with the possibility of a partnership continuing for years. However, while its proponents touted it as an important investment in the city’s future growth, one Council member asserted that it’s an unreasonable amount of taxpayer dollars to go to an event not entirely open to the public.
A series of images by photographer Nick King showing a glimpse of election night, as Ashevilleans found out the results of the election for their next mayor and three City Council members.
With all precincts reporting, turnout in the Nov. 5 city of Asheville elections was low, but the results were decisive. Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer defeated former city risk manager John Miall by a considerable margin to become the next mayor. Former Coleman CEO Gwen Wisler, along with incumbents Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell, also won Asheville City Council seats by a large number of votes. Photo by Nick King.
With Halloween and the Asheville city elections so closely aligned, we offer both some scary art (by cartoonists Brent Brown and Randy Molton) and the candidates’ replies to five key questions.
Come midevening on Nov. 5, Asheville voters will have picked their new mayor and three City Council members. There are two mayoral candidates and five Council contenders (of whom two are incumbents). In a series of forums, what positions have the candidates taken? How have they responded to voter questions? Look for recent stories at mountainx.com/election, and check these excerpts from the candidates answers.
Over the past week, Xpress ran interviews with each of the five Asheville City Council candidates running this year. Here, for your voting perusal, are all the interviews in one place.
This is the third in a series of interviews with Asheville City Council candidates, this time with former Coleman CEO and business owner Gwen Wisler. Photo by Max Cooper.
The final question asked of Asheville’s two mayoral and five city council candidates did not focus on the usual inquires raised during this municipal election. It wasn’t about the economy. It wasn’t about jobs. It wasn’t about the police department — though it certainly touched on all of those topics. And it had nothing to do with the Asheville Art Museum. (Photo by Max Cooper)
With less than a month left before the general election, the five Asheville City Council candidates vying for three seats voiced their views on economic development, city management, relations with Raleigh and more at tonight’s League of Women Voters forum.
For the first time this campaign season, Asheville City Council candidates faced each other, focusing on transportation issues at the Get There Asheville forum earlier this evening. While it had its light moments, the event also saw the contenders express different views on issues of spending, infrastructure and transit priorities.
Local businesswoman Gwen Wisler is the latest candiate throwing her hat in to the race for Asheville City Council.