Republican Statehouse Rep. Nathan Ramsey and Democratic challenger John Ager. Photo by Alicia Funderburk.

Statehouse candidates debate: Ramsey vs. Ager

There wasn’t much tension between Nathan Ramsey  and John Ager at the Council of Independent Business Owners’s early-morning debate, Friday, Aug. 29 perhaps because of a personal history. “John’s my neighbor,” said Ramsey. “I’ve known John since I was probably about two years old.” Not only are the two candidates personal acquaintances, both grew up in the […]

“What appears to be happening is that we're being told to settle the water lawsuit or else.” — Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer photos by Max Cooper

Carrot and stick: In emails, legislators and Council wrangle over water lawsuit, district city elect

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 […]

Emails reveal state reps trying to settle Asheville water lawsuit, may change city elections

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.

Old disputes at heart of bill that transfers water system to MSD

About seven years ago, the Regional Water Authority of Asheville, Buncombe and Henderson County fell apart. The creation of what had been an historic agreement involving the three governments, ongoing disputes and frustrations led Asheville officials to end the partnership in 2005. Fast-forward to the March 28 filing of House Bill 488, which transfers the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

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)