Rich Ducker calls Senate Bill 612 “a real Christmas tree of a bill – all sorts of things hung on it.” But the biggest issue, says the public law and government specialist, may be a “sleeper issue to some people.” And that’s language that could prevent local environmental ordinances that are any more stringent than state law—something that would likely do away with Buncombe County’s steep-slope ordinance and other regionally specific rules.
Part of North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s plans to turn the Department of Commerce into a public-private partnership that would be run like a business, Senate Bill 127 would mandate the dissolution of regional organizations like AdvantageWest and strip it of state funding. It passed a second reading in the Senate Monday night, May 13, by a 31-17 vote.a
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.
The mayor of Hendersonville, just 29 miles down Interstate 26 from any-way-you-like-it Asheville, describes her city as a “sophisticated small town,” enjoying itself and its more leisurely pace while sharing a lot of the same regional amenities. And right now Barbara Volk is keenly aware that her town, population 13,277, is also sharing some of […]
Ahead of the last election, Buncombe County was split between two congressional districts, and lines were redrawn in ways that helped Republicans get elected to the N.C. Statehouse and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Now, a new study shows how gerrymandering distorts elections in North Carolina, while a new poll finds overwhelming public support for changing the redistricting process.
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.
With two weeks left before the North Carolina General Assembly’s May 16 crossover deadline, Asheville-specific legislation remains in focus among the more than 1,700 bills and resolutions entered in the 2013 session. And everything must now compete for time with the nearly $50 billion budget recently proposed by Gov. Pat McCrory.
They had to keep rolling out chairs April 23 for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions.
They had to keep rolling out chairs Tuesday night for what was billed as a “Conversation about Public Education in North Carolina,” held at the Asheville City Schools board room on Mountain Street. A larger-than-anticipated audience of 60 people — educators, elected officials, parents, advocates — came to talk about the status of public education, and to offer some opinions. And in a nutshell, the program message was that the status of public education in the state — which has been quantifiably climbing for years — is about to take a drastic plunge. (photos by Max Cooper)
During a recent visit home, State Rep. Nathan Ramsey says he’s happy to be back in the mountains. “A little cooler up here,” he says. “Closer to heaven; farther from hell, which is Raleigh.”
There are only three weeks left before the 2013 session of the N.C. General Assembly hits its crossover deadline of May 16. In general, that means to have a chance at becoming law, bills must have passed a third reading in the house or senate (whichever chamber initiated the bill) and moved to the other chamber by that date. More than 1,700 bills have been introduced since January (1,002 in the House; 725 in the Senate), including the recent arrival of Gov. Pat McCrory’s proposed $49,590,935,190 budget for 2013-14. It’s going to be a busy time.
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?
A seemingly straightforward meeting of the board of the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County took two surprising turns on Wednesday afternoon. One led to a staff report on a private sewer-line failure that took more than two years to resolve. The other led to a vote on withdrawing a December proposal to the city of Asheville regarding the possible merger of water and sewer management — an action that was rejected. UPDATED THURSDAY, APRIL 18.
Rep. Tim Moffitt has started a new political media firm that’s gaining popularity among his GOP colleagues in the North Carolina General Assembly. However, critics question the ethics and legalities of the new venture.
Asheville City Council will hold a special town hall meeting on its budget situation — including the possibility of dramatic cuts — next Thursday, April 18, in the gymnasium of Koontz Intermediate School at 305 Overlook Rd.
Elected in January as one of three Democratic whips, Rep. Susan Fisher of Asheville must know each bill’s contents and be able to explain them to her party’s caucus.
A vote on a living wage was delayed, the Business Improvement District was shelved, and Asheville City Council once again voted for a resolution opposing state legislation taking its water system. Also: Council will hold another budget town hall April 18 at 6 p.m. in South Asheville.
Discussion about the fate of the city of Asheville’s water system and the impact of a flurry of legislation coming out of the general assembly in Raleigh is on the agenda for tonight’s Asheville City Council meeting. Council will also consider a living wage requirement for some city contractors. Follow live Twitter coverage here.
A tax revaluation, rising expenses, and a barrage of state legislation are all creating a chaotic budget year for the city of Asheville. This afternoon, Asheville City Council and city staff will discuss the issues and invite the public’s input at a special 2 p.m. town hall meeting in the U.S. Cellular Center banquet hall.
State representatives Chuck McGrady, Tim Moffitt, and Nathan Ramsey have filed a bill to take control of Asheville’s water system and transfer it to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.