Former Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson

Former City Manager Gary Jackson leaves mixed legacy

As Asheville gears up to begin a new chapter in its administration, Xpress asks what lessons, if any, can be learned from Jackson’s time as the city’s top employee. But given the reluctance of so many current and former city officials to discuss either Jackson’s firing or his legacy, any final assessment of this recent history may have to wait.

Buncombe County logo

County to set groundwork for $30 million in bonds at Aug. 7 meeting

The resolution sets the stage for the county to reimburse itself through bonds should it initially finance planned construction projects with operating funds. According to Internal Revenue Service regulations, wrote Interim County Manager George Wood, a bond resolution must precede spending money on projects that might later be refinanced using bonds.

Yancey County adult day care illuminate­s concerns for aging population

Family members who depend on Heritage Adult Day Retreat in Burnsville to provide a safe, stimulating daytime environment for loved ones with disabilities and dementia face a potential interruption or closure of the resource. With state funding for adult day care flat and the need continuing to grow, 40 similar programs have closed across the state since 2007.

Transit Master Plan 2020 Map

Transit Master Plan proposes big changes for Asheville’­s bus service

The ambitious proposal would increase bus service hours by 44 percent starting in fiscal year 2020, construct a new $50 million operating facility by 2024 and double the current fleet by 2029. Elias Mathes, transit planning manager for the city, says these bold changes are needed to make Asheville Redefines Transit a viable alternative to automobile commuting for the city’s future.

Amy Cantrell protesting the Asheville city budget

Budget and policing disagreeme­nts at forefront of Council meeting

No additional changes made their way into this year’s budget as Council decided to adopt the ordinance in a 4-3 vote. Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice-Mayor Gwen Wisler, and Council members Vijay Kapoor and Julie Mayfield all voted in support of the budget. Members Brian Haynes, Sheneika Smith and Keith Young voted against the plan; all three had shown hesitation about a police funding increase during previous work sessions.

“Fireworks” in store for June 19 Council meeting

Two weeks before the Fourth of July, the meeting’s agenda promises a grand finale of rhetorical explosions over two matters of unfinished business. The first is the Asheville city budget, which Council member Brian Haynes has said he will not support as long as it contains funding for additional officers to staff the Asheville Police Department’s downtown district. The second is a series of resolutions to rescind and replace the three motions on police policy previously proposed by Young and passed by Council on May 22.

UNC Asheville students sample aquatic organisms.

Regional watersheds expected to recover after record rainfall

While the flood’s immediate aftermath may negatively impact water quality and populations of aquatic life, research suggests that WNC’s watersheds readily recover from similar events over the long term. But area experts emphasize that humans do play a role in maintaining the resilience of the region’s streams, rivers and lakes as development continues along their banks.

Kimberlee Archie, Asheville's equity and inclusion manager.

Human Relations Commission holds first meeting on Thursday

Established based on recommendations from a special Council-appointed Blue Ribbon Committee, the new group will be charged with improving human relations and equity throughout Asheville’s government — including the Asheville Police Department, which has drawn fierce criticism in recent months from Council and the public over its response to the beating of a black Asheville resident by a white former APD officer last year.

Mission Health CEO Dr. Ron Paulus shares his rationale behind the health system's intended sale to Hospital Corporation of America.

Mission Health sale could create massive community nonprofit

HCA’s purchase price for the system, plus Mission’s remaining net cash and investments, would fund a nonprofit foundation specifically devoted to boosting public health in the region. At a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners, President and CEO Ron Paulus claimed that the new organization’s assets, which could range from $1 billion to $2 billion depending on the final sale price, would make it one of the three largest foundations in North Carolina and the richest foundation per capita anywhere on the planet.

Police group threatens legal action against Asheville City Council on recent policy changes

The words City Council adopted on May 22 could land the five members who supported them in hot water, according to lawyers from the N.C. Police Benevolent Association. Language in the city’s charter suggests that the consequences could be serious, possibly even including loss of office if convicted of giving an order to a city […]