Buncombe County has terminated contracts worth more than $550,000 with two companies associated with Joseph Wiseman Jr., who the county has identified as the contractor who allegedly paid kickbacks to three former county officials.
Two local agencies, the Needle Exchange Program of Asheville and The Steady Collective, provide clean needles and other supplies to help reduce the negative health effects of habitual drug use in Western North Carolina. Now Buncombe County is considering starting a program of its own to combat an increase in diseases transmitted by reusing and sharing needles.
Even as elected officials and county staff digested word of new indictments of former county employees released less than four hours before the regular meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners on Aug. 7, efforts to select a new county manager continued to move ahead.
A federal grand jury returned a bill of indictment on Aug. 7, bringing charges against three former Buncombe County officials: former County Manager Wanda Greene, former County Manager Mandy Stone and former Planning Director and Assistant County Manager Jon Creighton.
Michael Greene, a former Buncombe County employee who has been accused of misusing county purchase cards, on July 27 pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit an offense against the United States.
Asheville City Council unanimously approved an expansive new transit master plan on July 24 — a vote that drew applause from citizens sitting in the audience. The plan will increase the number of buses in the fleet to 36 (plus an extra 16 in reserve) and more than double the number of service hours to about 225,000 by 2029.
Members of Asheville City Council will hear an update on Tuesday, July 24, on efforts to boost transparency of policing data and will decide whether to approve an ambitious new plan for the city’s mass transit system.
On July 19, the Asheville Planning and Zoning Commission approved a rezoning request against the recommendation of city staff that would allow two properties on Maxwell Street to serve as short-term vacation rental properties.
Sylvan Sport founder Tom Dempsey says the inspiration for his company’s adventure camping trailers comes from spending time outdoors — and there’s no better place to find inspiration than this area. “We couldn’t do what we do anywhere else,” he says.
Buncombe County is one step closer to recouping the money it claims was misappropriated by former County Manager Wanda Greene and her son, Michael Greene, who served as a county employee until August 2017.
During their meeting on July 10, commissioners approved an increase in monthly Waste Pro rates and took the first step in their formal search for a new county manager.
The next major step in the selection of a new county manager involves deciding whether to hire an executive search firm. That’s an issue commissioners will discuss during their meeting on Tuesday, July 10.
During their June 19 meeting, Buncombe County commissioners approved a 1-cent increase for the 11 fire districts that requested at least that amount from the county this year. The officials then picked through the requests to identify districts they believed deserved more than the 1-cent baseline.
A new study sponsored by a coalition of local organizations and funded by Mountain BizWorks and the City of Asheville identifies a long list of markets where Asheville has room for local expansion. The New Economy Coalition hopes to use the study to boost the number of minority-owned businesses in Western North Carolina.
Two pivotal items on the board’s agenda were the approval of the FY 2019 budget and the appointment of an interim county manager after the sudden departure of former manager Mandy Stone.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will consider George Wood, who previously served as the county manager for Wayne and Lincoln counties, for the role of interim county manager during its meeting on Tuesday, June 19.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners will vote Tuesday, June 19, on a resolution appointing a new interim county manager after last week’s sudden announcement that County Manager Mandy Stone would be departing. The board will also render a final decision about the county’s FY 2019 budget, which includes a bump in education spending.
As of June 11, Buncombe County has $458.5 million in debt. Over half of that debt balance ― $270 million ― has paid for facilities for A-B Tech and the county’s two public school systems, the Asheville City and Buncombe County schools.
After the announcement that county manager Mandy Stone would be retiring effective July 1, Buncombe County is now in need of a new county manager. The government has also filed a lawsuit against former county manager Wanda Greene in an effort to recoup money it claims she misappropriated.
With the help of money from the Pigeon River Fund, Asheville GreenWorks has lifted more than one thousand pounds of trash from Mud Creek in Hendersonville.
Though breaking news about new Wanda Greene indictments made it hard for elected officials and members of the public to focus on anything else, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved $685,000 in incentives for a planned local investment by GE Aviation and announced two new early childhood education initiatives during its meeting on June 5.