Commissioners quibbled over extra money for early voting sites in Buncombe County during their meeting on Oct. 2. They also delayed a decision on cuts to certain employee benefits.
As part of an effort to bridge a possible budget gap in FY 2020, commissioners could decide Tuesday, Oct. 2, to replace the three health care plans it offers to employees with two new options.
Hotelier John McKibbon predicts the massive 18-story project, which is filling the empty shell of the former BB&T building on Pack Square, will be complete by the end of March next year.
Xpress takes a look at some of the steps elected officials and top staff have taken to guard against future corruption and what policies the Board of Commissioners plans to address in the immediate future.
A handful of former Buncombe County employees had a message for commissioners during their regular meeting on Sept. 18: “Please consider the retirees.”
Interim County Manager George Wood said in a Sept. 11 memo to commissioners that, taking into account increases in automatic employee raises, a projected bump in health insurance claims and the potential for larger funding requests from local school systems, the county could see an approximately $1.7 million deficit in FY 2020.
County department heads pointed to an organizational culture of cliques and anxiety at a meeting with Buncombe County commissioners on Sept. 4.
Thanks to a second round of state grant funding announced in early August, area students will have access to an expanded series of coding programs and courses at the high school and middle school levels. Local employers and economic development boosters say tech skills are vital to securing good jobs now and in the future.
Thanks to funding approved by the the Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the system will soon have six additional SROs in its elementary schools — an expansion that carries an estimated recurring cost of more than $400,000 per year.
Commissioners will vote Tuesday, Sept. 4, whether to commit to a forensic audit of Buncombe County finances.
A new political action committee wants to flip the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, which currently has a 4-3 Democratic majority, to Republican. Their motivation? Democrats controlled the board and, they claim, provided poor oversight during a period of alleged corruption.
The Weaverville session was the first of three that Buncombe County will host to cover each of the board’s three election districts. District 2 Commissioners Mike Fryar and Ellen Frost were in the hot seat on Thursday evening.
Commissioners spent a large chunk of their meeting on Aug. 21 weighting the merits of implementing several changes to the county’s personnel policy — including one that would do away with automatic cost of living adjustments for county employees.
With the county’s commitment to running all county operations off renewable energy by 2030 still an open question, Buncombe County is poised to take a step this week towards fulfilling that goal.
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.