Dear *&%#@! mayor: The angry e-mails

Below are the 21 e-mail messages, in their entirety, that Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy received in the wake of the “City Council Screws the Troops” coverage in the Oct. 12 Asheville Tribune. They are reproduced here exactly as Mountain Xpress received them from the city of Asheville. For the full story, see “Uncivil Discourse?” in the Nov. 8 Xpress.


Original Message
From: Steve Clayton [mailto:clayusmcret@gmail.com]
Sent: Sunday, October 15, 2006 12:31 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov; hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; jandavis@main.nc.us; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; newmanasheville@aol.com; drmumpower@aol.com
Cc: bfishburne@bellsouth.net; tribuneeditor@bellsouth.net; jfranklin@citizen-times.com
Subject: Where to go now?

Madam Mayor,

Council Members,

My name is Steve Clayton. You don’t know me and after what I just read you won’t get the chance. I just read about the Council’s actions regarding the rent changes and the Mayor’s and Council majority’s attitude towards the Army’s Reserve Center in Asheville. It’s a shame, not only for you folks but for my family as well.

I’m a recently retired Marine; originally from a small town in Kentucky. My wife of 27 years is originally from Kansas. We have spent most of the last 15 years trying to decide where to settle and within the last five years had decided on Asheville. We spent many happy years at one place or another in North Carolina and after driving through the Black Mountain area numerous times (and loving the views) we were very happy with our recent decision to settle in Asheville within the next 2-3 years. I’d been to Ridgecrest several times as a youth and we’d even seen Asheville on episodes of HG Tv and the supposedly open minded attitudes of the residents seemed to embody all that was best in America; some left, some right, some center and all-American. Asheville was a win/win situation.

However, your recent majority votes down a clearly anti-American path make it abundantly clear that Asheville definitely is not for us. Ladies/Gentlemen, our country is at war. Our country is at war no less than we were in 1942 and our nation’s future is no less in jeopardy than it was at that time. The only difference is in 1942-1945 the opposing party joined with its president to defeat (1) a nation that had attacked us and (2) nations that had not attacked us but clearly were in alliance with the one who had. As a very disenfranchised lifelong conservative Democrat I am saddened and ashamed of my party’s actions these last five years. My wife is not nearly as conservative as I am, but also as a lifelong Democrat she is no less appalled at our party’s actions. Add to this the thought of moving to Asheville, an area we both deeply love yet find out has no less partisan leadership than the party leaders we have come to be disgusted in…. Asheville has now become an unacceptable solution to where we will settle for the next 40+ years.

Good luck in the future. May you enjoy your new light poles, may the Army Reserve seriously consider moving its site elsewhere, and may you reflect on what it really takes to be an American during time of war. (Hint: sacrifice and support.)

Steve Clayton

Captain, USMC, Retired

8245 Lythrum Drive

Colorado Springs, CO 80920


Original Message
From: JCC131313@aol.com [mailto:JCC131313@aol.com]
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 4:22 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: You Stink

MAYOR,

Screw the military and the US Government!!!!!

Good job Mayor. Come down to Autryville, I’ll see if I can’t help you out. Out into the river that is.

I’m retired military, yep, Vietnam vet!! What you and the counsel has done is outrageous. Like all other blood suckers, lets see how we can screw our neighbors and get hard money.

Congratulations. I hope I never meet you or any of you cronies.

j c sends,

Take care, stay safe.

Remember 9-11-01

“you can run, but you can’t hide”


Original Message
From: John Wintersteen
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Sent: Sun Oct 15 16:22:30 2006
Subject: Your town

Sir,

I had planned on retiring to Asheville in a few years, but after reading about your treatment of our military and the gouging of same for their use of the Army Reserve Center, and the apparent liberal bias of the council, that is not an option. I visited Asheville several times in the 60’s when we had cold-weather training there on Mt. Mitchell, and found it to be a beautiful area with very friendly people. Apparently, that has all changed. Too bad.

What I read is below.

Your truly,

John Wintersteen

Adjutant – Mt. Diablo Detachment

Marine Corps League

Lafayette, CA

“In 1950, an Asheville City Council that consisted of seven WWII veterans voted to lease vacant city land to the United States Army Reserve for $1 for 50 years. The Army built a typical 1950’s style Reserve Center and for 50 years the center fulfilled its mission, bothering no one. When the land lease expired in 2000 (pre-9/11), our liberal city council leased it to the Army for $60,000 per year in a six year lease.

Last Tuesday night, a new council consisting of six Democrats and one Republican voted 6-1 to increase the Army Reserve’s rent to $112,000 per year for three years, a net increase of 91 percent per year. The Republican, Dr. Carl Mumpower, a Vietnam War veteran, strenuously objected and voted against the increase.

The next vote was to spend an additional $53,500 to purchase three decorative street light poles. That’s $53,500 over and above the replacement cost of standard light poles. Dr. Mumpower objected and voted against that one, too.

The extra $52,000 the city is charging for rent will come directly out of the Pentagon’s budget. Based on the decorative street lamp purchase, you can see the city didn’t need the money, it just wanted to make some more money from the military. That’s called war profiteering.

$52,000 would buy 105 complete sets of the latest body armor, or 120 rounds of 5.56 mm ammo for 2,033 combat soldiers or Marines. Or it could have purchased enough new composite boots to protect the feet of three companies of ground troops.

But no, those objections weren’t good enough. Asheville’s real estate manager said the best use of the land would be in a commercial development such as a strip center. He said the new rent would be near the high end of what the city could rent the land for in a commercial lease. Dr. Mumpower’s objections were brushed aside and the anti-military progressives/liberals socked it to the Pentagon they loathe and hate.

To add insult to injury, during the discussion of the rent increase, Mayor Terry Bellamy, Asheville’s youngest-ever mayor, second female mayor, and first African-American mayor (who works for the non-profit Mountain Housing Opportunities Corporation), suggested the Army Reserve Center should share its space with the Social Security Administration so the SSA could lower its rent.

I think this city council should be charged with the crime of war profiteering, which Webster’s says is making excess profits during a time of war or national emergency. These anti-military political animals are eager to mount multi-million dollar investigations of Lowe’s, Home Depot and entrepreneurial citizens when they rush in shipments of generators and water on the heels of hurricanes, charging they sell them “at inflated prices,” but they behave in a thoroughly despicable manner themselves when they get the chance.

Asheville is governed by a progressive/liberal faction that just cannot stand President Bush and only pays minimal lip service to supporting our troops. Three months ago our combined Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines Recruiting Center was burned down by a fire set by an unknown arsonist. The daily newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, did not report either the fire or the fire chief’s ruling that it was arson.

The Asheville Tribune covered the arson story when it occurred, showing a Marine Sergeant’s burned Dress Blue uniform jacked on our cover. This week’s rent story was also on our cover. We’ve never used vile language on the cover before, but this was the time. The cover is 010410101.pdf, attached. The story is 010403031.pdf. Our editorial is 01040909.pdf.”

“If we do not protect our troops, why should they protect us?”

– Major Frank Stolz

“Demonstrate to the world there is ‘No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy’ than a U.S. Marine.”

– J. N. Mattis, Major General, U.S. Marines Commanding General’s Message to All Hands, March 2003


Original Message
From: KERMIT W ANDRUS
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Sent: Sun Oct 15 18:12:06 2006
Subject: Outrage against overcharginf Army Reserve

Ms. Bellamy-

I wonder if you even have an American flag in your home.

Or do you have a flag with the red crescent on it??

You are evil.

Andy

“the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”

Edmund Burke


Original Message
From: john hall [mailto:bluegrassjhall@yahoo.com]
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 10:55 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: SOAKING THE GOVERNMENT

Dear Mayor

request you reconsider the actions taken by your city council concerning increasing lease prices to the government. If you don’t believe in the present elected leaders of this country you may vote against them, but this profiteering is not the right way to go.

Sincerely

John H Hall


Original Message
From: Flowers2 [mailto:flowers2@ec.rr.com]
Sent: Monday, October 16, 2006 9:58 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov; newmanasheville@aol.com; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; jandavis@main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; drmumpower@aol.com
Subject: Army Reserve Center Lease

Ashville City Council

I have read a scathing report that implies that the City of Ashville is war profiteering by again increasing the lease for the city land occupied by the Army Reserve Center. I expect there is credence to this allegation based upon other anti-military incidents that have occurred in Ashville.

How disappointing this is to me especially after I have just come from the Onslow County . Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Military Affairs Committee dinner where we recognized a male Marine Sergeant and a female Navy Petty Officer as our service members of the month for September and October. Both have served our country in combat with courage and conviction. Additionally, between tours both are active in our local community and continuing their college education. Our community in general is extremely appreciative our service members and gladly encourage and support them. Our very active USO, service member discounts, care packages, support the troops programs, monuments, Veterans Day Parade, Memorial Day Ceremony, and fish frys on base are just a part of how we show our support.

There seems to be an extreme contrast as to how the city of Ashville and the city of Jacksonville views our military. Please correct me if I am wrong in this observation and describe how Ashville supports our service members who are guarding our precious liberty and their families.

Glenn Spradling

910-934-4124


Original Message
From: HENRY SILVA [mailto:silvahjrm@prodigy.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 2:30 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Lease increase

What goes round, comes round. As a veteran, I promise to never visit your town or spend one cent on any product that comes to from your town. Shame on you and your communist council. When the enemy comes, and he will, I hope they visit your town in the early times of their “doings”. With no respect for your kind, H. J. Silva.


Original Message
From: Gottlieb, Aryea Mr CIV USAF AFSOC/A8XC [mailto:Aryea.Gottlieb@hurlburt.af.mil]
Sent: Tuesday, October 17, 2006 11:18 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Asheville Council

Mayor Bellamy,

What you and your council have done is a disgrace to our men and women in uniform.

The US military is the only thing that keeps you safe at night from the radical Muslims that want to take away your freedoms and your life.

I would hope you reconsider this issue.

V/r

Aryea Gottlieb

USAF retired


Original Message
From: Jewell Messer [mailto:messerclj@cox.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 1:22 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: rent increase

This is totally un called for. The country is striving to make ends meet and this is not helping.

You are joining in what will be the defeat of America and our way of life.


Original Message
From: Blount, Mark [mailto:Mark.Blount@waynehealth.org]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 10:51 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Cc: hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; jandavis@main.nc.us; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; newmanasheville@aol.com; drmumpower@aol.com
Subject: Reconsider…

Madame Mayor…

As a US Army veteran, the son of a US Air Force enlisted retiree who served two tours in Viet Nam, the son-in-law of a decorated US Air Force officer who piloted C-130’s in Viet Nam and a citizen / resident of eastern North Carolina since 1970 – I implore you to reconsider the decision by the Asheville City Council to jack the fees up on the lease for the US Army Reserve facility.

With all honesty..it smacks so much of profiteering that my stomach roils at the thought. Additionally…it comes very close to appearing a vendetta of political activity with the military as its target. To be sure, you and the members of the city council would consider patriotism and duty to country a higher priority than simple greed.

If you and the city council persist in this effort to squeeze profits from our military budget – monies better spent on armor, weaponry and supplies – then I will do all I can to ensure I never visit the Asheville area as a tourist…and will encourage everyone I know do the same. Our “discretionary” tourist dollars – and those of perhaps thousands of others – will be better spent in an area, town or city which supports and encourages the fighting men and women who sacrifice to protect the freedoms of this country.

News will spread in an area like eastern North Carolina…the home of Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, Fort Bragg and the Marine facilities near the coast. It came to me via email…imagine the numbers it will eventually reach. Your responsibility to your town, county and constituents demands that you make a responsible decision for the whole of the community. Someone is going to “follow the money trail”. I hope it leads to office holders of integrity and honesty.

Thanks,

Mark Blount

Goldsboro, NC

“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace always in every way. II Thessalonians 3:16


Original Message
From: Phillip V. Conley [mailto:philconl@insightbb.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 1:11 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Shame on you for charging our Military $52,000.00 for rent ! TRAITOR

Shame on you and your traitorous rent charges. After the military did so much for people after hurricane Katrina.

YOU NEED TO STEP DOWN FROM OFFICE.

Lifelong civilian,

Phillip V Conley

115 Av. D Woodridge Est. II

Freeport, IL, 61032

815-233-0188


Original Message
From: John Lyding [mailto:md1728@yahoo.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 3:23 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: WARTIME GREED

I HAVE CANCELED NEXT SUMMER’S TRIP TO ASHVILLE.

GREED, GREED, GREED

GOD CONTINUE TO BLESS AMERICA

John Lyding


Original Message
From: Wefroglovers@aol.com [mailto:Wefroglovers@aol.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 5:19 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Just a question for you…

Based on what I have just read about how Asheville conducts their affairs, I will no longer be visiting your city. I am embarrassed and ashamed that citizens of the United States could possibly show such disconcern for our state of affairs. I do have one question for you specifically, do you Mayor, have a soldier over seas? If so I do pray to God for you and them that your rent increase has no effect on his/her ability to come home alive and safe. I will also pray that you come to your senses and realize what goes around comes around and most of the time it doubles.


Original Message
From: Ken Hunter [mailto:kchunterjr@wildblue.net]
Sent: Wednesday, October 18, 2006 6:20 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Cc: hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; jandavis@main.nc.us; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; newmanasheville@aol.com
Subject: [Fwd: Asheville screws the military]

Original Message
Subject: Asheville screws the military
From:

As a native North Carolinian I am extremely disappointed in the action of the Asheville, NC city council. I ALWAYS THOUGHT ASHEVILLE WAS A PATRIOTIC TOWN SUPPORTIVE OF THE AMERICAN MILITARY. I have recently learned IT IS NOT.

A SPECIAL THANKS TO DR MUMPOWER FOR HIS PATRIOTIC VOTE IN SUPPORT OF THE USA

C.K. HUNTER JR

Miz. Marlene, Colonel:

In 1950, an Asheville City Council that consisted of seven WWII veterans voted to lease vacant city land to the United States Army Reserve for $1 for 50 years. The Army built a typical 1950’s style Reserve Center and for 50 years the center fulfilled its mission, bothering no one. When the land lease expired in 2000 (pre-9/11), our liberal city council leased it to the Army for $60,000 per year in six year lease.

Last Tuesday night, a new council consisting of six Democrats and one Republican voted 6-1 to increase the Army Reserve’s rent to $112,000 per year for three years, a net increase of 91 percent per year. The Republican, Dr. Carl Mumpower, a Vietnam War veteran, strenuously objected and voted against the increase.

The next vote was to spend an additional $53,500 to purchase three decorative street light poles. That’s $53,500 over and above the replacement cost of standard light poles. Dr. Mumpower objected and voted against that one, too.

The extra $52,000 the city is charging for rent will come directly out of the Pentagon’s budget. Based on the decorative street lamp purchase, you can see the city didn’t need the money, it just wanted to make some more money from the military. That’s called war profiteering.

$52,000 would buy 105 complete sets of the latest body armor, or 120 rounds of 5.56 mm ammo for 2,033 combat soldiers or Marines. Or it could have purchased enough new composite boots to protect the feet of three companies of ground troops.

But no, those objections weren’t good enough. Asheville’s real estate manager said the best use of the land would be in a commercial development such as a strip center. He said the new rent would be near the high end of what the city could rent the land for in a commercial lease. Dr. Mumpower’s objections were brushed aside and the anti-military progressives/liberals socked it to the Pentagon they loathe and hate.

To add insult to injury, during the discussion of the rent increase, Mayor Terry Bellamy, Asheville’s youngest-ever mayor, second female mayor, and first African-American mayor (who works for the non-profit Mountain Housing Opportunities Corporation), suggested the Army Reserve Center should share its space with the Social Security Administration so the SSA could lower its rent.

I think this city council should be charged with the crime of war profiteering, which Webster’s says is making excess profits during time of war or national emergency. These anti-military political animals are eager to mount multi-million dollar investigations of Lowe’s, Home Depot and entrepreneurial citizens when they rush in shipments of generators and water on the heels of hurricanes, charging they sell them “at inflated prices,” but they behave in a thoroughly despicable manner themselves when they get the chance.

Asheville is governed by a progressive/liberal faction that just cannot stand President Bush and only pays minimal lip service to supporting our troops. Three months ago our combined Army/Navy/Air Force/Marines Recruiting Center was burned down by a fire set by an unknown arsonist. The daily newspaper, the Asheville Citizen-Times, did not report either the fire or the fire chief’s ruling that it was arson.

The Asheville Tribune covered the arson story when it occurred, showing a Marine Sergeant’s burned Dress Blue uniform jacked on our cover. This week’s rent story was also on our cover. We’ve never used vile language on the cover before, but this was the time. The cover is 010410101.pdf, attached. The story is 010403031.pdf. Our editorial is 01040909.pdf.

Any of your readers who share our outrage at this totally unwarranted action should read the stories and look at the cover, then consider sending polite notes to Mayor Bellamy and the rest of city council expressing your thoughts as Marines and veterans.

You can reach Mayor Bellamy at mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov; To write our council members individually, reach Holly Jones at hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; Robin Cape at rcape@charter.net; Jan Davis at, jandavis@main.nc.us; Bryan Freeborn at freeborn@freebornashevillecom; and Brownie Newman at newmanasheville@aol.com.

Thanks to Dr. Mumpower for his principled vote should be sent to: drmumpower@aol.com.

Thank you.

de oppresso liber, S/F

Bill Fishburne

US Army Special Forces, 1967-1970


Original Message
From: Leslee Kulba [mailto:grandecorniche@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:56 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Apologies!

Mayor Bellamy,

I am profoundly sorry about what you (and obviously others) read into my city council report for the Tribune. Honestly, I thought what I wrote was rather lame and innocuous, and did not come close to expressing what I felt. If you had read my longer version, you would have found that I thought the idea of combining the two government offices sounded goofy at first, but then I grew to love it – local government making the out-of-control tax-and-spend federal government tighten its belt. It was awesome!

I have no desire to divide the community; ironically, I do believe we need to unite against those who wish to destroy America.

I appreciate that you are busy with important matters, but before Bill gets somebody to replace me at the Tribune, I would appreciate it if you could point out what I said that wass “horrible,” and “deplorable,” and anything to make a sane person issue you a death threat.

Overall, I am always impressed at how you stay on top of matters and take strong stances for fairness.

Regrets!

Leslee Kulba


Original Message
From: Don Funderud [mailto:donald67@charter.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 24, 2006 10:57 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov; hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; jandavis@main.nc.us; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; DrMumpower@aol.com; newmanasheville@aol.com
Subject: financial responsibility or lack there of

good evening: I have just finished watching tonight council meeting over the world series and I’ve finally had to speak out and not have to wait 3-4 hours to speak at the open meeting. I want to address financial irresponsibility of the council or to some who lack it. Here in Haw Creek, I’ve been a resident of for 33 years and a resident of Asheville for 61 years, we’ve built a sidewalk costing some $181K give or take and we didn’t need it on Trinity Chapel Rd. Very few use it for the ratio of cost to usage. There isn’t any yellow stripping on the road as there is 3 different widths of Trinity Chapel from New Haw Creek(north to Old Haw Creek). My family alone has had near misses with cars over the non existent center line as the street in now narrow because of the sidewalks. Sidewalks being built in West Asheville where they’re not needed or under used. Not a sidewalk should be built until our water lines are fixed and basic infrastructure needs met.

2. Wasting taxpayers money on free rides for 90 days and now reducing fees, etc. Statistics can be fixed to fit any situation. I see these free loaders every day on the bus. I don’t ride the bus and I don’t want to subsidize the free loaders with my tax money. I want to see monies going to the police department for more officers and to keep our officers pay in line with other cities.

3. As a VETERAN of 22 years of which I spent 20 years at the Army Reserve Center located at 224 Louisana Ave, I find it horrible to raise the fees for this center. I do not read the Mountain Express or Guardian and didn’t see the article the Mayor addressed in tonights meeting. The monies used from this increase could come from the savings in not building uneeded sidewalks and catering to these neighborhood groups who care only about their areas. We don’t need any sidewalks here in Haw Creek. Senators Byrd and Stevens the kings of Pork would be proud of how we pass out money here in Asheville. I do feel there are 2 businessmen on the council that use common sense, and they are Mr. Davis and Dr. Mumpower and others on the council could learn more from these two gentlemen. Thank you for your time, hope you read this and if not, oh well.

Sincerely yours,

don funderud

9 brook dr. asheville, nc 28805-1309

(828)298-7395 work (828)254-6836


Original Message
From: Robert A. Gersky [mailto:RAGersky1953@msn.com]
Sent: Wednesday, October 25, 2006 8:46 PM
To: Mayor Terry Bellamy
Cc: Robin Cape; Jan Davis; Holly Jones; Dr. Carl Mumpower; Bryan Freeborn; Brownie Newman; Matt mittan; Peter Dawes
Subject: Fw: Allegations of threats?

Mayor Bellamy,

I do not normally go to city council meetings but on Tuesday, I attended to protest, if necessary, the building of a parking lot behind the Battery Park. What I witnessed, however, was my Mayor on a soapbox practically screeming and ranting about how upset she was about a newspaper article in a local weekly paper. You completely lost control of your usual calm demeanor and showed a side of you that I think was entirely un-leaderlike and more like a child who lost his favorite toy. I have come to expect such conduct from your less mature council-mates (Freeborn, Jones and Cape). I thought you were better than they are but you certainly disappointed me. So you were upset at a newspaper article. So what? I have read the article and feel that it was entirely justified, considering the unpatriotic treatment this council has shown toward those of our local citizens who selflessly give of their time to serve in the reserves. Especially at a time when these same citizen-volunteers could be placing their lives at stake in a foreign country in a war that they may not even agree with. But that’s what soldiers do, and thank God that they do. And what does the Asheville City Council do to show its appreciation? It decides that the government (U.S.A.) the soldiers are serving has “deep pockets” so it is fair game for extortion. For what? So the city can buy, among other frivolous items, three “prettier” light poles! Frankly, I saw not one word in the paper that was not the complete truth! I am proud of the authors to have the courage to expose the anti-American, greed at any cost philosophy that guides this council, but Mayor Bellamy, I thought you were better than the trash that engulfs you.

On TV not too long ago, I heard your aboriginal cohort, Mr. Freeborn, launch a screeming tirade about how patriotic his family is, because of other members of his family who served their country. At the time, I commented to my brother; But what have you done for your country? Now the whole council has answered that question: Nothin for our country, but our humiliating council has done a lot to it: namely ripped off our country’s defense services to pay for our greedy city’s irresponsible, trivial expenses, simply because the reserves had the misfortune to be located in this city with its fiscal irresponsibility! Free parking to some, free buses for others, free housing for the city’s bums, free meals at a number of places. And what for the legitimate, tax-paying citizens: More taxes, more fees, a pure “bleed them until they’re dry” attitude.

And then a member of the council tries to intimidate one of the authors of the paper! Hush, look, listen, here comes the Kremlin, right into City Hall.

RAG


Original Message
From: Bill Fishburne [mailto:bfishburne@bellsouth.net]
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 2:58 PM
To: hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us
Cc: ‘Terry Bellamy'; bnewman@main.nc.us; drmumpower@aol.com; ‘Robin Cape'; jandavis@main.nc.us; ‘Bryan Freeborn’
Subject: RE: Allegations of threats?

Thank you for asking that question, Holly, but I don’t believe it is something I have to share with you. I am not a public figure.

I will point out that my inquiry was sent to Mayor Ballamy and other members of council at 11:31 a.m. Wednesday, roughly 14 hours after the Council meeting in question and exactly 23.5 hours after my encounter with the mayor in the City Manager’s outer office. I was there on business, placing a CD in Mr. Freeborn’s box and a few newspapers that I happened to have in my hands in other council members’ boxes, starting at the top and working down until my five newspapers were gone. I hope you got one. It had an interesting cover story on how Asheville lost Dove Air, an aircraft company that wanted to hire 30 people into high-paying technical jobs assembling aircraft.

The remainder of the issue is self explanatory, starting with the mayor’s tongue-lashing of Fred English and our reporter during public comments. regret that I was not able to be at the meeting but I had been at a Public Art Board retreat all afternoon and had to work on the newspaper Tuesday night and Wednesday.

The communication between the Mayor and myself was not going to be in the paper. But when it was brought up at Tuesday’s meeting, it became public record, as would be any threatening e-mail messages received by any member of council. That made it front-page news.

The photo of Mayor Bellamy in today’s Trib was taken at the Oct. 10 council meeting.

Bill


Original Message
From: hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us [mailto:hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us]
Sent: Thursday, October 26, 2006 9:33 AM
To: Bill Fishburne
Cc: Terry Bellamy; Holly Jones; bnewman@main.nc.us; drmumpower@aol.com;

Robin Cape; jandavis@main.nc.us; ‘Bryan Freeborn’
Subject: Re: Allegations of threats?

Dear Bill,

In an unrelated matter, could you share with me your e-mail distribution process. Upon receiving this e-mail, the “cc’s” included council. It appears that either others were blind cc’ed or you forwarded your e-mail afterwards. What is your journalist procedure?

I think transparency is vital to communications.

Holly Jones

Dear Terry:

> I deeply regret hearing you say that you have received threats. Please let me know who is responsible and if there is anything I can do.

> The issue we face now is your belief that the Tribune somehow did something to you, rather than your council having done something to the troops. The article was based on your vote to increase the Army Reserve Center’s rent by 91 percent during a time of war. I wonder how Specialist Kimberly McGuiness, of Fletcher, about whom we wrote in the Oct. 4 edition of the Tribune (cover and article attached) would feel to learn the City needed the $52,000 more than she and her fellow MP’s needed additional body armor? And that you needed the money, apparently, to buy decorative street lamps?

> Further, I understand that you blasted the Tribune’s coverage of the issue last night and repeated the statement that you had received threats due to “that scurrilous, heinous…newspaper.”

> Let me break this down for you.

> 1. We put the story on the front page because it merited that type of coverage. 2. We used strong language in the headline because we needed a vivid description of what was being done to the troops.

> 3. We developed comparative valuations showing what the $52,000 increase would buy in protective gear and ammunition if you left the rent at the existing level.

> 4. Our reporter covered the council meeting in her article. I was there taking photos through the street light presentation and vote.

> 5. I wrote a commentary based on what I actually saw and heard, and on the public record of your vote.

> All of our reporting and commentary was factually correct.

> In our hallway meeting yesterday you clearly expressed your anger. I accept that. It goes with publishing a paper. You were especially upset that I did not call you to discuss it. It is not my custom to call public figures to ask them to explain their votes. There is no point to that conversation since a vote is what counts, not an after-the-fact explanation.

> If you have been threatened I trust you have reported it to the police. I have contacted the APD and filed a request for any reports of threats to public officials. We will cover this in tomorrow’s newspaper.

> Please get in touch with me if you have any additional comments. My number is 274-9696. My cell phone is 777-0096. Our deadline for this article is 3 p.m. today.

> Bill Fishburne

The Asheville Tribune


Original Message
From: John Shepard [mailto:jclark6177@yahoo.com]
Sent: Friday, October 27, 2006 9:24 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: Army Reserve Rent

Dear Mayor Bellamy,

I am emailing you to express how dissappointed I was in your recent decision to raise the rent on the United States Army Reserve Unit here in Asheville. I’m sure there are other ways we could raise money for our city than to raise the rent on our soldiers. Yes, I am well aware out soldiers don’t pay the rent but I’m sure there funding else where will be cut because of this increase. When I voted, I had no idea this is what you and the rest of the council would spend there time doing. In a time when our military is so important and support for our soldiers and there supporting families is so important, I ask that you and the council consider our soldiers. That unit house needs many updates that will not be made now because of all the money that will be going towards your rent increase. Lets find another way to get the money needed.

Thank You for any consideration,

John Shepard


Original Message
From: John Saraga [mailto:jsaraga@sbcglobal.net]
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 10:12 AM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov; hollyj@buncombe.main.nc.us; rcape@charter.net; jandavis@main.nc.us; freeborn@freebornasheville.com; newmanasheville@aol.com; drmumpower@aol.com
Cc: SIhne@citizen-times.com
Subject: Request for reconsideration

Dear Honorable Mayor and Council Members of Asheville, North Carolina;

I write to you requesting reconsideration of your actions to increase the rent to our Army Reserve because you are directly harming the military by reducing their ability to train and or get needed tools to conduct actions on behalf of the American people.

Specifically, the Federal Government probably will not raise the Army Reserve’s budget to allow for this incredible increase you imposed and therefore such things as body armor or other important needs may not be procured as a direct result of your actions. I do however praise Councilman Mumpower for his courage and support by voting no but it is my hope is that you will allow him to do his job and give him a voice as the people have declared and not shun him.

Being in government you know that when unfunded mandated bills arrive it means that something must be reduced or cut until the next budget cycle. It appears to me that you inflicted a severe increase of costs to the American people without notification or process and the result is more than likely a direct impact on our Sons and Daughters who serve our great Nation. This vote intentional or not is causing far reaching and long term harm to Americans everywhere and this is why I am taking the time to write to you. When you take money from the military in the way that you did there is a rippling effect that reaches throughout the Active duty ranks to all families, the Guard, Reserve then to those who are disabled including their families and retired military many of whom are your direct bosses and I am not sure you realize what you have done.

I read with great interest that it appears that the majority of the elected officials of Asheville, N.C. is taking a stance that because of political differences you are creating an atmosphere of anti-military and I sincerely hope this is not the case.

When I was a Mayor I realized that when we received federal dollars be it in a form of a grant, in kind services for infrastructure or direct receiving of tax payers dollars it was a given that this responsibility of Office was widened not only to my community but to all Americans. I suspect that Asheville, N.C. has over the years reaped many benefits in many ways from the Federal Government and as a direct result of the Army being located in your community.

Having said that, I realize this land is owned by the citizens of Asheville and they deserve a fair price for the rental of that property, this is only right. I do ask that you consider the contributions that all cities have made over the years to benefit the overall goal of democracy and freedom that we all seek to maintain.

I am sure you will remember the Viet Nam War and how many communities shunned our military as they returned home after going through hell for us all. It all started then by community leaders who turned their thoughts into words, then the words became our Nations destiny, we lost that War not on the battlefield, but in the actions of communities not unlike yours.

Please pause and reflect on the message you are sending out as a result of this vote. If you are not satisfied with the political decision of your State or our Federal Government than take your concerns to them directly but do not make our military your foe by taking badly needed funds away from them. We are at war, Police, Fire, Sherriff, and our Military need to know that the elected officials are supporting them, I urge you to repeal your action that raised the rent without coordination and at such a drastic increase on such short notice.

Please know this, the eyes and ears of your fellow Americans are patiently awaiting your decision.

In closing, I appreciate your time and consideration in this matter.

Best Regards;

John Saraga,

Former Mayor, City of Xenia, OH

Major, USMC, Ret


Original Message
From: INTRIGUE6@aol.com [mailto:INTRIGUE6@aol.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 28, 2006 2:44 PM
To: mayorbellamy@ashevillenc.gov
Subject: (no subject)

Dear Mayor: I have not heard of such scurrilous actions in many years. As a retired law school dean and professor (previously retired as Colonel of Marines), having been blooded in combat and fought in three wars I can only respectfully call to your attention your moral obligation in the defense of our Constitution and our government. I strongly recommend that you reconsider your decision on the magnum increase in rent. Your plan to put decorative lights in for almost the same equivalent amount leads me to concern on your collective sanity.

Respectfully,

Colonel Bruce F. Meyers USMC(Ret),

22509 SE 42nd

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