Quick facts

The votes weren’t quite there for adding “new blood” to the Asheville Board of Adjustment: Four City Council members supported current member David Young‘s reappointment; three made the case to replace him with Chris Goodwin.

It’s Council’s unwritten rule to allow board and commission members only one full-term reappointment and then only if they have good attendance records. Under that policy, Council reappointed Darryl Hart to the BOA during its Nov. 23 formal session.

But a bit of confusion — and a call from some Council members’ to put some new faces on city boards — led to the split vote on Young.

“Why are we treating [Young’s reappointment] differently from [Hart’s]?” asked Council member Tommy Sellers, who voted for Young.

Vice Mayor Ed Hay replied that it hadn’t been clear, at least initially, whether Young was interested in being reappointed. Because of this uncertainty, Council members had interviewed several other candidates for the seat, including current BOA alternate Goodwin.

The reappointment policy aside, Council member Chuck Cloninger nominated Goodwin for Young’s seat, arguing in favor of placing new people on city boards and commissions. Hay and Mayor Leni Sitnick supported his nomination.

But they were outnumbered by Sellers, Earl Cobb, O.T. Tomes and Barbara Field. So Young was reappointed.

Tower hearing postponed

If you see a balloon aloft over Tunnel Road, don’t panic: It’s just American Towers conducting a test to demonstrate the height of a proposed telecommunications tower, which the company would like to build at 200 Tunnel Road.

The test is just one part of a process American Towers must navigate in order to earn Asheville City Council members’ approval of a conditional-use permit for the site, according to city staff reports. The company also must “investigate the possibility of co-locating [its equipment] on the existing BellSouth tower, located at the Sports Club of Asheville,” according to City Planner Dan Baechtold‘s written report.

To this end — and to have time to notify nearby property owners about the balloon test — American Towers requested that Council postpone its Nov. 23 public hearing on the conditional-use permit. At Council’s Nov. 23 formal session, Council member Field made a motion that Council reschedule the public hearing for Dec. 21. Seconded by Tomes, her motion passed unanimously.

Board appointments

At their Nov. 23 formal session, Asheville City Council members filled most of the open positions on the new Tree, Public Art and Greenway commissions.

Carol Pennell, S. Tucker Cooke, Judith Barber and Ellen Rickman were appointed to four-year terms on the Public Art Commission, which Council created on Sept. 14 to administer the city’s new public-art policy. Judy Swan, Pamela Myers and Caroline Mason were also appointed, but to three-year terms.

Earlier this year, Council divided the Tree and Greenway Commission into two separate commissions. To the Tree Commission, Council members appointed Kasty Latven, Peter Gentling, Sofia Mannos, Margaret Tinkler, Monty Wooten and Ginger Mahler. That action leaves one remaining open seat on the seven-member commission.

Gerry Hardesty, Bruce Mulkey, John R. Tate, Casey Carmichael, Pauline Kaltsunis and Philip Cusick were appointed to the Greenway Commission, leaving one seat open.

Council members are still accepting applications for the remaining seats on the two boards.

To the Asheville Transit Commission — created when Council dissolved the Transit Authority, replacing it with an advisory board, with city staff overseeing the day-to-day management of the city’s public-transit system — Council appointed Claudia Nix. Long-time Authority member Tom Tomlin was reappointed for a one-year term. However, Council members stipulated that Tomlin — who served on the Authority for nearly 20 years — will not be reappointed to a subsequent term.

About Margaret Williams
Editor Margaret Williams first wrote for Xpress in 1994. An Alabama native, she has lived in Western North Carolina since 1987 and completed her Masters of Liberal Arts & Sciences from UNC-Asheville in 2016. Follow me @mvwilliams

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