Asheville City Council tables annexation policy

Asheville City Council tables annexation policy-attachment0

In a marathon meeting that started with a 3 p.m. work session and wound through several public hearings that didn’t wrap up till after 11 p.m., Asheville City Council members voted 5-2 to table annexation decisions for the next 12 months.

Council members made the decision after hearing from Royal Pines residents, most of whom are adamantly opposed to being annexed and who presented a petition signed by 600 people. Council member Bill Russell made the motion, seconded by Esther Manheimer. Council members Gordon Smith and Brownie Newman were the dissenting votes. The decision establishes a 12-month moratorium on annexation proposals.

In other news, Council members

• Voted 7-0 to create parking zones for handicapped motorists in downtown Asheville

• Voted 4-3 to approve UDO changes that would incentivize denser, greener, more affordable housing (Bill Russell, Gordon Smith, Ester Manheimer and Brownie Newman for, Cecil Bothwell, Mayor Terry Bellamy and Jan Davis against)

Here’s a round up of Twitter updates from Xpress’ Steve Shanafelt (@UnknownCity), who filled in for Senior News Reporter David Forbes:

3:03 p.m. City Council work session called to order.


3:06 p.m. Key Pedestrian Streets element of UDO changes presentation. Increased number of pedestrian streets called for.


3:08 p.m. “Emotional core” of downtown might have special features for “historic flavor” in UDO revamp. CBD would have height buffers.


3:10 p.m. Height zone maximums throughout downtown. 265 ft as a maximum, 145 ft would be median. Tallest height zone outer edge of downtown.


3:13 p.m. Bothwell: What’s the rationale for the height measurements?


3:14 p.m. Height limits stop at highest occupied floor, with a 50 ft allowance for spires and similar structures.


3:17 p.m. Shadow limitation on public parks, with height limitations on southern-side buildings near parks. Definition based on park size.


3:20 p.m. Street wall “base” of 2-to-4 stories, with change of material in upper floors, step-back of 10 feet. Example: Flat Iron Building.


3:23 p.m. Buildings above 75 ft, limited tower size. Total length would be 145 ft. Max tower would be 145X145. Idea is to protect views.


3:25 p.m. Decorative building caps would be required on all buildings.


3:28 p.m. CBD in non-downtown areas. 75 ft max seems to be consensus for West Asheville CBD. Buffers needed.


3:30 p.m. Proposed 8ft landscape buffer for Haywood Road CBD, possibly with height buffers near residential areas.


3:32 p.m. Esther: “I’ve talked to one property owner who said ‘Great, now I get to build downtown is a pyramid.’”


3:32 p.m. Biltmore Park CBDs would be handled under same rules as Haywood CBD.


3:33 p.m. Manheimer curious about examples of downtown buildings that already follow these guidelines. Few come to mind.


3:36 p.m. Manheimer wants to hear from more developers and builders about how this would limit developments. Davis has concerns as well.


3:41 p.m. Process Elements of Downtown Master Plan presentation. “Strategy 6” to make review transparent, predictable.


3:43 p.m. Project review for DMP thresholds would change. Level III changes much broader in scope now, 175k GFA.


3:45 p.m. DMP Level III would be split into Core and Outside Core areas. Level II would go to P and Z now.


3:46 p.m. Level 2 and Level 3 projects would now require Developer Sponsored Meetings. Level 2 would have 2 year validity/approval term.


3:48 p.m. Variances would no longer go through Board of Adjustment, staff and Council could modify variances.


3:52 p.m. Bothwell: Why were level 2 projects bumped up to 175,000 GFA? Was it to duck level 3 requirements?


4:00 p.m. Staff: Council members express concern about very large developments possibly having relatively little Council oversight.


4:01 p.m. Manheimer and Bothwell ask for square footage info for existing city buildings, as threshold for level 2 DMP is quite large.


4:03 p.m. Bellamy: Why are we giving up our review?


4:05 p.m. Smith proposes conditional development reviews for LEED certified buildings, for instance, which would exempt some big projects.


4:06 p.m. Russell: I think it’s financially impossible to have affordable housing in our Central Business District.


4:09 p.m. Newman RE: affordable housing: We need to be thoughtful of the economics of downtown development.


4:10 p.m. Davis: It makes more sense to focus on affordable housing outside of the CBD.


4:11 p.m. Bellamy: This piece of legislation will have an immense impact on our downtown development. This could really be monumental …


4:12 p.m. Bellamy: … and I want to make sure Council is comfortable with it. This decision is going to be put to the test, I think.


4:13 p.m. Newman: Could you build a Jackson Building without a variance under these rules?


4:14 p.m. Staff: It would be difficult, without a variance, to build a Jackson Building (under these rules).


4:17 p.m. Staff: New buildings could get “landmark” designation which would allow a variance from new DMP height and setback rules.


4:20 p.m. Newman: “These tall buildings will always be controversial.”


4:21 p.m. Newman: “I’m definitely concerned about having conditional zoning outside of the core downtown area.”


4:22 p.m. Manheimer: One of my great concerns is the subjectivity. How do me make the process less subjective and onerous?


4:26 p.m. Staff: DMP Consultants said Asheville has one of the most complex development approval processes in the state.


4:31 p.m. Smith proposes “affordable retail” incentives for downtown businesses under DMP.


4:33 p.m. Worksession proposed for November to address some of these concerns. 11/9 worksession, 11/23 for public hearing.


7:26 p.m. Poor connection in Council Chambers, let’s catch up.


7:27 p.m. Meeting start, recognition of Girl Scout Troops, awards and a pair of proclamations, including “White Cane Safety Day”; see agenda.


7:29 p.m. Consent agenda approved 7-0, although dropped item B relating to license fee for electronic gaming.


7:30 p.m. Presentation by Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. Nutshell: “Flat (growth) is the new up!”


7:31 p.m. HUB Alliance Update. Reiterated focus on climate change, integrative health, green jobs and creative arts as economic engine.


7:32 p.m. Public hearings start. New UDO zone for Airport designation approved 7-0 following no public comment.


7:33 p.m. Public hearing about rezoning of airport district results in no public input, approved 7-0.


7:35 p.m. Public hearing about UDO changes for development, which would incentivize denser, greener, more affordable housing. …


7:36 p.m. … Green building ratings based on certifications, affordable housing based on point system. …


7:37 p.m. … Controversial element would remove Council oversight and public input in some cases for developments under 70 units.


7:38 p.m. UDO changes prove quite controversial. A great deal of support for the idea, but not removal of public input and notification.


7:39 p.m. Public comment ends. UDO discussion moves to Council. Manheimer proposes several related ideas, including P&Z public interviews.


7:40 p.m. UDO change discusses continue. Newman speaks heartily in support. Smith follows, speaking at length about the positives.


7:41 p.m. UDO discussion continues. Davis likes the idea, but unhappy about lack of public input process.


7:42 p.m. UDO discussion continues. Bothwell supportive of process and idea, but deeply concerned about lack of public input.


7:45 p.m. UDO discussion continues. Smith, Manheimer and Newman reiterate their views, noting that the public meeting trigger is only …


7:45 p.m. UDO discussion continues. Russell is supportive, but echoes many of Bothwell’s concerns.


7:46 p.m. … 20 additional units, a boost from 50 to 70. Staff called up to give details about existing notification process.


7:47 p.m. UDO discussion continues. Bellamy supportive of the idea, but skeptical and reluctant about removing public input from process.


7:48 p.m. UDO vote: 4-3, with Russell, Smith, Manheimer and Newman for, Bothwell, Bellamy and Davis against. Passes.


7:50 p.m. City Council goes into closed session. Annexation hearings begin. Room filled with red shirt wearing anti-annexation activists.


7:52 p.m. Coopers Hawk area annexation presentation begins.


7:56 p.m. Representative from Coopers Hawk drive talks about Bothwell’s recent AC-T letter.


7:58 p.m. Citizen presents view that homeowner insurance rates will not drop after annexation.


8:03 p.m. Coopers Hawk anti-annexation advocate argues that fire response and EMT services are quicker and better than those in City.


8:05 p.m. Applause to Coopers Hawk anti-annexation presentation. Bellamy calls to order.


8:06 p.m. Public hearing closed on Coopers Hawk. Discussion about whom to allow to speak. Residents and those impacted?


8:07 p.m. Newman asks those who are not directly impacted to hold their comments for another forum.


8:09 p.m. Betty Jackson argues it is unjust to use water rates for annexation, and unjust to schedule so many controversial issues at once.


8:11 p.m. Alan Ditmore mentions new restrictions for county residents. Permits, gun rights, “voter dilution.” Says Council should focus on …


8:12 p.m. Bellamy explains that scheduling processes caused the cluttered agenda.


8:12 p.m. … gay tourism.


8:13 p.m. Oast clarifies that Oct. 26 is annexation vote.


8:15 p.m. Public hearing presentation about Royal Pines. 782 parcels. Clarification of solid waste collection will happen in more areas.


8:18 p.m. Public comment on Royal Pines opened. Many residents wear red “Don’t Annex Me” t-shirts.


8:20 p.m. Anti-annexation advocate suggests that many residents are struggling, homes are small, old structures. Taxes are a burden.


8:22 p.m. 600-signature anti-annexation petition presented.


8:23 p.m. Anti-annexation advocate compares annexation to the building of the Ground Zero Mosque.


8:34 p.m. Anti-annexation advocate Connie LeBeau tells a her story about various personal and family health problems. Money is tight.


8:38 p.m. Tim Navaille explains he already contributes to Asheville’s tax base, moved out of Asheville partially due to taxes.


8:47 p.m. Consistent theme in public comment is the burden of paying additional taxes.


9:03 p.m. Jane Bilello from Asheville Tea Party raises constitutional issues of “forced annexation.”


9:07 p.m. Tim Moffat—a key Royal Pines anti-annexation organizer—starts his presentation.


9:07 p.m. Wilton Davis says he’s surprised that Royal Pines is “low-hanging fruit,” and asks that Council focus on existing residents.


9:09 p.m. My error. Moffitt, not Moffat.


9:09 p.m. Moffat argues that wording of process from City staff have discouraged participation from residents, a foregone conclusion.


9:11 p.m. Moffitt points out various practical concerns about emergency services, practical concerns to connect to City services.


9:12 p.m. Moffitt says that the “egregious overstep” of annexation has created a sense of community in Royal Pines.


9:14 p.m. Allotted public hearing hour is up. 16 further speakers, discussion extended for those in impacted area.


9:20 p.m. Concern about the late hour prompts Council to discuss postponing handicapped parking for next meeting.


9:21 p.m. Show of hands indicates that handicapped parking review will happen during this meeting.


9:25 p.m. Many of those speaking are very longterm residents of Royal Pines. Some are 20 and 30 year residents.


9:28 p.m. @Agnes_Cheek requests some kind of vote.


9:29 p.m. Thus far, no one has spoken in favor of the Royal Pines annexation.


9:43 p.m. Public hearing on Royal Pines closed. Item returns to agenda on Oct. 26. Manheimer has a few questions.


9:44 p.m. Manheimer curious about the private roads that will not get City services in Royal Pines.


9:46 p.m. Staff says Royal Pines will only have two streets to remain private. Can’t currently take over because of right-of-way issues.


9:49 p.m. Bothwell brings up concerns about annexation conditions regarding city gateways. Staff responds there are many additional criteria.


9:50 p.m. Bothwell: “We’re creating donut holes, aren’t we? Isn’t this complicating service areas?” Staff: “I don’t believe so.” Laughter.


9:52 p.m. Staff reminds that parts of Royal Pines were annexed in 1988. Part of the logic is to simplify service areas, not complicate them.


9:53 p.m. Staff: Efforts were made to create as few gaps as possible … in order to create an (annexation) area that made sense.


9:54 p.m. Bothwell to Oast: Can we set the annexation to five years from now? Oast: 70 to 400 days.


9:55 p.m. Russell: “I wish this council would give serious consideration to pulling the reigns on this.” Proposes moratorium.


9:56 p.m. Russell: Motion to withdraw from current annexation plan, 12 month moratorium.


9:57 p.m. Newman questions Russell’s motion on procedural grounds.


9:58 p.m. Manheimer: I have some second thoughts about this annexation.


9:59 p.m. Davis (re: moratorium): I’m inclined to feel the same way about the Royal Pines annexation.


10:01 p.m. Oast: I think you can do what you’re about to do.


10:04 p.m. Manheimer seconds Russell’s motion. Newman addresses crowd and annexation history, and the need for annexation.


10:07 p.m. Smith: Given more choices, I don’t think we’d be here tonight. Right now, we’re stuck with a litany of bad choices.


10:07 p.m. Bothwell notes that many Coopers Hawk residents actually want to be annexed. Says Royal Pines is affordable housing.


10:10 p.m. Smith notes high cost of emergency services, many of which are used by people not in the city. Tourists, people in county.


10:12 p.m. Smith: “What I want us to do is be in this together.” Outburst “You’re passing the buck!”


10:18 p.m. Manheimer explains the legal reasoning behind involuntary annexations, specific to Asheville due to water agreement issues.


10:20 p.m. Motion to table annexation policy vote 5-2. Smith and Newman oppose. Applause from crowd. Five minute recess.


10:25 p.m. Council back from recess. Off-street parking by handicapped vehicles presentation.


10:29 p.m. Oast discusses the reasons for the proposed changes in the parking ordinances.


10:31 p.m. Oast presents a variety of options for addressing the fee issues for downtown parking for handicapped. Possible non-metered area.


10:32 p.m. City Council is visibly tired, slumping. They’ve been in meetings since 3 p.m.


10:33 p.m. Bothwell: I’m curious about providing off-street parking. Battery Park residents might be most at issue.


10:34 p.m. Bothwell: It’s my understanding that the Vanderbilt (apartments) has some kind of arrangement with the city.


10:35 p.m. Transportation Dept. Staff: Battery Park has their own lot.


10:36 p.m. Bellamy mentions City-owned surface lot in downtown, near old Flying Frog.


10:38 p.m. Newman: We don’t want to use high-demand street parking for long-term parking.


10:38 p.m. Bellamy proposes possible permit-only parking for Battery Park residents off O. Henry.


10:44 p.m. Davis: These spaces should not be used as storage.


10:44 p.m. Davis: I’m in favor of activating all the meters. Just because someone is handicapped doesn’t mean they are indigent.


10:44 p.m. Smith: There’s also the possibility for making some of this (parking) seasonal.


10:47 p.m. Manheimer makes a motion to activate all on-street meters, no longer giving exceptions to handicapped parkers. Public comment.


10:50 p.m. Several residents are hard of hearing, Bellamy restates motion. Amendment by Manheimer to create handicapped parking zones …


10:51 p.m. … without being subject to those parking fees.


10:53 p.m. Russell: I don’t think the City should be responsible for providing parking places for private residents.


10:56 p.m. Oast discusses option of placard for handicapped parking.


11:00 p.m. Battery Park resident speaks. Several cannot walk more an entire block.


11:01 p.m. Battery Park resident says that only 7-to-9 residents use on street parking.


11:05 p.m. Disability attorney says that none of the City decks currently meet disability guidelines. Not likely a viable option.


11:14 p.m. Joe Minicozzi from Asheville Downtown Association gives a presentation, encouraging activation of meters and placards.


11:17 p.m. Bill Griffin from Four Corners at Grove Arcade asks City to free up the on-street parking.


11:23 p.m. Smith is concerned solution for handicapped won’t be reached by 30 day interim period before meters are activated across city.


11:24 p.m. Motion passes 7-0.


11:26 p.m. Boards and commissions interviews discussion.



Photos by Jonathan Welch

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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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212 thoughts on “Asheville City Council tables annexation policy

  1. “Council members Cecil Bothwell and Brownie Newman were the dissenting votes. The decision establishes a 12-month moratorium on annexation proposals.”

    WRONG.

    Bothwell completely reversed himself and voted against annexation. The dissenters were Brownie Newman and Gordon “Pass the buck” Smith.
    …………………………

  2. Maybe there is hope for Asheville.

    I had written this city council off as hopeless when it comes to property rights. Glad I was proven wrong.

  3. Interesting to see a couple of photos of Jane Whilden in the mix. Whilden claims to be anti-forced annexation because she supported a house bill purportedly against forced annexation. In actual fact, that bill would require the people of Royal Pines to collect 10,000 signatures in 10 days to defeat annexation.

    Jane Whilden is a fraud.

    She is not opposed to forced annexation. She only wants your vote.

  4. june Patterson

    The vote was for the Royal Pines area only. The vote will be delayed 12 months. All other forced annexation plans will continue with the next being in January 2011. There is no blanket moratorium.

    Get hold of the Planning Department to find out who is next. We will keep fighting this ! !

  5. JWTJr

    If Gordon Smith had any stones, he’d be here debating his vote with ‘the people’.

  6. J

    @JWTJr,

    He’s practicing what he preaches; no more public comments.

  7. Erika is quite correct and none of the protesters were fooled by her brief visit.

    The authentic anti-forcible annexation candidate is, of course, Tim Moffitt. http://is.gd/g0E6F

    Funny that the Mountain Xpress photog couldn’t find him.
    …………………….

  8. Bothwell did not “completely reverse himself.”
    This is a myth propounded by Matt Mittan, the Asheville Tribune and their hangers on.

    Bothwell advanced the City’s arguments for annexation during the weeks leading up to this hearing. Bothwell stated at the outset that he opposed, in principle and as a stand-alone issue, involuntary annexation.

    (This is kind of fun, talking about myself in the third person.)

    Bothwell listened to a lot of people and considered City policy about affordable housing, and decided that granting tax credits to developers of affordable housing was inconsistent with increasing the taxes of people already living in affordable housing. Bothwell has voted against granting tax holidays to developers, but given that Council has approved them, he had no choice but to vote against annexation.

    And Whilden has been against forced annexation for some time. Moffit is a Timmy-come-lately.

  9. Councilman Bothwell,

    Can you help my understand what you mean by the term “Timmy-come-lately”?
    ……………………

  10. Just as I thought. Council member Bothwell is attempting to ridicule his constituents.

    Is that what you are confirming?
    ……………………………

  11. Barry Summers

    Nice try, Tim(1). No, I am ridiculing one particular constituent of Council member Bothwell’s.

  12. Hmm, timpeck, your comment is pretty bizarre.

    You purport that a cartoon posted by someone else is evidence of me ridiculing my “constituent.”

    You imply that Timmy Moffit is my “constituent.” (Which he is not.)

    You seem to insist that your preferred GOP candidate is the only one in that district (or in our region) who opposes involuntary annexation, when I have opposed it and spoken out against it for years, as has Jane Whilden.

    I think you are the one who is attempting ridicule, and without success.

  13. Yeah, duh. You are following suit. Picking up on his lead. You think it’s OK to change the subject to me instead of arguments made. You confirm that the two of you are of the same mold: No arguments. Only ‘ad hominem.’ Thanks for the clarifying moment.
    ………………………………

  14. For the record: Councilman Bothwell is not familiar with the term “ridicule.” He is, however, familiar with that method of argument. QED.
    ……………………………

  15. Wow, you two are pretty stupid, really. This is great. All I have to do is point to this thread.

    Well, I have already, actually.

    :-)

  16. Timmy, I never changed the subject to you. You did. I only mentioned Timmy Moffit. You, somehow, assumed I was referring to you.

    Me, me, me.

    Sigh.

  17. Why do refer to grown men in the diminutive, Mr. Bothwell? Is this your way of marginalizing people when you have run out of rational arguments? That is pathetic, really.

    Instead of stooping to such ridiculous and predictable methods, would you be so kind as to point to examples of times that you have spoken out against forced annexation?

    Also, since you are here defending Jane Whilden, I would like to hear your examples of her record of opposing forced annexation.

    By the way, you can’t be for it sometimes and against it other times. If you are EVER for it, you are for it.

  18. Barry Summers

    Tim Peck(1), you remind me of the basketball player whose only skill is lining up to take a charge, and then flopping. He keeps the other player from scoring, and he might score a freethrow now and then, but nobody watching the game likes that guy.

    Cecil, do you realize you’re missing an ‘L’ in your name?

  19. For everyone’s information:

    We are all in a conversation with someone signed in as “Ceci Bothwell.” Is it possible this poster is a fraud? (I mean in the sense that he isn’t Cecil Bothwell, no that he IS.)

    Or does the Councilman prefer “Ceci?”

  20. Barry Summers,

    How does this issue have anything to do with Tim Peck?

    Why not stick to the issue at hand – forced annexation.

    Oh wait, you didn’t enter this comment thread until you saw your cue to mindlessly ridicule someone and contribute something to the conversation which had nothing to do with the actual point. (I use the word “Contribute” loosely.)

    What’s YOUR position on forced annexation?

  21. Barry Summers

    I apologize to everyone (except Tim Peck(1)) for my part in derailing this thread. Please carry on…

  22. Barry, yep, that “l” went missing a long time ago. No idea where it got to, but it seemed like a waste of time to attempt to reinsert it.

  23. @Tim:

    To Lefties, anyone who invalidates their world view is contemptible. They will do nearly anything to avoid debate where the rules are not fixed in their favor.

    And, yes, this thread has now become about you. We can all thank Barry Summers for that. It could be that he has a secret man crush on you, so you might wanna watch that.

    In regards to the forced annexation protest, it was gratifying to see people rise up to protect their property rights, especially in a place like Asheville.

  24. Barry Summers

    Notice, everyone, to whom councilman Bothwell chooses to speak respectfully.

    Go back up & notice, Tim(1), how Cecil was plenty respectful with you until you started with your little games, trying to play ‘Gotcha’ with him over a passing “Timmy-come-lately” comment. And even then, he accords you more respect than I could muster. Besides, isn’t the “culture of victimization” supposed to be a ‘Lefty’ thing? You guys…

  25. Ok, Barry, I’ll go back up & notice — that the first disrespectful comments issued from the orifice of councilman Bothwell:

    “And Whilden has been against forced annexation for some time. Moffit is a Timmy-come-lately.”

    To be quickly followed by up your own clever and insulting input.

    Kinda sucks to be you, huh?
    …………………………

  26. Then there was this:

    Erika: “Why do refer to grown men in the diminutive, Mr. Bothwell? Is this your way of marginalizing people when you have run out of rational arguments? That is pathetic, really.

    Instead of stooping to such ridiculous and predictable methods, would you be so kind as to point to examples of times that you have spoken out against forced annexation?

    Also, since you are here defending Jane Whilden, I would like to hear your examples of her record of opposing forced annexation.

    By the way, you can’t be for it sometimes and against it other times. If you are EVER for it, you are for it.”
    ………………………

  27. And then this:

    Erika: “Barry Summers,

    How does this issue have anything to do with Tim Peck?

    Why not stick to the issue at hand – forced annexation.

    Oh wait, you didn’t enter this comment thread until you saw your cue to mindlessly ridicule someone and contribute something to the conversation which had nothing to do with the actual point. (I use the word “Contribute” loosely.)

    What’s YOUR position on forced annexation?”
    ……………………….

  28. bobaloo

    Oh my goodness. If I may be so bold as to speak for Bothwell:

    He used the term “Timmy-come-lately” as a reference to “Johnny-come-lately” which is defined as “A newcomer or latecomer, especially a recent adherent to a cause or trend.” He changed the “Johny” to “Timmy” in reference to Moffit because his first name is Tim and to say “Tim-come-lately” doesn’t sound as good.

    He’s saying Tim Moffit is a latecomer to the annexation debate, attempting to garner support over such a contentious issue.

    Are you people really saying you didn’t immediately get this or are you being contentious simply for the sake of creating controversy where there is none?

  29. “Oh crap, I used the term “you people”. I’m screwed now.”

    Yes, you are. But not for your mis-use of terminology. Really, for your lame and cringe-making justification for insults.

    But you do go on. Thanks for jumping in and elevating the conversation. Is it “boboloo”?
    ………………………..

  30. bobaloo

    OH SNAP TIMPECK ALTERED MY USER NAME TO INSULT ME. Well done sir. Your conversation is now elevated.

    Thanks for answering the question. Contentious to stir up controversy it is, then.

  31. Bobaloo

    Thank you, this is the dumbest thread! Where is the controversy? Bothwell voted against the annexation, correct?

    It seems like a stretch to label “Timmy-come-lately” as an insult.

    Personally I think that twitter based journalism is pretty lame. I know that twitter is a powerful tool for reporters, but to use the “tweet’ format as a news article is weak.

  32. Exactly the point, Bobaloo.

    Tim Moffit saw a parade and got in front of it. It’s a common thing for a politician to do, and I would guess he hoped we would go ahead and annex Royal Pines to give him a hot-button issue for this election.

    I was certainly surprised when I was invited to a community meeting of those opposed to annexation, at the Skyland Fire Department, to discover that it was being led by Moffit and (former State Rep) Charles Thomas. Thomas made the politicization of the event clear when he challenged me about my choice for the state house.

    Whilden, to my knowledge, supported the bill introduced by Bruce Goforth to change the annexation laws. That’s what I’ve been told.

    As for my record: I talked about my opposition to forced annexation during the 2009 campaign. I thought there was a post on my campaign blog, but don’t see it. Will have to look through my old speeches to see where and when – if I have time later. (I prefer references to published pieces, since they are date stamped, and even if you try to change them after the fact, anyone can use Wayback to see the original on the Web.)

  33. Agreed per Twitter, JMAC. Really a waste of time as a news story.

    I’ve noted reporters tweeting and getting things wrong because they are too busy staring at their thumbs and not paying attention to the meetings.

  34. “That’s what I’ve been told.”

    I guess, councilman Bothwell, you’ve been TOLD a load. Like who you’re supposed to be supporting in the upcoming election. Ooops.

    Tim Moffitt is a property owner who has been directly effected by land use regulation and would be personally subject to forcible annexation in Royal Pines. He is a regular citizen who has stepped up to run for political office on these issues and is leading in the polls as of this writing. But nice try.

    Jane Whilden supported a phony annexation reform bill that would require residents to present a validated petition from their own community and city residents on the order of 10,000 names within 10 days. That is not anti-forcible annexation reform. That is a thin political deception designed to fool constituents into believing that she advocates private property rights. What she advocates is more political control over property.
    ……………………………….

  35. bobaloo

    As you said Cecil, that is indeed what politicians do. However, I don’t think Whilden’s motives were any different. She saw an opportunity to garner votes and went for it.

    As an aside, I like the idea of live tweets for an event such as this, assuming the facts are reported correctly (as Steve did, it was the write-up after the fact that contained the mistake).
    But I agree, there’s no reason really to mash them up into an article.

    It seems like a stretch to label “Timmy-come-lately” as an insult.
    timpeck and Erika saw an opportunity to tear down Bothwell and went for it shamelessly. It’s their version of playing the race card.

  36. jmoosie

    Representative Whilden supported House Bill 497 (you can look it up on the legislative website) which said:

    “No annexation ordinance may take effect until a vote of the people affected by the proposed annexation has been conducted by the appropriate board of elections, and the results certified indicate that more than fifty percent (50%) of the voters approve the annexation.”

    Whilden has been against forced annexation for years. If you need more evidence of that talk to Dave Blevins with StopWoodfin.org about the help he received from Representative Whilden during their annexation fight. She has been in touch with city council members and city leaders dealing with this issue for years. It is not something she has pulled out of her pocket in the last month because it is time for an Election. It is an issue she has championed for and has felt strongly about.

    The fact that she would attend a rally sponsored by the TEA Party and basically made up of an unfriendly crowd towards her (as was proven by the various speakers who called her a “fraud” and a “liar”) says a lot about her character and about how important this issue is to her. People who are aligned with the TEA Party are most likely not going to vote for her, but this issue is important enough for her to get out and talk to everyone about it, even if they have dissenting views.

  37. Margaret Williams

    At the risk of dating myself with an old-fashioned term:

    Chill, y’all.

    There are moderated and unmoderated commenters alike that are pushing the boundaries of civility on this thread. Stay on topic and be respectful of others.

  38. agnescheek

    @Margaret :you say that, but you sill allow the personal attacks by Barry and the like on EVERY mountain X thread where there is any controversy…
    That said, I agree with you.
    Cheers

  39. Jonathan Barnard

    I’m interested in the UDO vote, and the debate over it. Cecil, since you’re here already, could you explain your vote? (You can probably guess that I would have voted the other way.)

  40. Barry Summers

    Why thanks, Agnes, for the opportunity to say again:

    “Still waiting for proof of your dramatic “37% / 51%” claim you made about County revenues/expenditures vis-a-vis the City.”

    He’s saying Tim Moffit is a latecomer to the annexation debate, attempting to garner support over such a contentious issue.

    Are you people really saying you didn’t immediately get this or are you being contentious simply for the sake of creating controversy where there is none?

    Yes, you are correct, Sir. That’s what they do.

  41. I tried hard to like and respect the Tea Party when it first showed up, I really did. Government really does do a lot of unjust, un-American things like bank bailouts and — yes — involuntary annexations.

    But time and time and time again, whenever self-identified TPers show up, all rational discussion ends and there’s suddenly nothing but a lot of red-faced shouting and name-calling going on. No solutions, no consideration of both sides, just “I’m against it and you’re scum if you’re for it.” Brings back memories of middle-school bullies.

    I’m an activist too, and I’ve protested a lot of wrongs in this town and nationally. (So has Cecil, who’s got a long track record of actually acting to reform things, as opposed to just arguing about them on the Internet.) But I learned at an early age you can never get people to listen to you just by yelling at them louder. You have to actually think through and present some better solutions than just “NO, AND YOU SUCK!”

    Last thing: This annexation thing really goes back, to the development lobby’s domination of Raleigh. Thanks to the state Sullivan Acts, which force Asheville and Asheville only to give cheap water to every new sprawling suburb that gobbles up Buncombe County farmland, the city sees no other way to raise revenue (water was always its only money-raiser — am I right, Margaret?). That’s what really motivates this city’s drive to annex, as I understand it. Find a better way to pay for police and fire and such, and you take away the motivation.

  42. “You have to actually think through and present
    some better solutions than just ‘NO, AND YOU SUCK!'”

    Funny thing about that: That’s exactly what I do. I think things through and present better solutions.
    …………………….

  43. Amy Churchill

    Actually, Cecil did demonstrate his views on this annexation at the meeting by voting to withdraw the plans to annex Royal Pines, and for that I thank him. I certainly do not agree with him on a lot of things, and would “love to hate him”, but alas, he has been nothing but respectful towards me and so I will give him the respect he deserves. This is how things are worked out. Discussion and listening, don’t you think???

  44. agnes cheek

    I have only the sincerest gratitude and respect for those who chose the right thing to do and had the courage to vote on behalf of the citizens., for all of the various reasons for those decisions. I also have an understanding of sorts of certain individuals that I didn’t see or nesecessarily recognize before. This certainly is not the end, but it is surely a step in the right direction. I hope that moving forward, city and county can work togethe, along with citizens to get the home rule that is so badly needed. I have some ideas on what it might take to at least get the process started, but this is not the forum for that. Thank you for hearing us out and doing everything you could, cecil, to learn as much as you could during the past several weeks. Also, what you, and those who voted with you had to say on the UDO vote was a very respectable thing.

  45. Robert Malt

    Okay, Okay. Here we go again. Once more I must correct Mr. Bothwell’s outrageously inaccurate assertions.

    Bothwell: “Tim Moffit saw a parade and got in front of it. It’s a common thing for a politician to do, and I would guess he hoped we would go ahead and annex Royal Pines to give him a hot-button issue for this election.”

    The Truth: Tim Moffitt has been an opponent of forced annexation long before his property was considered for annexation. He did not see a parade and join in. He was leading the fight by himself on day 1. Others in the community coalesced around him in the weeks to follow. I know…I was there…you were NOT, Mr. Bothwell.

    Bothwell: “I was certainly surprised when I was invited to a community meeting of those opposed to annexation, at the Skyland Fire Department, to discover that it was being led by Moffit and (former State Rep) Charles Thomas.”

    The Truth: Moffit organized the whole meeting, so why wouldn’t he lead it. It wasn’t a secret to anyone. He sent out letters about the meeting. It was well-known. He paid for the “Don’t Annex Me” signs and t-shirts out of his own pocket. It was NOT led or co-led by Charles Thomas. He didn’t sit at the front of the room, as you did, Mr. Bothwell. He just showed up. I didn’t even know he was showing up, and I was intimately involved the the whole thing.

    Bothwell: “Thomas made the politicization of the event clear when he challenged me about my choice for the state house.”

    The Truth: To my recollection of the meeting, Thomas gave a historical perspective as to what had happened in Raleigh in years prior, so people could understand this issue in a greater context. He corrected you on something that you misunderstood, and, at the time, you thanked him for it. Only later did you criticize him. Someone in the audience, NOT Thomas, asked you if you had endorsed Jane Whilden…which you had done only the day before in an email. Instead of answering the question honestly and immediately, you sat there in silence like a deer caught in the headlights. I know, I was there a few feet from you….and it is on tape…don’t deny it Mr. Bothwell.

    Bothwell: “Whilden, to my knowledge, supported the bill introduced by Bruce Goforth to change the annexation laws. That’s what I’ve been told.”

    The Truth: Well, Mr. Bothwell, you’ve been misinformed. I don’t blame you on this one, since Jane Whilden and her cronies have misinformed thousands of people in Buncombe County on this issue. If Jane Whilden supported Bruce Goforth’s bill, then why wasn’t she a sponsor of the bill? Why wasn’t she a co-sponsor? Why was she the DECIDING vote (60-59) that sent the bill back to committee where it was effectively DESTROYED. It was turned into a phony reform bill where the Royal Pines residents would have needed approximately 10,000 signatures in 10 days in order to get an up or down vote (and that vote would have included the entire City of Asheville, not just the affected area). Jane Whilden has lied repeatedly about her support of annexation reform. Her campaign is funded and run entirely by the machine in Raleigh….and you and I both know that the machine will NEVER allow her to vote to stop forced annexation. Goforth, yourself, and other Democrats in Buncombe County are INDEPENDENT of the party machine, and I respect that. You can’t say that about Whilden. She is a party HACK, and I know that bothers you. In 2 years she has done nothing to help solve the sales tax revenue sharing and funding inequities that plague the City of Asheville, that you so correctly point out.

    ……………………………………

  46. Hey Tim that’s great!

    What’s your idea of a way to provide police protection for the 40,000 people who commute to jobs in Asheville every day. Somehow, I’ve missed it.

  47. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Tim Peck derailed this annexation thread and made it all about himself three days ago with this comment: Councilman Bothwell, Can you help my (sic) understand what you mean by the term “Timmy-come-lately”?

    And then it was downhill from there. End of any significant discussion.

    Sad thing for me (and others, I’m sure) is that I really wanted to learn more about annexation from knowledgeable people, but all The Peckerwood’s derailment accomplished was to give Himself another chance to insert his favorite term (“ad hominem”) and his own personal attacks into the discussion while professing to offer solutions, none of which have ever been forthcoming, and to open the gate for a couple of his munchkins to ensure that the annexation discussion would remain derailed or at least contaminated beyond redemption.

    Peck’s attack-and-derail methods are similar to Travelah’s, except The Mallet carried a sharp sword while The Peckerwood carries a rusty straight razor.

  48. I am very happy to learn three days later that this thread is still about me.

    Funny how that happens, huh? :-)
    …………………………

  49. bobaloo

    Yeah, it’s funny how you post comments on threads that have no real depth or solutions, instead posting a link to a post that’s self-congratulating and copies the MX tweets, create controversy out of thin air, snark at a couple posters, then act as if you’re an innocent bystander that everyone obsesses over.
    You never answer any real questions, post any real comments of merit, and decry the attitudes of others.
    If you want an in depth conversation then lead the way.

  50. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ MtnX story above: Asheville City Council members voted 5-2 to table annexation decisions for the next 12 months.

    I hope that, during the next year, City Council will hold public discussions to illuminate the full range of annexation issues generically, before the focus again becomes reduced to any single locality.

  51. Taxed Enuf Already

    Good for the people who live in Royal Pines! The TEA Party if stronger than the “progressives” who want to social engineer on our dime.
    NO MORE FORCED ANNEXATIONS!

  52. Barry Summers

    Peck’s attack-and-derail methods are similar to Travelah’s, except The Mallet carried a sharp sword while The Peckerwood carries a rusty straight razor.

    You go, girl. I was going to say “a bent knitting needle”, but close enough. Spot on.

    Now enough about the Peckster(1).

  53. Betty Cloer Wallace

    This thread got killed off three days ago. What we’re seeing now is ego-necrophilia.

    (I think I just made up a new psychological term.)

  54. “This thread got killed off three days ago”

    Can’t imagine why, Betty.

    Anyway, it seems quite alive now. Thanks.
    ……………………..

  55. Piffy!

    It sure is great how Tim Peck makes every thread about himself.

  56. Thanks, Robert. Excellent rebuttal.

    ……………………..

    Okay, Okay. Here we go again. Once more I must correct Mr. Bothwell’s outrageously inaccurate assertions.

    Bothwell: “Tim Moffit saw a parade and got in front of it. It’s a common thing for a politician to do, and I would guess he hoped we would go ahead and annex Royal Pines to give him a hot-button issue for this election.”

    The Truth: Tim Moffitt has been an opponent of forced annexation long before his property was considered for annexation. He did not see a parade and join in. He was leading the fight by himself on day 1. Others in the community coalesced around him in the weeks to follow. I know…I was there…you were NOT, Mr. Bothwell.

    Bothwell: “I was certainly surprised when I was invited to a community meeting of those opposed to annexation, at the Skyland Fire Department, to discover that it was being led by Moffit and (former State Rep) Charles Thomas.”

    The Truth: Moffit organized the whole meeting, so why wouldn’t he lead it. It wasn’t a secret to anyone. He sent out letters about the meeting. It was well-known. He paid for the “Don’t Annex Me” signs and t-shirts out of his own pocket. It was NOT led or co-led by Charles Thomas. He didn’t sit at the front of the room, as you did, Mr. Bothwell. He just showed up. I didn’t even know he was showing up, and I was intimately involved the the whole thing.

    Bothwell: “Thomas made the politicization of the event clear when he challenged me about my choice for the state house.”

    The Truth: To my recollection of the meeting, Thomas gave a historical perspective as to what had happened in Raleigh in years prior, so people could understand this issue in a greater context. He corrected you on something that you misunderstood, and, at the time, you thanked him for it. Only later did you criticize him. Someone in the audience, NOT Thomas, asked you if you had endorsed Jane Whilden…which you had done only the day before in an email. Instead of answering the question honestly and immediately, you sat there in silence like a deer caught in the headlights. I know, I was there a few feet from you….and it is on tape…don’t deny it Mr. Bothwell.

    Bothwell: “Whilden, to my knowledge, supported the bill introduced by Bruce Goforth to change the annexation laws. That’s what I’ve been told.”

    The Truth: Well, Mr. Bothwell, you’ve been misinformed. I don’t blame you on this one, since Jane Whilden and her cronies have misinformed thousands of people in Buncombe County on this issue. If Jane Whilden supported Bruce Goforth’s bill, then why wasn’t she a sponsor of the bill? Why wasn’t she a co-sponsor? Why was she the DECIDING vote (60-59) that sent the bill back to committee where it was effectively DESTROYED. It was turned into a phony reform bill where the Royal Pines residents would have needed approximately 10,000 signatures in 10 days in order to get an up or down vote (and that vote would have included the entire City of Asheville, not just the affected area). Jane Whilden has lied repeatedly about her support of annexation reform. Her campaign is funded and run entirely by the machine in Raleigh….and you and I both know that the machine will NEVER allow her to vote to stop forced annexation. Goforth, yourself, and other Democrats in Buncombe County are INDEPENDENT of the party machine, and I respect that. You can’t say that about Whilden. She is a party HACK, and I know that bothers you. In 2 years she has done nothing to help solve the sales tax revenue sharing and funding inequities that plague the City of Asheville, that you so correctly point out.

    ……………………………………

  57. agnes cheek

    Instead of being so focused on being right, we should all be focusing on how to move forward as a community, no matter what side of the political isle you’re on…
    Just my thoughts.

  58. That’s gonna leave a mark!

    I do believe that Tim Peck has delivered an effective coup de grâce Mortal Kombat style.

  59. Barry Summers

    I do believe that Tim Peck has delivered an effective coup de grâce Mortal Kombat style.

    By re-posting a long comment written by someone else earlier today? Yes that Tim Peck(1) is one cut-and-paste ninja…

  60. agnes cheek

    What is the point of this thread? It seems you’re more interested in being right than you are moving forward to find solutions. I sent another comment earlier, but its doubtful it will even get posted unless I sink to a certain level of pettiness, but I will say it again; we should be focused on moving forward and working together as a community and as neighbours, friends, and colleagues, regardless of what side of the political isle we come from. We are all in this together, and there are ways that city and county can work togethewith each other, the citizens, and those elected to represent the area in Raleigh to attain the much needed home rule for our growing municipality! I understand thatarguing who is right or not drives hits, but. At some point I. Would think that there should also be room for meaningful discussions that don’t hinge on argumentsand flame throwing on who is right er er than the other person….

  61. In games like Mortal Kombat, this [coup de grâce] does not involve mercy, but is instead a gruesome or very spectacular way of killing a defeated opponent.

    Robert’s comments left Lefties dazed and confused…logically dead on their feet…Tim merely delivered them again…thus the allusion to Mortal Kombat as described above.

    The comments till stand unanswered…save for the ad hominems directed at Tim. They stand on their own merit irregardless of who delivered them. This thread IS all about Tim because you cannot deliver effective arguments against what he, and his allies, point out in their arguments.

    I don’t always agree with Tim, but when he’s right, he’s right.

  62. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Another dead thread. Discussion effectively derailed four days ago.

    Persons seeking real information and real discussion about real annexation issues should look elsewhere.

    Gruesome and spectacular fantasy killing games starring Tim Peck are now extolled in lieu of community dialogue.

    Is no moderator present?

    Is Robert Malt really Tim Peck’s sock puppet? [Tim’s trademark signature (……………………………………) after Robert’s entry (10-15-10, 1:53 AM) indicates a connection.]

  63. Notice how Betty has no counter-argument to the substance of Robert’s comments and makes it all about me.

    Good. :-)
    ……………………..

  64. Betty Cloer Wallace

    You’re so right, Tim. This thread is now all about you, as are many other MtnX threads that you hijack, but I am really not into fantasy killing games with you or anyone else.

    In fact, as I said earlier, I have no argument or counter-argument about annexation. I simply want to learn more about all the annexation issues from knowledgeable people that will be vital for Asheville and environs during the next year, but the derailment of this discussion prevented that from happening here.

    Perhaps there will be other avenues where illumination of annexation issues and pertinent community dialogue are possible during the next year.

    And is Robert Malt really your sock puppet?

  65. Also notice how Betty immediately seeks to silence those she (or, apparently, her allies) cannot answer. Most of her time (indeed, the time of most Lefties in this thread) is spent trying to either shut Tim up or by discrediting him or mocking him or even claiming that Robert Malt is his sock puppet. Anything at all to keep from addressing the point. And she isn’t the only one to engage in that game, here is a little reminder of an incident this spring: http://bit.ly/ItsAllAboutTimPeck

    Betty, you averred earlier that you sought more information from those knowledgeable people:


    Sad thing for me (and others, I’m sure) is that I really wanted to learn more about annexation from knowledgeable people, but all The Peckerwood’s derailment accomplished was to give Himself another chance to insert his favorite term (“ad hominem”) and his own personal attacks into the discussion while professing to offer solutions, none of which have ever been forthcoming, and to open the gate for a couple of his munchkins to ensure that the annexation discussion would remain derailed or at least contaminated beyond redemption.

    Your actions in this thread belie your words. You claim to seek knowledge and yet yourself engage in mocking and belittling Tim Peck by calling him Peckerwood.

    I also notice that no one, least of all Cecil Bothwell (aka CeciBothwell), has addressed the counterpoints Robert Malt brought up, and were brought up again by Tim Peck. Why is that?

    This is part of the reason that the Left and Right seem to be unable to communicate…the Left ignores very cogent points that have been brought up. Their tactics seem to be ignore cogent arguments and attack, attack, attack. And in many cases, they make personal attacks.

    Perhaps someone will post a video of Charles Thomas giving the historical perspective on this issue and link to it from here.

  66. THE VERACITY OF JANE WHILDEN

    Jane Whilden on Annexation
    CIBO Luncheon
    October 14, 2010
    CIBOdebate.MP3, 00:18:30
    https://public.me.com/mullermail

    WHILDEN: “I have voted three times against forced annexation. I have actually signed on as a co-sponsor for legislation and I am willing to do so again. The bills in the legislature this past session passed the House but were not taken up by the Senate. Which means they basically died, they go away, and so the legislation has to be re-introduced and pass both houses in order to become law.”

    Jane Whilden on Annexation
    League of Women Voter Forum
    October 12, 2010
    Part 4, 00:19:24
    http://is.gd/g3FD4

    WHILDEN: “I have co-sponsored and voted for a bill against forced annexation. It passed the House. It got to the Senate and it stalled, and I’m not really sure why, but it was not take up by the Senate.”

    Here’s the bill: http://is.gd/g4sux

    Where is Whilden’s name as a sponsor or co-sponsor?

    Here’s the vote where Whilden was the deciding 60th vote that sent Goforth’s bill back to the Appropriations Committee, a committee on which Whilden sits, instead of letting it have an up or down vote: http://is.gd/g4swt

    Once it was sent back, it was significantly altered, including the “poison pill” provision that would require any area under threat of annexation by Asheville to obtain approx. 10,000 petition signatures in 10 days.

    Original Bill: http://is.gd/g4syk
    Final Bill: http://is.gd/g4szl

  67. I’d LOVE to see the thread return to serious discussion regarding annexation. On Scrutiny Hooligans there was a thread on this…and it deteriorated into us vs. them real fast.

    http://scrutinyhooligans.us/2010/10/13/thoughtful/comment-page-1/#comment-45496

    Which leads me to the concern that we are so divided by forces who benefit from that division, there can be no meaningful dialog and serious issues. I hope I’m wrong. I truly feel all points of view can be useful to the whole.

  68. Betty Cloer Wallace

    And so, since this tread has devolved beyond redemption into being all about Tim Peck, is Robert Malt really his sock puppet?

  69. My previous comment exposing false statements by Jane Whilden can now be found online here:
    http://is.gd/g4uAc

    And thanks Betty for keeping my name in lights and demonstrating you utter lack of valid arguments.
    ………………….

  70. Betty Cloer Wallace

    And now that we are all in agreement that this thread is “all about Tim Peck,” perhaps he will contribute a coherent thought or sentence of his own rather than channeling other people’s statements about annexation?

    We have yet to hear any original statements from Tim himself.

  71. Thanks, Betty, for continuing to make this thread about me. I am much more interesting than Forcible Annexation.
    ………………………………

  72. I think a thorough review of all un-taxed entities in the city need review. Are they following the laws as per compliance of non profit law. Are they politically neutral/ Who do they benefit? There are a lot of un-taxed properties in the City now that deserve scrutiny.

    To me, simply gobbling up more county property for the taxes, instead of austerity measures and re-evaluating local non paying organizations, seems like an out of control “cookie monster”.

  73. Betty Cloer Wallace

    You’re welcome, Tim. You are in the spotlight.

    And so, is Robert Malt really your sock puppet?

  74. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ D.L.D: There are a lot of un-taxed properties in the City now that deserve scrutiny.

    Do you know if there is a readily available list of such un-taxed properties without having to spend a month sifting through obscurity?

  75. I’ve still not seen any substantive suggestions from Truthteller Peck about how to reconcile the water system inequity issue.

    Big on accusations, low on substance, seems to me.

    And if Tim Moffit was a big advocate against annexation, I never heard about it. Hence my light-hearted “Timmy come lately.”

    So, I also wonder if Mr. Moffit has proposed any equitable solution concerning those developers in the county who advertise, “City Water, No City Taxes.” There are special interests involved in this issue (but, of course, not this conversation) who are continuing to profit well from the current Sullivan Acts. They are the real puppet masters behind the City/County conflict.

  76. Perhaps councilman Bothwell would like to appear with Tim Moffitt on the Matt Mittan show to discuss these oh-so-important points.

    Oh, yeah. Councilman Bothwell refuses to appear on Mittan’s program. Never mind.

    I challenge councilman Bothwell to a public debate on the issue of forcible annexation. I’ll bring two others and he can bring two others.

    If his record of public discourse is any indication, I expect he’ll run from this one too.
    ……………………….

  77. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I’d like to hear Tim Peck and Cecil Bothwell debate one-on-one.

    It would be truly illuminating.

  78. Tax records are available from Buncombe County …you can go by street, or names…..you maybe can get a list from the County Manager as to who is exempt. (That’s a guess, they may not be willing to do so for “reasons.”

    http://www.buncombetax.org/

  79. Didn’t see you at the anti-annexation meeting in Skyland, Tim.

    Your charges about running from debate are entirely empty. Hmm. Notice that I’m here, for instance.

    Always, always, always, empty charges and failure to offer meaningful alternatives. Still nothing on this thread. As per usual.

  80. Thank you councilman Bothwell.

    I take it you have formally declined my challenge to a public debate on the issue of forcible annexation.

    QED.

    :-)
    …………………..

  81. Betty Cloer Wallace

    They can electronically select and sort out the ones late with paying taxes, so they should be able to select and sort out the exempt ones, as well as those deferred for agriculture, forestry, wetlands preservation, etc.

    It would be interesting to see how both the exempt and deferred-tax properties are categorized as to purpose and criteria, the county appraised tax value on each of them, how they are reviewed for compliance, and how often.

  82. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Thunder Pig, I’ve heard about the plans for extensive annexation under way over there in Macon County–Franklin incrementally extending its tentacles in several directions along the main arteries?

    What is your position on that?

  83. Robert Malt

    Betty…for the record:

    1) I am nobody’s sock puppet. I author my own comments.

    2) My guess is that Tim reposted my comment because he probably realized that it was posted out of order (just like every single one of my comments on this site has been so far…I do not know why that is…perhaps I am disliked for some reason by the moderator). Comments posted late and out of order are more likely to be missed because everyone is scrolling down to the bottom of the page, past (what they think) they have already read.

    3) I borrowed the “…………..” from Tim’s post because it seemed like a good idea at the time. I wrote a long comment, and I wanted to make sure it was posted in its entirety. That’s it. No conspiracy here. From now on I will no longer end my comments with anything, so no one else makes this incorrect assumption.

    Glad we could clear things up.

  84. Piffy!

    [b]You see, Betty. It’s still about me.[/b]

    It is noteworthy how you are allowed to constantly inject your ego into any debate without repercussion.

  85. The Trolls Troll

    Brother Tim: Why don’t you run for an elected office instead of trolling message boards and blogs? For that matter, why don’t you allow comments on your own blog?

  86. Betty Cloer Wallace

    The only way for an outlying community (one that sits in the path of “progress”) to stave off pending involuntary annexation by a municipality is to incorporate itself.

    Wonder why more don’t do it.

  87. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Thank you, Robert Malt, for that explanation. I think that after X number of posts, you will move out of the “moderated members” category and your posts will appear in order.

  88. bobaloo

    I do believe that [redacted] has delivered an effective coup de grâce Mortal Kombat style.

    Clearly you’ve never played Mortal Kombat. Liu Kang never copy/pasted to defeat Shang Tsung, instead employing the Flying Forward Bicycle Kick.

    The comments till stand unanswered…save for the ad hominems directed at [redacted]. They stand on their own merit irregardless of who delivered them.

    So what? This is a pointless back and forth. No one, yourself included, has brought up any real solutions, instead relying on a ridiculous game of Gotcha! in the attempt to discredit Bothwell.
    Also, irregardless is not a word.

    This thread IS all about [redacted] because you cannot deliver effective arguments against what he, and his allies, point out in their arguments.

    What points? That Bothwell is as slanted and partisan as you and the would-be John Galt? That Whilden is a political hack?
    You’re all political hacks.
    I’m pretty sure no one, including Bothwell, likes forced annexation (except maybe Gordon Smith).

    Also notice how Betty immediately seeks to silence those she (or, apparently, her allies) cannot answer. Most of her time (indeed, the time of most Lefties in this thread) is spent trying to either shut [redacted] up

    Ah, and here we have the tired, overused trope used by Cons, whining about how people want to silence them and stifle their free speech. I’m saddened you didn’t mention the liberal media.
    Where oh where did anyone tell [redacted] or you, for that matter, to shut up? No where.
    Prove it or drop it.

    And she isn’t the only one to engage in that game, here is a little reminder of an incident this spring: [link mentioning [redacted]]

    Oooooo, someone made fun of the Ayn Rand! Clearly this is an attempt to stifle [redacted]’s free speech.
    Also, [redacted] has the penguins from “Madagascar” as part of his browser. Dude.

    This is part of the reason that the Left and Right seem to be unable to communicate…the Left ignores very cogent points that have been brought up. Their tactics seem to be ignore cogent arguments and attack, attack, attack. And in many cases, they make personal attacks.

    Have you actually read this entire thread? WHAT cogent points? That Whilden wasn’t the banner carrier for the anti-forced annexation coalition? Or that Bothwell issued “disrespectful comments from his orifice” as [redacted] stated?

    I also notice that no one, least of all Cecil Bothwell (aka CeciBothwell), has addressed the counterpoints Robert Malt brought up, and were brought up again by [redacted]. Why is that?

    Once again, have you read this thread? It appears Bothwell has responded to pretty much every-damned-thing anyone has said to him.
    Also, screw you for getting me to defend Bothwell.

    The only real solution to the issues Asheville has with providing emergency services for burdensome tourists and out-of-city-limits commuters is to change the way taxes are distributed by Raleigh or to continue to annex unicorporated areas. Oh, there’s also the idea of not spending so much damn money. Crazy, I know.
    End. of. story.
    There is no debate, there is no back-and-forth. It’s ridiculously cut and dry.

    In conclusion: FATALITY.

  89. Betty Cloer Wallace

    BOBALOO FOR MAYOR!

    (I want to be your campaign manager.)

    I do love people who know that “irregardless” is not a word.

    Mostly, though, I love it when someone can summarize the aftermath of a train wreck so succinctly (like Tommy Lee Jones in The Fugitive), especially when I agree with them.

  90. Actually, I had expected councilman Bothwell to ponder my challenge to a public debate on the question of forcible annexation for a couple of days and then back out (accompanied, of course, by some smartass remark). Instead, he backed out within minutes.

    The depth of his timidity surprises even me.
    …………………………

  91. tatuaje

    Tim, why should Bothwell debate a random, non-office holding, belligerent citizen? Should he debate every person w/ a beef? Should he take an hour out of his schedule every week to answer any and every criticism lobbed at him by armchair politicians with too much time in front of a computer?

    By engaging in this particular forum he has demonstrated 100% more willingness to engage his constituents than any other politician I can think of besides Gordon Smith. Does Mayor Bellamy stop by the Mtn. Xpress blog comments to interact with the public? Jeff Miller? How about Heath Shuler? Do you think that Mayor Bellamy should debate if you asked for it? How about Shuler?

    Here’s the thing, Tim. When you put together a platform and then campaign in defense of that platform, then, and only then, will you have justification for calling on Councilman Bothwell to debate you.

    Until then you are simply a dissatisfied voter with delusions of importance.

    And as far as annexation goes, I agree with Bobaloo. If you really care so much about this issue, then you need to take issue with Raleigh’s involvement in this matter. Until then, you and the party you seem to represent only further the impression that you are uninformed about the fundamental underpinnings of this issue and are only involved in partisan sniping.

  92. bobaloo

    The depth of his timidity surprises even me.

    WHY MUST YOU USE AD HOMINEM ATTACKS?

    “If you want an in depth conversation then lead the way.”

    I will. Stay tuned.

    Still waiting on this. And no, criticizing Whilden doesn’t count.

  93. Well, you people can’t have it both ways. Either you want a substantive discussion or not. My default opinion is: Not.

    I am happy to re-issue my challenge to councilman Bothwell to a debate on forcible annexation in a public forum in Asheville. He can bring two others and I will bring two others.

    Let’s see if I get the same response.
    ………………………

  94. tatuaje

    Again Tim…

    …why should Bothwell debate a random, non-office holding, belligerent citizen? Should he debate every person w/ a beef? Should he take an hour out of his schedule every week to answer any and every criticism lobbed at him by armchair politicians with too much time in front of a computer?

  95. I think it would be very instructive to see Councilman Bothwell defend his position in a public forum. He has shown that he is willing to engage. I submit that it would be a coup for him to engage in a forum at which he does not have nameless sycophants supporting him. He can demonstrate for his constituents the depth of his knowledge on the subject and, perhaps, silence his detractors.

    Councilman Bothwell, would you be willing to participate in a forum with Tim Peck, Robert Malt, and perhaps one other person who is opposed to forced annexation. You could choose two-three persons who share your view to participate as well. Perhaps Jane Whilden? It would be very educational for the local citizens to hear more about the intricacies of Forced Annexation.

  96. bobaloo

    And yet here I am, attempting to engage you in a discussion which you seem hell-bent on avoiding at all costs.

    What solutions do you have for ending the issue of forced annexation aside from simply not doing it? As Bothwell maintains, Asheville needs to expand it’s tax base because of the expenses commuters and tourists incur. How can this be avoided in you opinion?

  97. “…why should Bothwell debate a random, non-office holding, belligerent citizen?”

    Because it is Bothwell who inserted himself into a public discussion of this issue with his own brand of belligerence:

    http://is.gd/fAQFP
    http://is.gd/fAWP4
    http://is.gd/fB5Cv
    http://is.gd/fB5Es

    Because it is Bothwell who has disdainfully challenged me and others to make their case.

    And because it is people like you who have claimed that I and others are cowards with nothing to offer when precisely the opposite appears to be the case.

    Now, both you and councilman Bothwell have a chance to make the case for forcible annexation in a public forum instead of a chat room full of nattering children.

    Well, either you want a substantive discussion on an important issue or you don’t.

    What’s it going to be?
    ……………………….

  98. Bobaloo,

    The City of Asheville needs to spend less money on needless things in order to meet their budgetary goals, instead of using force to exact money from people who want nothing to do with the city.

    It is pointless to say that the county dwellers are a burden on the City because it is they that bring a great deal of revenue into the City. You are vilifying the wrong people. Would you all be happier if tourists and county dwellers simply stopped bringing their dollars into the City?

    The point is that Forced Annexation is wrong. It is a violation of individual rights and it favors the rich over the poor. I need not give you a solution to Asheville’s revenue problems because Forced Annexation should not even be considered an option for increasing revenue. It is unethical.

    Should the government do things to get money without regard to the morality of the act? Is that what you all are supporting? I’d say it is.

    The argument I am hearing is “Well, what else are we going to do to get money?” Sounds like the way a pickpocket justifies his chosen trade.

  99. The Trolls Troll

    timpeck is actually an internet bot uploaded by erika franzi.

  100. My post on the veracity of Jane Whilden has been updated:

    http://timpeck.blogspot.com/2010/10/veracity-of-jane-whilden.html

    In sum:

    The annexation reform bill was okay as first written. Whilden was responsible for sending it to Appropriations by voting No. There, it was changed and language was added to make it impossible for a community to get a referendum. Then, it went back for a vote and she voted yes. From there, the Senate has done nothing with it.
    ………………………………………..

  101. Piffy!

    [b]I submit that it would be a coup for him to engage in a forum at which he does not have nameless sycophants supporting him.[/b]

    Funny, I’m not sure it’s ‘defending’ Bothwell as much as it is pointing out the ridiculousness of his detractors, and their juvenile, disingenuous tactics.

    calling people who clearly have wildly diverging opinions on the subject ‘sycophants’ for not blindly agreeing with your friend in te way you do seems highly ironic.

  102. Piffy!

    [b]How can this be avoided in you opinion? [/b]

    I would like to see a timpeck opinion on this as well.

    i wont hold my breath.

  103. Barry Summers

    I’m disgruntled that this thread isn’t even slightly about me anymore, so I will repeat my call on Agnes Cheek to produce any, repeat: ANY proof for her earlier claims about Buncombe County’s budget regarding the City of Asheville, or admit they were:

    a) made up

    b) unsourced urban legend/watercooler talk that she took too seriously

    c) unfairly extrapolated from actual County data to the point she’s unwilling to let people check her math, yet still stands by them.

    Agnes, I’m inspired by your “can’t we all just get along” speeches, but it’s hard to believe a genuine spirit of cooperation is what you’re really after when you salt the earth with phony statistics that distort the financial picture for City and County taxpayers.

  104. “Should the government do things to get money without regard to the morality of the act?”

    Let’s see some austerity measures, before the annexation cookie monster eats up any more County properties. I’d like to see the numbers for the City’s cost cutting measures. Where is Gary Jackson on this??????

    All businesses and families have to re-group in downturns, why not governments? Just because they can do something, doesn’t mean they should.

  105. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Bobaloo to TP: WHY MUST YOU USE “AD HOMINEM” ATTACKS?

    Give him a break, Bobaloo. He’s learned a new foreign-sounding phrase. Let him use it if it makes him happy. Hey, it’s a party.

    @ TP re debate challenge to Bothwell: He can bring two others and I will bring two others.

    What would be your choice of weapons, TP? Facts? Intellect? Experience? Logic? Or is it the challengee who gets to choose the weapons?

    And why do you need two back-ups? Aren’t we long past the days of dueling with back-ups? Since when do politicians (elected officials or citizens) use back-ups in a public debate?

    @ TP: …..in a public forum…..

    Isn’t this a public forum? Many a “dissatisfied voter with delusions of importance” would find this opportunity a godsend–to debate in an established news outlet with a duly elected available sitting city councilman.

    Muscle up, TP. Let’s see some substantive debate right here, in this forum. It’s your big chance. And ours too. We want to hear directly what you have to offer, not other people’s words channeled through you.

    @ TP: Because it is Bothwell who has disdainfully challenged me and others to make their case.

    Yes, that is correct, and we’re still waiting. We’ve all agreed with you that this thread is all about you, TP, so pony up.

    And let’s hear some of your broad-based comprehensive policy considerations for the future, not just personal fallout from past conflicts, and not just links to other nebulous sources.

  106. How clever, Betty.

    Is this a refusal to a debate on the issue of forcible annexation in a public forum in Asheville by proxy?

    Is Betty now speaking for councilman Bothwell?

    Is Betty refusing for Bothwell?

    Can’t Bothwell even back out of the challenge for himself?

    Sock, puppet. Puppet, sock.
    ………………………….

  107. bobaloo

    Thanks for the response Erika. I’ll note that I am opposed to forced annexation completely.

    I need not give you a solution to Asheville’s revenue problems because Forced Annexation should not even be considered an option for increasing revenue.

    Sure you do. If the reasoning behind forced annexation is increasing the city’s tax base, then those opposing it need to have a viable alternative to bringing income into the city’s coffers. Simply saying “It’s wrong” isn’t working toward a solution.

  108. bobaloo

    And because it is people like you who have claimed that I and others are cowards with nothing to offer when precisely the opposite appears to be the case.

    Who called you a coward and where are the solutions you’ve offered?

    a chat room full of nattering children.

    Indeed. It’s good to hear that you aren’t devolving into immature ad hominem attacks of which you are so often the unfortunate victim.

    Well, either you want a substantive discussion on an important issue or you don’t.

    What’s it going to be?

    Got it. So again, I’ll ask:
    What solutions do you have for ending the issue of forced annexation aside from simply not doing it? As Bothwell maintains, Asheville needs to expand it’s tax base because of the expenses commuters and tourists incur. How can this be avoided in you opinion?
    And attacking Jane Whilden’s voting record doesn’t count.

  109. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Thank you, Tim, but the answer is “no” to all of your questions.

    I’m still trying to help you make this thread all about you and to help you have a golden opportunity for a public debate so that we can all hear what you have to offer and can weigh those offerings accordingly,

  110. My challenge to a debate on the issue of forcible annexation in a public forum is directed to councilman Bothwell (as much as you’d like to horn in, Betty.)

    I’ll be standing by.
    ………………………..

  111. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I just want to know why you need two back-ups.

    This is a public forum, after all, on which you have issued your challenge for a political debate under those conditions.

  112. Barry Summers

    I just want to know why anyone is still directing their hostility and disdain at Cecil, when he’s the only Council member who has substantially engaged the public both here and in the town hall, and eventually voted against the annexation.

    Could there be partisan issues at work? Is the “he’s an atheist!!!” thing no longer giving you traction? I find the whole thing childish, and a guarantee that no matter what sensible talk ensues, someone will take a wrecking ball to it for their own petty agenda. No wonder it’s an intractable and contentious issue. Until a serious majority of people on all sides agree to act like adults (no obvious partisan sniping, no phony “facts”, etc.), this will still be fought over for generations (or at least until somebody provokes a new Civil War – CM and MM, I’m looking at you.)…

  113. Bobaloo,

    I did offer a solution: “The City of Asheville needs to spend less money on needless things in order to meet their budgetary goals…”

    My other comment was that it is not incumbent upon opponents of forced annexation to solve the City’s budgetary deficit. It is only incumbent upon us to oppose Forced Annexation on the grounds that it is wrong.

    What you are saying when you say that opponents of forced annexation ought not be listened to if they can’t offer a solution, is akin to telling a victim of theft that he has no grounds if he can’t come up with a better way for the thief to make money.

  114. I suppose Imperial Asheville must have Lebensraum. All the ‘lesser surrounding communities’ must serve Greater Asheville.

    /sarc

  115. Piffy!

    [b]The depth of his [i]tim[/i]idity surprises even me.[/b]

    (Emphasis mine) Thank you for making this thread about you, tim.

  116. Still no solutions offered here, in a perfectly public forum, except “spend less.”

    Water, Transit, Parking, Golf Course are essentially “break even” operations.

    Civic Center has shifted from $1 million subsidy per year to $300K. (And this doesn’t account for the parking revenues generated by CC events.)

    We’ve shifted building inspections/permits to actual cost, so that’s approaching break-even.

    Bele Chere broke even this year (for a change) as a result of downsizing. We cut out the money-losing film festival and raised rates for almost all events held on public property.

    Of the money that comes in from general taxation, the majority goes to public safety.

    So, the truth is, when you say “cut spending” you are advocating cutting police and fire protection.

    Is that your solution Tim? Since you haven’t been able to offer any substantive ideas here, I’m trying to help you out.

    (Sorry if I’m snarky from time to time, but I haven’t been able to find the “no snarkiness” in my job description.)

    Here’s a couple of ideas I’m weighing:
    Raise parking rates substantially (we have extremely low rates compared to other cities) and give City taxpayers substantial discounts. We could use the revenue to expand transit and reduce the demand for parking.

    Attempt to get the legislature to permit incremental tax increases for annexed areas. (Say, implement taxation over five years, during which the annexed areas would get full City services. This would have the effect of cutting the costs for many annexed properties for the first couple of years, then catching up.)

  117. I challenge councilman Bothwell to a debate on the issue of forcible annexation in a public forum in Asheville (not on a website, Betty).

    He can bring two other people and I’ll bring two other people (that makes six, Betty).

    ………………………………..

  118. Betty Cloer Wallace

    Well, since the City Council voted to table any decisions for twelve months, we have a year in which to discuss all the annexation issues with knowledgeable people, some on this website and many others elsewhere, which is a good thing, since the annexation and taxation issues are far more comprehensive and complex and far more important than just “forcible” annexation, and since there are seven city councilpersons who will make the decisions.

    In the meantime, I think we ought to engage in more serious challenges than the limited one presented in this thread.

    So, in keeping with the spirit of making this thread all about Citizen Peck and keeping him in the spotlight, as well as stroking his ego to the extent that he thinks he is on equal par with Councilman Bothwell, I hereby publicly challenge Peck to a foot race—-streaking buck-naked around Pack Square along with two back-ups—-at high noon on New Year’s Day, 2011.

    I’ll be standing by. Waiting.

    You’re welcome, too, Councilman Bothwell, along with two back-ups.

    And anyone else up for the challenge.

  119. Councilman Bothwell,

    Here are some money saving thoughts…

    How much money is spent on those large city buses that run nearly empty most of the time? Would it not make more sense to either:

    1. Sell the city’s buses and buy smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles to meet the City’s public transportation needs – thereby saving money. Or,

    2. Get out of the public transportation business altogether, since the City is clearly failing at it, and allow private entrepreneurs to meet that need – thereby saving money.

    How much money was spent on greenway projects for a city in financial distress? Wouldn’t it make more sense to shelve such ideas in this economy, thereby saving money?

    How much money does the APD spend training police officers who, once trained, immediately seek jobs elsewhere because the training is great but the jobs suck? Wouldn’t it be better to retain these well trained officers instead of running a training clinic for the other cities in NC – thereby saving money?

    These are just off the top of my head.

    By the way, whether I have money saving ideas for the City or not, Forced Annexation is still wrong.

  120. Betty Cloer Wallace

    @ Erika Franzi: Sell the city’s buses and buy smaller, more fuel efficient vehicles to meet the City’s public transportation needs – thereby saving money.

    Good point. School districts have already tried this with their buses, and it does save money and increase efficiency. As the large old buses give up the ghost and are phased out, a fleet of smaller buses can be phased in to replace them (except for the most heavily-used routes).

    You’ll notice, especially with transportation for Exceptional Children, the buses get smaller and smaller to fit the need.

    With the general student population, transfer points are necessary, small to large and vice versa, as would be the case with a more creative and efficient public transportation system.

  121. Also, the Civic Center seems to be a gigantic, money-sucking mess. Are there options for getting out from under that one, like selling the Civic Center?

    How much money has been spent on roofing in the last 10 years alone?

  122. Mr. Bothwell,

    Please send us a link to a pdf of the budget and expenditures approved by Council. Show us in black and white where all the money goes. We’ll be happy to act as free consultants to help cut corners.

    “Still no solutions offered here, in a perfectly public forum, except “spend less.”

    I’m sorry if cost cutting measures are unsavory. But the lousy economy is a fact…everyone has to do belt tightening.

  123. Take a look, on page 4 of the Basic Financial Statements, how much money the City is losing on

    Civic Center
    Festivals
    Mass Transit

  124. The John Locke Foundation did a study of civic centers across the state and concluded that the best option is for municipalities to sell these assets instead of run them at a loss every year.

    This proposal was summarily dismissed by Jan Davis, chair of the Civic Center Commission. We are still paying for that one.

    Returning to the topic of Forced Annexation:
    A reasonable “solution” to the violation of individual rights is to stop. Just as the “solution” to armed robbery is to arrest the criminal.

  125. The John Locke Foundation is a libertarian/Republican outfit that concludes a lot of weird things about the general public.

    Do we want to have a Civic Center that is the main venue for graduations from our public high schools and ABTech? Does the public purpose of the CC include the commercial boost it gives to crafters, to wedding consultants, to gun dealers, to RV and camping suppliers, to civic organizations (including in recent years both liberal and conservative political groups)? Is it truly a CIVIC center, or is it supposed to be a venue for rent?

    Actually, Erika, we, as a community, are still BENEFITING from Davis’ stance, by any measure of “community” that makes sense to most of us.

    @Death: I believe I noted above a whole lot of ways that the City has cut expenses. Are you suggesting that none of that was “belt tightening”?

    The often overlooked part about buses is that the big expense is drivers, not fuel. (I know this is because of incredibly stupid federal tax policies which have kept gasoline and diesel stupidly cheap for decades, under both Republican and Democratic administrations, and which include funding for idiotic wars in order to keep American fuel prices well below world prices.) So, the difference in operating costs between big busses and small, is relatively small.

    We will put some new, hybrid buses on the road in December, which will help some. (And note that the City cannot possibly afford these new buses without federal money … tsk, tsk, government spending!!!!)

    Too much to answer here, but one last note: Erika, you suggest that we waste money training officers who soon leave because jobs here suck ….
    So, I gather you want us to raise spending on public safety in order to pay our officers enough to keep them here. Great!

    But, how, exactly, does that reduce City costs?????

    What we most need to do, according to many studies, is to run our buses more frequently, so they are more useful to more people. We have approved the idea in principle, and are working toward that goal.

    Post-peak oil prices are about to hit (delayed only by the global recession), which will shift the transit equation very significantly for all of us.

    (And Tim, yeah, I know. You think oil is being continuously created in some magical way and that oil will never run out. But you are in such a tiny, tiny, tiny minority of nut-bars, that I really don’t think your illusory “science” bears any mention here. Though, of course, you will. Sigh.)

  126. tatuaje

    Because it is Bothwell who inserted himself into a public discussion of this issue with his own brand of belligerence

    So because Councilman Bothwell, in hopes of furthering political dialogue, has chosen to engage in a discussion on a public forum (on his friggin’ birthday, mind you. What an AMAZING, DEDICATED civil servant!) he is now bound to answer your brash call for a formal debate?

    Tim, that makes no sense whatsoever. Seriously, any 12 year old could point out how completely illogical that argument is.

    Because it is Bothwell who has disdainfully challenged me and others to make their case.

    Again, that in no way implies any obligation on his part to respond to the request from some random, non-office holding, belligerent citizen to partake in a formal debate.

    In fact, by engaging you and his fellow citizens in this manner he has FAR surpassed any other politician I can think of in his response to public input.

    He is in fact showing a willingness to hear dissenting opinions and be frank with his own reasonings in a manner that I have honestly never seen before. And instead of being appreciative of that fact you have chosen to respond in a childish, churlish manner that reflects both poorly on yourself and the organization you claim to represent.

    And because it is people like you who have claimed that I and others are cowards with nothing to offer when precisely the opposite appears to be the case.

    See, Tim, this is, to be perfectly frank, why you have earned yourself the reputation that you now carry in public. Your accusations have NO merit and this statement is based on NO semblance of fact or logic.

    Now, both you and councilman Bothwell have a chance to make the case for forcible annexation in a public forum instead of a chat room full of nattering children.

    Tim, this IS a public forum. If you have more that you would like to add to the ongoing citywide conversation, you should take advantage of either the time at City Council meetings provided for public input or you should stop playing armchair politician and put yourself into the political ring. Anything else, including your comments in this thread, will only be seen as the childish temper tantrums that they are.

    Well, either you want a substantive discussion on an important issue or you don’t.

    The only substantial discussions I’ve seen here have come from Councilman Bothwell, Bobaloo, Betty Cloer Wallace, and, since you can’t seem to pony up arguments for yourself, Erika Franzi. Neither you, nor Erika for that matter, have touched upon one of the main underpinnings of this issue which Bobaloo touched upon earlier: the way taxes are distributed by Raleigh. Until you can include this major aspect of the matter in your ramblings, you will continue to be treated simply as a disgruntled partisan voter without a true understanding of the issue at hand.

    And just to be absolutely clear, I am not in favor of this current round of annexations. However, you are doing myself and anyone else who agrees an extreme disservice by continuing to act in such immature, grandstanding way.

    And to continue the discussion at hand…

    I think Councilman Bothwell has shown, very succinctly, how he and the rest of the council are actively looking to cut costs. Until Raleigh changes the way taxes are distributed the city will face some very tough choices in the years ahead.

    And I think it prudent for any area that feels threatened by forced annexation to explore the avenues of incorporation. If they don’t need Asheville then they can show their independence and make certain that their citizens control their own destiny.

  127. The Trolls Troll

    By my count, it’s Cecil Bothwell — 5 Tim Peck — 0

  128. I challenge councilman Bothwell to a debate on the issue of forcible annexation in a public forum in Asheville. He can bring two others and I will bring two others.

    I am sorry that councilman Bothwell, for whatever reason, has declined to accept my challenge to date.

    This standing offer, now issued for a fourth time, will be withdrawn after 24 hours and offered to others who are more capable of engaging the public on important issues (not on a website, Betty).
    ………………………….

  129. Still backing out of a debate on the issue of forcible annexation in a public forum in Asheville? — (not on a website, Betty.)

    I will take this as your fourth refusal to engage with the community on an important issue. — (not your peanut gallery, Betty.)

    The offer is withdrawn. I am satisfied.

    QED. “It is demonstrated.”
    ………………………….

  130. tatuaje

    The fact that you couldn’t responded to anything I said says more than you could ever say.

    *SIGH*

    @ Erika Franzi…

    I wonder what you think of the spectacle Tim is making of himself and whether or not he represents the local tea party in this matter.

    It really is a shame. I had such high hopes for a third party in our dysfunctional political system.

    Unfortunately, the current behavior on display is part and parcel for the national tea party movement. Lots of emotional outbursts, grandstanding, and invective with little actual substance or constructive input.

    The issue of forced annexations is a serious one affecting our area. In the coming months and years I hope it’s the people who not only care about the problem but who also educate themselves and strive for reasoned, constructive debate who take the lead and keep the delusional wing-nuts on the sidelines where they belong.

  131. Be careful, Tim. You’re starting to get boring, which means people are going to start ignoring you and having a real conversation on this thread. Then you’ll have to stop picking fights with the kids on this playground and go find some others you can bully into giving you the attention you seem so sadly to crave.

  132. tatuaje

    Also,

    @ Erika Franzi…

    Does Tim hold any sort of elected and/or appointed office in the local tea party organization?

    Will y’all be running a formal candidate in the next round of council elections? If so, who?

    Have you, as a political organization, contacted our state representatives concerning the dispersal of taxes by Raleigh? If so, could you perchance post a copy of said correspondence?

    Has the tea party, as an organization, spoken at any city council meetings concerning the issue of forced annexation? If so, could you please post a copy of your statements?

    Thanks in advance.

  133. Councilman Bothwell:

    You said

    “The John Locke Foundation is a libertarian/Republican outfit that concludes a lot of weird things about the general public.”

    Your dismissal does not address the issue. I could say that you are a progressive/Democrat who concludes a lot of weird things about the general public, but that would be avoiding the substance of your claims.

    Selling the civic center to private interests would not prevent its being “…the main venue for graduations from our public high schools and ABTech” Nor would it negate “…the commercial boost it gives to crafters, to wedding consultants, to gun dealers, to RV and camping suppliers, to civic organizations…” If you can substantiate this claim, I am interested in hearing your case.

    Re: buses. If “…the City cannot possibly afford these new buses without federal money…” then perhaps the City should get out of this enterprise at which it is failing.

    The idea of running buses more frequently in order to serve more people is an example of government attempting to change behavior of the individual to suit its needs. You cannot justify expenses incurred for mass transit in Asheville based on current ridership so instead of logically spending less, you attempt to persuade people to use your services despite their preference not to.

    Re: police officers pay. Increasing the pay of individual officers in order to keep them here would be a cost saving measure. Do you know how much it costs to train a police officer? I understand from former training officers at the APD that it’s quite expensive. Rather than spending great amounts of capital training officers who leave, necessitating ongoing expensive training of new officers, raise their level pay to a level consistent with other departments in the state and reduce the excessive training costs.

    Re: Oil production. Referring to a constituent whose view is different from your own as a “nutbar” is highly inappropriate. You are wrong to assume that the science is settled and to dismiss diverse thoughts with name-calling. You have lowered the level of intelligent discourse and it is very disappointing.

    Sigh.

  134. The Trolls Troll

    Man, this thread is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long time.

  135. tatuaje:

    A newspaper comment thread populated nearly exclusively by persons of the same political persuasion is not the same as a public forum.

    Any 12 year old could point out how completely illogical it is to claim otherwise.

    Also, calling someone whose views differ from your own a “nutbar” is not demonstrative of a “…willingness to hear dissenting opinions.”

    There is no mandate from Raleigh requiring cities to forcibly annex communities.

    Re: Tim Peck’s comments here.
    I find it instructive that the regulars on these comment threads are more interested in making a great fuss over Tim’s comments than they are in discussing the actual issues. From what I have seen, Tim called Councilman Bothwell out for disrespectfully referring to Tim Moffitt as “Timmy Come Lately” and the rest of the folks here circled up the wagons to focus on discrediting Tim. I think he’s actually enjoying a laugh at the fact that no matter what he says on any of these comment threads the argument that comes back is something about him and nothing about the issue at hand. I suspect he enjoys having his point proven over and over again. If you want the cycle to stop, then I suggest adding something of value to the conversation and stop focusing on Tim.

    There are no elected or appointed offices in the Tea Party. Tim is a board member as am I.

    We are not a political party. We do not “run candidates.” We support candidates who advance our values of individual liberty, Constitutionally-limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.

    We have been to Raleigh to meet with our representatives face to face on this issue.

    Perhaps you missed the Asheville City Council meeting at which the city’s annexation policy was tabled for a year. We were there. We held a rally before the meeting as well. That is the subject of this article, or didn’t you notice?

  136. Four days ago, I asked this:

    Councilman Bothwell…would you be so kind as to point to examples of times that you have spoken out against forced annexation?

    Also, since you are here defending Jane Whilden, I would like to hear your examples of her record of opposing forced annexation.

    No answer yet…

  137. Piffy!

    [b]We are not a political party. We do not “run candidates.” We support candidates who advance our values of individual liberty, Constitutionally-limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.[/b]

    Are you sure? From reading this thread, it would appear you enjoy being critical of certain politicians more than you seem to be interested in discussing realistic alternatives.

  138. That seems to be what the Tea Partiers everywhere do — vilify and attack everyone else, then accuse everyone else of vilifying and attacking them!

    I’m surprised this thread has gone this long without the requisite attack on Nancy Pelosi.

  139. I apologize for the “nutbar” reference, but anyone who doesn’t think the science on the formation of oil is settled is willing to embrace faith over Cartesian methodology.

    One can never engage in a meaningful debate wit such persons because they avoid facts. “Nutbar” refers to a Snickers, which is delicious and chewy, but with the corollary reference to laughter.

    So Tim is one of those “new oil” folks, who is delicious and chewy.

    And per Whilden: I had been told she has been opposed to involuntary annexation for some time. Hey, I could be wrong. But, then, I hadn’t heard of Tim Moffit until this election cycle either, and it appears he has been a community hero since WWII or some such.

    Very little of this thread has been addressed to the substance of the annexation issue, the matters of financing local government that we all depend upon to preserve our health, safety and freedom, or how to make the equation work for Asheville residents and commuters. Instead it’s all about who said what when, and empty challenges for meaningless public debates.

    The idea of raising police pay in order to save money on training new recruits is excellent, which is why Chief Bill Hogan has been doing that since he took the job several years ago. So, police expenses are going up more slowly than they would have under the old model, of training people who flee to higher paying jobs. But it is still going up.

    So, we still haven’t cut taxes.

    The Civic Center is a relatively recent acquisition of the City (it was operated by the County under the former water agreement). Since acquisition, the City has reduced the costs associated, as I mentioned upthread. In most municipalities, Civic Centers are, in and of themselves, money-losers. But they drive other business, so are deemed important enough to warrant the cost. The Elton John show alone is expected to generate $1 million in local business. That’s why very few Civic Centers are operated by private entities, and the ones that considered buying ours some years ago were more interested in using the property for a hotel.

    (I don’t claim to be an expert on Civic Centers, generally, but this reflects what I’ve read for many years about many other cities.)

  140. Betty Cloer Wallace

    I would surely hate to see the exterior of the old civic center destroyed, but if it were sold, the void would be taken up by private enterprises. The old center resembles an outdated general store that tries to be all things to all people but satisfies no one in this new specialized world.

    Without the civic center, private centers designed for and catering to more specialized events would open.

    The Smokey Mountain Center for the Performing Arts in Franklin is a good example of such a private enterprise. It is beautiful, has a good sound system, and seats 1,500 people.

  141. The Civic Center may just be outmoded, and further “improvements” may be throwing good money after bad.
    We do need a world class venue, but the Civic Center is simply not that venue. And I doubt if it ever could be no matter how much is spent on improvements.

    Perhaps the Performance Center will be. It does have some good names behind the development.

    http://www.theperformancecenter.org/

  142. Barry Summers

    Perhaps the Performance Center will be. It does have some good names behind the development.

    As long as the guy squatting on their doorstep with ill-gained property doesn’t find a way to ruin it.

  143. “As long as the guy squatting on their doorstep with ill-gained property doesn’t find a way to ruin it. “

    Yeah, Barry….lol

    They’ve raised or have committed, $5,000,000., which seems like a good start.

  144. I imagine the Performing Arts Center will be grand, but the price tag is in the multiple tens of millions (did I hear $60 million?? not sure). They have a start, but donors still haven’t ponied up for the Pack Square remodel and it will probably be a long while before the Performing Arts Center is built.

    Also, the Performing Arts Center is intended for the shows that make the least money at the Civic Center. Whether we like it or not, the money makers are the Southern Highlands Craft type shows, the RV shows, the gun shows, and etc, which need an arena-type venue, versus a stage. The big arena concerts are money makers too, with many thousands of guests. A 1500 seater won’t work for the Moog Fest, Elton John, the Christmas Jam, the Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic and etc. Those shows have kept the Thomas Wolfe doors open for the more artistic shows.

    The upfit for the Civic Center now funded by the TDA, the County and the City is, at minimum, going to extend the life of that complex. SoCon will bring lots of fans and money to downtown, too.

    With the new roof finishecd, we’re now looking at a solar energy installation, a deal where the City will be selling power to Progress Energy (with a substation directly behind the building).

  145. brebro

    You should have heard of him before this election cycle, Cecil. He ran against Whilden in 2008 for the NC House seat:
    http://www.mountainx.com/news/2008/102208tim_moffitt

    as well as a run circa 1994 for Asheville City Council:
    http://yfrog.com/49timm1j

    Of course, his literary magazine triumph made all the papers in 1979:
    http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=BmAaAAAAIBAJ&sjid=0CQEAAAAIBAJ&pg=7018,5921980&dq=tim+moffitt&hl=en

    With all this coverage, how could you only now be hearing of him?

  146. Cecil, I may not always be in agreement, but I truly respect and appreciate that you are willing to dialog with supporters and dissenters in a public manner.

  147. tatuaje

    Thanks for responding, Erika.

    I’m not sure how much time you’ve spent commenting on the MX blogs (I confess to not having been around recently, but I have been for years now and don’t recall seeing you), but a direct response without personal attacks, and reasoned at that, is something we’ve actually never seen from your fellow tea partier.

    Refreshing indeed.

    A newspaper comment thread populated nearly exclusively by persons of the same political persuasion is not the same as a public forum.

    Any 12 year old could point out how completely illogical it is to claim otherwise.

    I didn’t have the internet when I was 12, but I reckon if I had I would’ve done the same quick Google search I just did.

    A public forum is a place that has, by tradition or practice, been held out for general use by the public for speech-related purposes.

    A “traditional”, or “open, public forum” is a place with a long tradition of freedom of expression, such as a public park or a street corner. The government can normally impose only content-neutral time, place, and manner restrictions on speech in a public forum. Restrictions on speech in a public forum that are based on content will be struck down, unless the government can show the restriction is necessary to further a compelling governmental interest.

    I would not hesitate to equate this space with a street corner in our digital age. In fact, chat rooms, discussion threads and the like are now widely regarded as the meeting houses of the 21st century.

    Any 12 year old could tell you that.

    Also, calling someone whose views differ from your own a “nutbar” is not demonstrative of a “…willingness to hear dissenting opinions.”

    It seems as if Councilman Bothwell has apologized for his remark. Which makes his ongoing conversation with you about policy stand out all the more as being demonstrative of his willingness to hear dissenting opinions.

    There is no mandate from Raleigh requiring cities to forcibly annex communities.

    Come now, that is pure and simple obfuscation.

    Do you honestly think that the city council believes it necessary to annex outlying areas simply because thesy believe in a fundamental principle of annexation? That they want to annex surrounding areas to oppress people? Or to provide a show of strength?

    Or is it more likely that underlying issues lead them to reluctantly take these measures as a way of overcoming shortcomings imposed on them by outside forces? As a way of dealing with budget issues because our state government has effectively tied one hand behind their back?

    Re: Tim Peck’s comments here.
    I find it instructive that the regulars on these comment threads are more interested in making a great fuss over Tim’s comments than they are in discussing the actual issues.

    Again, maybe you should peruse Tim’s history in this forum.

    And unfortunately, your unwillingness to acknowledge Councilman Bothwell’s input into this conversation, where he continues to actively discuss the actual issues despite Tim’s best efforts to the contrary, are instructive that you are more interested in partisan sniping and grandstanding than finding a solution to a perceived problem.

    From what I have seen, Tim called Councilman Bothwell out for disrespectfully referring to Tim Moffitt as “Timmy Come Lately” and the rest of the folks here circled up the wagons to focus on discrediting Tim.

    ‘But, But, HE CALLED ME A NAME!!!!’

    Really? So. Very. Childish.

    If anything Councilman Bothwell dated himself by using a phrase that was so very popular a couple of centuries ago. Would y’all be in such a lather if he had called Moffitt a ‘N00b’?

    I think he’s actually enjoying a laugh at the fact that no matter what he says on any of these comment threads the argument that comes back is something about him and nothing about the issue at hand. I suspect he enjoys having his point proven over and over again. If you want the cycle to stop, then I suggest adding something of value to the conversation and stop focusing on Tim.

    Unfortunately, instead of discussing the issue at hand with Councilman Bothwell like a reasoned adult, Tim took it upon himself to make this thread about himself and his petulant antics. Everyone else in this thread has added to the discussion at hand. For the cycle to stop, I think, and I’m pretty sure everyone else partaking in this discussion would agree, Tim is the one who needs to add something, anything, of value to the conversation.

    There are no elected or appointed offices in the Tea Party. Tim is a board member as am I.

    So are you saying that Jane Bilello is NOT the Chair of your tea party?

    If she is, did she just one day say ‘I am now officially the Chair!’?

    How does one become a board member? Since there are no elected or appointed offices, does that mean I may simply declare that I am on the board?I think I may just do that and challenge Mayor Bellamy to a debate about civil union rights. And by golly if she doesn’t accept it shall prove that she is nothing more than a coward and unfit for public service!

    We are not a political party. We do not “run candidates.” We support candidates who advance our values of individual liberty, Constitutionally-limited government, free markets, and fiscal responsibility.

    So, you’re not a political party, you are not running a candidate. Again, why on earth would an elected official feel any sort of obligation to engage you in a formal debate?

    Hell, the AFL-CIO is one of the largest groups in the nation that “supports candidates who advance their values”, but do you see them trying to engage ANY politician in a formal debate? Of course not. They would be ridiculed in the press if they suggested any such thing.

    We have been to Raleigh to meet with our representatives face to face on this issue.

    Excellent. I reckon I’ll take your word for it and simply guess at the points that were made and the suggestions that were proffered.

    I’m gonna take a stab in the dark though and guess that you never discussed the dispersal of taxes from Raleigh and how that affects the current situation in WNC.

    Perhaps you missed the Asheville City Council meeting at which the city’s annexation policy was tabled for a year. We were there. We held a rally before the meeting as well. That is the subject of this article, or didn’t you notice?

    Interesting that, in no part of the article, which I’ve read multiple times now, thank you, is the tea party ever mentioned.

    I would be curious, however, to know how the citizens who were gathered to add their voice to the discussion would feel if they knew that their attendance was being claimed by the local tea party as being in favor of said organization. I had no idea that all of the residents of Royal Pines were such staunch supporters of your organization.

  148. I imagine the Performing Arts Center will be grand, but the price tag is in the multiple tens of millions (did I hear $40 or $60 million?? not sure). They have a start, but donors still haven’t ponied up for the Pack Square remodel and it will probably be a long while before the Performing Arts Center is built.

    Also, the Performing Arts Center is intended for the shows that make the least money at the Civic Center. Whether we like it or not, the money makers are the Southern Highlands Craft type shows, the RV shows, the gun shows, and etc, which need an arena-type venue, versus a stage. The big arena concerts are money makers too, with many thousands of guests. A 1500 seater won’t work for the Moog Fest, Elton John, the Christmas Jam, the Avett Brothers, Widespread Panic and etc. Those shows have kept the Thomas Wolfe doors open for the more highbrow shows.

    The upfit for the Civic Center now funded by the TDA, the County and the City is, at minimum, going to extend the life of that complex for a couple of decades. SoCon will bring lots of fans and money to downtown, too.

    With the new roof finishecd, we’re now looking at a solar energy installation, a deal where the City will be selling power to Progress Energy (with a substation directly behind the building).

  149. Note: I was mistaken in stating that the County managed the Civic Center at one point. I somehow thought it was involved in the water agreement. Wrong.

    However, my numbers are correct. Current management has substantially reduced the losses while gradually upgrading the buildings.

  150. tatuaje

    I’m curious about the possibility of bed tax increases. I know the county raises quite a bit of money this way (as seen by the recent wayfinding sign debacle), but does the city? If so, what is the feasibility of increasing that revenue?

    I know the argument is that increasing bed taxes can drive away tourist dollars, but that seems unlikely to me. Asheville continually receives more and more attention as a must-see destination. Whether it be from national magazines and newspapers or from the attention garnered by a visit from the POTUS.

    And the average visitor is seemingly in a higher tax bracket than your average tourist. I can’t imagine that having to spend $10-$15 more for a trip to Asheville would keep them away, but could generate the revenue that the city is sorely in need of.

    And, as harsh at it may sound, taxing out-of-towners is surely preferable to taxing locals.

  151. Betty Cloer Wallace

    This thread is essentially about (1) the city needing additional revenue to support the current level of services; (2) whether involuntary annexation is unavoidable in order to do so; and (3) whether there are cost-cutting measures that could delay or prevent the need for involuntary annexation.

    It is easy to envision the role of government in providing and/or regulating services that everybody needs and uses but cannot provide for themselves, such as highways and law enforcement, and perhaps water, sewerage, and energy; and even so, a couple those are debatable depending on where you live.

    But the expectations become more gray when it comes to taxpayer-funded housing, childcare, and entertainment; and extrapolating an argument for these things into the notion that they stimulate the general economy becomes even more murky because of the difficulty in proving who actually benefits and who pays—leading us to the following basic questions for any expectation of government:

    Who wants it? Who needs it? Who uses it?

    What % of taxpayers pays for it? What % of taxpayers does it benefit? What % of people who benefit are non-taxpayers?

    So who is responsible for it? What is the function of government? What is the function of private enterprise? What is the function of individuals?

    My observation about our current civic center is that it can no longer efficiently provide the current or future population with all the functions it has provided in the past as a one-stop shop, the old general store model; and most people now consider it a money pit in spite of recent improvements.

    So, decentralizing and privatizing might be the best solution.

    Private enterprise does tend to fill voids, and if the old civic center were sold, we would begin to see multiple private venues developed that are designed for different functions.

    Private persons would invest in small and large performing arts centers with stages; hotels would begin designing their own convention facilities with arenas to house various product shows; and the general taxpaying population would no longer be saddled with paying for an operation that many taxpayers (perhaps even the majority of taxpayers) neither use nor want.

    Thank you, Councilman Bothwell, for continuing to be so accessible for public discussions.

  152. tatuaje

    This thread is essentially about (1) the city needing additional revenue to support the current level of services; (2) whether involuntary annexation is unavoidable in order to do so; and (3) whether there are cost-cutting measures that could delay or prevent the need for involuntary annexation.

    I think that’s a pretty good summation of not only this thread, but also of the situation at large.

    I think it’s important to note that the city is obviously actively looking to cut costs wherever possible.

    The problem is that there is a discrepancy in what is viewed as a necessary level of services.

    For instance, I’ve always believed public transportation was essential in any urban environment and would never have guessed that others didn’t share this view until engaging in this thread.

    Public transportation has been with us, uninterrupted, at least since the ancient Greeks. I think that turning it over to private enterprise would very quickly make it unaffordable to the very people who rely on it. Which is exactly why tax dollars are used to support it. To my mind, cutting funding for transportation should very simply not be an option. Yet for others, apparently it should be first on the chopping block. But those who call for cutting funding of public transportation probably don’t use it and/or could still afford to if the prices weren’t subsidized.

    And contrary to current sentiments, I don’t believe this is an either/or issue. Sometimes annexation is feasible and necessary, sometimes it is not. A person, especially a politician, doesn’t necessarily have to be always for or against it, or any policy for that matter. My ideal politician would be flexible and make decisions based on current needs and adequate information and not be tied to any particular ideology. I don’t support the forced annexation of Royal Pines, but that doesn’t mean involuntary annexation should always be off the table. Making every issue black & white severely limits available options and needlessly hamstrings our officials.

    Finding the balance is the thankless job of our elected officials. Not only must they take into account those of us privileged enough to sit in front of computers and support our various causes, but they must also take into account those of us whose voices are not heard in public forums such as these. Those of us who depend on public officials to make decisions for the greater good, not for the vocal minority.

    And as far as the Civic Center is concerned, it seems to me that selling it would indeed create a short term surplus, but would necessitate losing a potential revenue earner down the line. If it is shown that it can never make a profit again (and I have read one study that supports this, although the source and their motives are dubious), then perhaps it is best to sell the property. Whatever the choice, I think it important for our officials to continue planning for the future and to avoid getting mired down in short term fixes.

    Finally, I think it would behoove everyone to remember why this conversation started in the first place. A moratorium was enacted tabling the annexation for a year. The people had a problem, our elected officials heard them out, did some research, and decided to become better informed on the issue. The system worked. Blessed be, the friggin’ system worked.

  153. The City gets none of the room tax here (unlike many other cities in NC). It goes directly to the Tourism Development Authority, which decides where to spend the money. In the past the TDA has spent some money well (in regard to the City, and IMHO)- for instance kicking in a big chunk of change for the Azalea soccer fields, and currently kicking in for the Civic Center rehab.

    I still don’t get their expenditure to build the new Chamber of Commerce building, since it is my view that vanishingly few people come to a city to visit a visitors’ center. And their choice of sign makers for the new directional signs was lamentable (but, who knew?).

    Some of us have repeatedly suggested a modest increase in the room tax to go to the City, since we provide infrastructure for so many tourist actions (sidewalks, for one). But the General Assembly hasn’t agreed.

    As for the money pit at the Civic Center, at least we seem to be filling it in instead of digging deeper. Whether a private concern would build an 8,000 person capacity venue is an interesting question. Currently the next largest in town is the Orange Peel with about a 1,000 capacity.

    Eight years ago a full upfit of the current CC was estimated at $75-$120 million, so I’d guess a new facility with similar capacity would have to run in that range. Given the extreme dearth of private investment money at present, and looking at a possible double-dip heading our way in the commercial paper market, I’d bet we are easily five to ten years away from any private capital consideration regarding a replacement venue.

  154. Per transit, it’s worth remembering that it is, among other things, a public benefit extended to small businesses who need affordable employees. Many downtown restaurants, for example, can’t really pay bus persons and dish washers enough for them to afford to own and operate cars, but they need to have their tables bussed and dishes washed. Subsidizing transit is therefore a subsidy for businesses, many of which help attract the tourists who spend money at other businesses, and on and on …

  155. agnes cheek

    Enough whining about Sullivan acts. Yes that is unique to this area, but what isn’t unique is the fact that this is a no home rule state. Why are you not focusing on that? That is where real change will happen.
    Why not force a referendum for a charter amendment to the city? That is allowed by state law. Force it for a home rule municipality, or pass a charter amendment by petition or referendum that bans Asheville from using forced annexation. Voluntary annexation is one thing..but continuing an abusive practice is another entirely.

  156. Tatuaje:

    I don’t think it is of any value to quibble of the definition of a public forum. In my opinion, this comment thread, though public, is not a forum. In any case, it is certainly not a forum such as one conducted in a public (physical) space in which a panel of people on both sides of an issue take questions from people with serious questions.

    Do you honestly think that the city council believes it necessary to annex outlying areas simply because thesy believe in a fundamental principle of annexation?

    Well, Brownie Newman does. You can ask him.

    People who claim to not believe in forced annexation in principle but are supporting it in practice are simply lying to themselves and others. What you practice is what you believe.

    It doesn’t matter how reluctantly they forcibly annex areas. All that means is that they felt pretty about doing something wrong, proving the point that it is wrong. So they are reluctant thieves. Still thieves.

    I have no interest in partisanship whatsoever. I am unaffiliated and hold both major parties in disdain. I do not know where you get this accusation.

    The Tea Party is not asking Bothwell to join us in a public forum? Tim Peck is. They are not one and the same.

    Jane Bilello is the chairman of the Tea Party board. You are welcome to peruse our charter for more information. http://ashevilleteaparty.wordpress.com/about-atp/

    I’m gonna take a stab in the dark though and guess that you never discussed the dispersal of taxes from Raleigh and how that affects the current situation in WNC.

    Inaccurate. We discussed all the pertinent issues with our General Assemblymen.

    The rally that was held before the City Council meeting was not mentioned in the article but is documented in the photos. Photo #1 Tea Party member taking names for our newsletter. Photo #3, Brian Umbarger, founding member of the Asheville Tea Party, setting up sound for the event. Photo #6 me and Betty Jackson, Asheville Tea Party member, addressing the crowd before the sound system was completely hooked up. Photo #9 Tea Party member giving public comment.

    how the citizens who were gathered to add their voice to the discussion would feel if they knew that their attendance was being claimed by the local tea party as being in favor of said organization

    Can you kindly direct me to where I said that?

  157. piffykap

    Erika- If you could figure out a way to differentiate your text from the text of the person you are quoating (quotation marks?) it might make reading your response more practical.

  158. tatuaje

    Once again, thanks for responding in a rational, mature manner. I can’t stress enough how refreshing it is.

    I don’t think it is of any value to quibble of the definition of a public forum. In my opinion, this comment thread, though public, is not a forum. In any case, it is certainly not a forum such as one conducted in a public (physical) space in which a panel of people on both sides of an issue take questions from people with serious questions.

    Is this not a public place where people can meet for discussion? In fact, the accepted term is actually internet forum. Just because it’s not your ideal forum doesn’t mean it’s not one.

    Well, Brownie Newman does. You can ask him.

    Actually, I’d like to. Because you seem to be misrepresenting him here. He was actually quoted as saying that forced annexation is “the toughest issue that we are charged with working on,” but, “I do not think it’s a tenable position for the city to say we are not going to grow.”

    He’s obviously not out to annex simply because he can and hence thinks that he should.

    People who claim to not believe in forced annexation in principle but are supporting it in practice are simply lying to themselves and others. What you practice is what you believe.

    That’s quite a judgment you’re making there. And who, exactly, are you making it against? Esther Manheimer said she does not oppose annexation outright. Both Councilman Newman & Councilman Smith voted to go ahead with the annexation, but both did so with qualms. They both seem to think there is a time and a place for annexation. Not every time, mind you, but they thought that this was one of those times.

    It doesn’t matter how reluctantly they forcibly annex areas. All that means is that they felt pretty about doing something wrong, proving the point that it is wrong. So they are reluctant thieves. Still thieves.

    Wow. See, here’s the problem I’ve had with Tim in the past and I really, really hope that you don’t follow suit with the hyperbole. It’s a bane on your organization, both locally and nationally. How, exactly, are any of the council people thieves? Nobody’s taking anything from anyone. Any valid point that could’ve been made has now been sullied by your insistence on using embellishment.

    I have no interest in partisanship whatsoever. I am unaffiliated and hold both major parties in disdain. I do not know where you get this accusation.

    It comes from the extremely partisan stance that you, and your fellow tea partiers, have taken. It’s wrong if Bothwell or Obama do it, for instance, but it apparently wasn’t wrong when Reagan, Bush I, or Bush II did it. Making that distinction is the epitome of partisan snniping. You must be incensed that the town of Asheville annexed property in 1883 creating the City of Asheville, or that it did so again in 1927. Hell, if you live in the city limits, you more than likely live on formerly annexed land. How do you feel about that?

    The Tea Party is not asking Bothwell to join us in a public forum? Tim Peck is. They are not one and the same.

    Which makes Tim’s request, and subsequent tantrum, even more foolhardy and embarrassing.

    Jane Bilello is the chairman of the Tea Party board. You are welcome to peruse our charter for more information.

    Oh, I looked over your website and your blog. If Jane Billello is the chairman, elected by consensus vote, how is it again that you don’t have elected or appointed offices?

    Inaccurate. We discussed all the pertinent issues with our General Assemblymen.

    Again, I reckon I’ll take your word for it.

    The rally that was held before the City Council meeting was not mentioned in the article but is documented in the photos.

    Can you kindly direct me to where I said that?

    Well, what you said was…

    We were there. We held a rally before the meeting as well. That is the subject of this article…

    You inferred that the rally, and everyone in attendance, was a tea partier when clearly most of these people are residents of Royal Pine and have no affiliation with your organization. You also attempted to infer that the article was clearly about a tea party rally against annexation when it was in fact not. Yes, I have no doubt that members of your organization were in attendance. But to try to co-opt a community’s efforts to fight legislation misrepresents what actually occurred according to the media that was present.

  159. killaure

    It is funny when the sway of public positions change and so now we have conservatives supporting individual rights and liberals defending government…yes, funny! That should say a lot to all of us. There is a fair balance that can be reached, but it will take a Herculean effort on all sides to work together. Change is never easy for anyone.

  160. Piffy!

    It would appear to me that Franzi and Peck have pre-determined that Asheville’s INTENT is annexation by any means (both of their characterization makes it sound like they think Ashville is looking to annex Poland), and appear to refuse to accept the functional reasons behind said annexation. This, to me, appears to be a clear example of a fanatical perspective that refuses to look at reality, but merely wishes to live in some sort of theoretical argument.

  161. I’d also be curious about whether our local Tea Partiers have been the beneficiaries or disbursers of any of that flood of corporate and U.S. Chamber of Commerce funding that is submerging the current political landscape and national/local Tea Parties in particular.

    It’s an old, old story: As soon as you declare one side is the devil (government, in this case) and you are on a moral crusade against it, then the other devil sidles up to you (big business, in this case) and starts pulling your strings. After all, the enemy of my enemy is my friend, yesssssss?

  162. Whoa — I just looked more closely at the photos at the top of this article, and there is my answer in plain view: a sticker on the back of a speaker’s coat that says, “FreedomWorks: No Forced Annexation.” FreedomWorks is a well-known (and well-funded) “astroturf” corporate front group headed by former House majority leader Dick Armey, funded by e.g. Verizon and SBC to attack local cable-franchising agreements, oppose net neutrality, etc. (See http://www.commoncause.org/site/pp.asp?c=dkLNK1MQIwG&b=1497377.) I remember they sent a fancy bus here accompanied by lots of press release not long ago.

    What’s their vested interest in manipulating a local annexation fight? Or should we just pretend to ourselves they are helping stir a tempest in local Tea pots simply out of pure high noble goodness of heart?

  163. “I do not think it’s a tenable position for the city to say we are not going to grow.”

    The city can grow by annexation, without the use of forcible annexation. Further, why is not tenable to say the city is going to grow? This is an excuse proffered by Councilman Newman.

    2. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, exacting taxes without providing equal benefit is theft. I was annexed by the town of Weaverville 3 years ago. We received no services that we weren’t already receiving from the county. Our property taxes increased by 30%.

    3. Can you give me an example of the “extremely partisan stance” the Asheville Tea Party has taken? Was it when we endorsed a Democratic candidate in the Sheriff’s primary? Was it when we declined to endorse the Jeff Miller? Was it when we welcomed Obama to Asheville while the hapless BCGOP protested his vacation? Please elaborate.

    4. Jane Bilello was chosen by our board to take over for me when I began to have troublesome and ongoing health concerns. I am unclear what your point is here.

    5. Well, what you said was…

    We were there. We held a rally before the meeting as well. That is the subject of this article…

    We were there. We did hold a rally before the meeting which we conducted in collaboration with StopWoodfin. The meeting is the subject of this article.

    I in no way implied that every person at the rally was a Tea Partier. That is never the case.

    6. We have received no money from any partisan or corporate interests. Ever. We operate on next to nothing and all of our donations come from private citizens. No money from the Chmaber of Commerce.

    7. I have no idea who brought their own bumper sticker to the rally. Asheville Tea Party is on record having repudiated FreedomWorks (6/17/2010) for just the reason you mentioned. http://snipr.com/1bfrx1 They are an astroturf organization attempting to claim credit for the work of volunteer, grassroots organizations. We reissued our repudiation before they arrived in their fancy bus.

    Funny, now the thread is about the Asheville Tea Party. How does that happen?

  164. Barry Summers

    Agnes wrote:

    Why not force a referendum for a charter amendment to the city? That is allowed by state law. Force it for a home rule municipality…

    Do you have a source for this, Agnes? It’s my understanding that there is no home rule for municipalities in North Carolina, period.

  165. tatuaje

    Once again, thank you for your thoughtful response.

    The city can grow by annexation, without the use of forcible annexation.

    I pretty much agree with this statement. However, there may very well be a situation in the future that would make forcible annexation the only viable alternative. That’s why I disagree with making blanket statements saying that it should never be used. As long as it is legal and the city is handicapped by state legislation, it can, and will, be used.

    Which, again, is why areas that fear involuntary annexation should take matters into their own hands, declare their independence from AVL, and incorporate.

    Further, why is not tenable to say the city is going to grow? This is an excuse proffered by Councilman Newman.

    I believe you completely misread what he was saying. Go back and re-read the quote. He said that it is impossible to say that the city WON’T grow.

    2. In my opinion, and the opinion of many others, exacting taxes without providing equal benefit is theft.

    I’m sorry, that fits no definition of theft that I’ve ever come across. Taxes, by definition, will never pay equal benefit. Some will always benefit more than others. That is the entire raison de etre of taxes.

    I was annexed by the town of Weaverville 3 years ago. We received no services that we weren’t already receiving from the county. Our property taxes increased by 30%.

    And that is a shame. Weaverville would’ve been much better off by incorporating. But no theft occurred. Taxes are raised all the time. Property taxes rise whether an area is forcibly annexed or not. Is that theft, too? If Buncombe Co. raises my property taxes should I be allowed to call them thieves? Is the volunteer fire department who receives a large portion of those ever-increasing taxes thieves?

    And again, how do you feel about the very annexation that created the city you live in? How do you reconcile the past with the present? Was it OK then, when it happened to someone else, but now that it’s happened to you it’s a different story?

    That reminds of people who go nuts over immigration issues, yet forget their family came to this country as immigrants, many of them illegally, at one point or another, in the past. ‘NOW THAT I’M IN SHUT THE GATES!”

    3. Can you give me an example of the “extremely partisan stance” the Asheville Tea Party has taken?

    I was actually speaking to your national organization, as I thought I made clear with my national examples. But you actually make good points with the examples you listed.

    But really? You deserve kudos for welcoming our president to town? Sorry, I don’t give out attaboys for acting civilized. That should be expected behavior.

    Jane Bilello was chosen by our board to take over for me when I began to have troublesome and ongoing health concerns. I am unclear what your point is here.

    My point was to clarify.

    There are no elected or appointed offices in the Tea Party. Tim is a board member as am I.

    You seemed insistent on claiming something that was not true but which could easily be verified by your own website. Confusing.

    We were there. We did hold a rally before the meeting which we conducted in collaboration with StopWoodfin. The meeting is the subject of this article.

    Yes, the meeting was the subject of the article. Once again you implied that the subject of the article not only was the rally, but that you were the driving force behind the rally.

    “We held a rally before the meeting as well. That is the subject of this article, or didn’t you notice?”

    Those are your words. I think my interpretation of them was fair.

    We have received no money from any partisan or corporate interests. Ever. We operate on next to nothing and all of our donations come from private citizens. No money from the Chmaber of Commerce.

    That’s good to hear, but unfortunately most certainly NOT the case with your national organization.

    Now, hopefully we can get back to the matter at hand.

  166. tatuaje

    No need to reply. I’m done. It’s been informative.

    Ah, just now seeing this. Apparently I could’ve saved myself some effort.

    It’s a shame, really. You’re such a refreshing breath of air after Tim. You actually had coherent rebuttals and were able to deliver them in a civil manner. I’m sorry you don’t like being challenged. That’s usually how people grow and strengthen.

    But if you insist on taking your ball and going home there’s nothing I can do to stop you.

    CHEERS!

  167. tatuaje

    Some of us have repeatedly suggested a modest increase in the room tax to go to the City, since we provide infrastructure for so many tourist actions (sidewalks, for one). But the General Assembly hasn’t agreed.

    Is there any way to force their hand? I think getting Keever or Whilden or Nesbitt, if they remain in office, to introduce legislation concerning this matter would be entirely feasible. It seems to me that these monies could go a long way in solving some longterm fiscal problems.

  168. “I think getting Keever or Whilden or Nesbitt, if they remain in office, to introduce legislation concerning this matter would be entirely feasible. It seems to me that these monies could go a long way in solving some longterm fiscal problems. “

    So the various Raleigh controlled issues are problematic for Asheville & WNC. Has there been any research as to why Asheville has an unfavorable water arrangement? Is this the way it is all over the state?

    I know we always hear about the results, but I don’t recall hearing the reasoning things were set up this way.

    Why we are not able to benefit from room taxes? After all tourists use our roads, sidewalks, benefit from the peacful ambiance (enforced by our police), and am sure there are other inequities. Who set things up this way? Who is benefiting?

  169. tatuaje:

    I am not “taking my ball and going home.”

    I am ceasing to monopolize this comment thread. So long as that is clear.

  170. 6. We have received no money from any partisan or corporate interests. …

    7. I have no idea who brought their own bumper sticker to the rally. Asheville Tea Party is on record having repudiated FreedomWorks (6/17/2010) for just the reason you mentioned. http://snipr.com/1bfrx1 They are an astroturf organization attempting to claim credit for the work of volunteer, grassroots organizations. We reissued our repudiation before they arrived in their fancy bus.

    Thanks, Erika, that is good news! Raises my respect level for you all to know you really are local grassroots.

    And also raises the question: Why IS FreedomWorks handing out those stickers? (Maybe the guy got it from the bus.) Why would a megacorporate lobbyist front care about involuntary annexation?

    Maybe they see cities as harder to carve up for things like lucrative cable-TV contracts (one of their big lobbying issues) than counties. That is one thing we’ve seen over and over here in Asheville/Buncombe: The city has been more resistive to being raped by big developers and other such $$$ interests than the county, which till recently couldn’t/wouldn’t even protect its residents from concrete plants being built next door (OK, still can’t, but at least they finally tried to). That’s largely true of cities vs. counties in many places, not just here.

    And that returns us to a deeper issue behind annexation: Higher taxes aren’t the only weight to put in the balance. What about protection for residents from bad contracts, polluting neighbors (cf. CTS), uncontrolled development? At least as an Asheville citizen you have slightly more protection against the power of big $$$ to mess up your life than you do under the rule of Buncombe. (Though you could also go the Mills River route and incorporate yourself for protection, as noted earlier on this thread.)

  171. Jane Q. Public’s reason for withdrawing support of the Republican party, is familiar……. I changed my affiliation to “U” back in the late 90’s….for the same reasons. Both parties are in it for the power, not for principles, statesmanship and leadership.

    Extreme right – extreme left…two sides of the same coin.

  172. Of course, due to the constant barrage of opinion from the right and the corporate media, what is called “the left” in America is approximately where Richard Nixon was in 1968.

    There is no real, effective left in America these days. The putatively “socialist” Obama is somewhere to the right of Nixon.

  173. mule

    [b]No where in that article does it say, or imply, that she worked for the McCain Campaign.[/b]

    Ummm….right; the NYT just happened to be interviewing random residents of Weaverville that day.

    Nice try.

  174. Barry Summers

    There is no real, effective left in America these days. The putatively “socialist” Obama is somewhere to the right of Nixon.

    Absolutely right. Nixon wouldn’t recognize the current Republican Party any more than Goldwater or Eisenhower… Today’s GOP runs people who dress up as Nazis in their spare time and see nothing wrong with it.

    Obama has been a huge bait-and-switch. On so many issues that really matter – the wars, the secret prisons, the spying on Americans, the eroding civil liberties, the financial system, etc etc, he has basically continued down the Bush road, or made changes that are so weak and compromised as to be almost worse than doing nothing (health care). And yet, he’s a ‘socialist’. Right. And I’m Il Duce.

  175. Barry Summers

    And the Tea Party, or as I call them, the New Coke Party, is just another corporate-funded come-along to jimmy the perception of ‘the center’ further and further to the right.

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