Council member, Democratic chair rally opposition to Moffitt’s water system bill

In response to word that Rep. Tim Moffitt‘s proposed legislation to seize the city’s water system will goes to committee tomorrow, May 26, Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith and the Chair of the Buncombe Democratic party are trying to rally opposition to the bill’s progress.

Earlier today, Smith posted a statement on the Scrutiny Hooligans political blog:

“On Thursday, May 26 the House Committee on Government is scheduled to take the bill (HB 925) up as it was written. There have been no discussions, no studies, no outreach to stakeholders, yet it is moving ahead. The City is responding.”

Smith then prints draft language from a city statement declaring Council unanimously against the proposed legislation, which Moffitt earlier said was “designed to drive the discussion.”

Smith’s statement was quickly followed by another from Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Emmet Carney:

“I am shocked and appalled to write that Tim Moffitt has moved his bill to give the city’s water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District to tomorrow, Thursday the 26th.  This is particularly galling since he claimed to have introduced the bill to ‘drive the discussion.’”

— David Forbes, senior news reporter


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12 thoughts on “Council member, Democratic chair rally opposition to Moffitt’s water system bill

  1. sharpleycladd

    I think the sensible, small government solution would be to seize the acreage at the two reservoirs, turn them over to the Koch brothers, subdivide the land and build million-dollar condos, then charge city residents for bottled water trucked in from Mobile, Alabama.

  2. bill smith

    [b]Does Smith favor big government or not?[/b]

    Do you honestly think that is a concern for them either way?

    That’s YOUR hobby horse, not everyone’s.

  3. artart

    Interesting how the reporter uses the words “seize the water system” when talking about potential legislation, yet I have never seen that term used when Asheville Council votes to “seize” funds or property (annexation) or rights from taxpayers. Is there an Xpress reporting bias that says when Asheville “seizes” something it is not really seizing, but when something is taken from Asheville, it is being “seized?”

  4. sharpleycladd

    Okay, guys, here’s the plan: We steal the asset that produces roughly a third of the City’s budget, which makes it impossible for the city to operate. We’ve been trying to starve the city for years with Sullivan and sales tax skimming, but this is a neutron bomb.

    The city goes broke. We ride to the rescue. Boom, unified city/county government. We jack up property taxes 10% countywide – those yokels will never know what hit em. Then we sell the water system off to our friends and rake in the kickbacks.

    Then, we repeal all the zoning laws and surround Tim Peck’s house with asphalt plants and titty bars.

  5. Barry Summers

    Oh, bother. Sometimes the internet is more trouble than it is worth.


    No, you’re right. Hey XPress! Why does your comment program screw up URLs? Happened to me the other day too. Didn’t use to do that. Oh, maybe they’ve disabled the image capability. Only so much digital ink to go around…

  6. sharpleycladd

    I exchanged e-mails with Mr. Moffitt, and am plowing through water- and Sullivan-related history and pre-history. The crash of ’29 precipitated county guarantee of a lot of water authority debt, with concomitant buy-in as “co-owners” of the system. By the terms of the Acts, ratepayers are owners, and the city can’t charge different rates outside corporate limits.

    So I gather, anyway.

    The composition and control of the board and staff of the water system is largely still in the hands of the City, but everybody who lives in Buncombe and Henderson but not in Asheville hates our guts, apparently.

    One thing I’m not finding a satisfactory answer to is the two reservoirs: the city bought the land, built and maintained the dams, and essentially “made water,” the same way Mr. Moffitt is trying to “make water” on us. I’ll keep reading, but I have yet to see a real, legal description of the water system that includes the reservoirs.

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