Moffitt: Council’s proposed referendum on water system “serves no purpose”

Yesterday, July 31, Asheville City Council members asked staff to write a referendum that lets residents vote on a possible transfer of the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County. But according to Buncombe County Rep. Tim Moffitt, who chaired a state legislative study commission on the matter, he does not need a referendum to know the where folks in the City of Asheville stand on this issue.

“City Council has made [its] viewpoint public knowledge regarding this issue. The citizens of Asheville made their viewpoint, in a very clear way,” Moffitt says. “They want to retain control of the region’s water source and also want to repeal the Sullivan Acts. That was made very clear,” he continues, adding, “But the referendum itself just allows the city of Asheville to use taxpayer money in a political way to take issue with this entire matter. It serves no purpose.”

Moffitt referenced the various concerns he heard at the Feb. 21 public hearing at the WNC Agricultural Center. At that hearing, in a segment set aside for hearing from city residents, he estimated about 85 percent of them wanted to keep the water system. Using the hearing as an example, Moffitt says the referendum will only be more of the same. “I think the referendum will only confirm what we already know. To me, I don’t’ think it’s a wise use of tax dollars to arrive at a conclusion that’s already been well-stated by their elected representatives on City Council,” he said.

Recently, the state legislature passed a bill allowing MSD to operate a water system. Though Council asked Gov. Bev Perdue to veto it, she declined to either veto or sign the bill, setting the stage for it to become law.



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6 thoughts on “Moffitt: Council’s proposed referendum on water system “serves no purpose”

  1. bsummers

    “serves no purpose”

    Yet there it is, in State law, enacted in a bill that Tim Moffitt himself voted for. Cities have the right to call a referendum on the transfer of a water system.

    Tim simply doesn’t want his own constituents to have the right to cast their votes on issues that are important to them, unless he is assured of winning.

    I’m sorry it’s going to be embarrassing for Tim, especially during an election, to have to defend his seizure of Asheville’s water. (Especially when it becomes clear that MSD is going to immediately raise their rates.) But that’s the territory…

  2. Meiling Dai

    Any referendum on whether or not the city’s water system should be merged with the Buncombe MSD will not occur this year. According to the Buncombe County Board of Elections, it’s too late to get it on the November ballot. If enacted, this referendum vote will take place sometime in 2013. Please note that only city registered voters can vote on this referendum; county voters are excluded. And yet, the city’s water system serves more county residents than people in the city.

  3. Curious

    Why is Representative Moffitt always pictured with the kind of five o’clock shadow/ stubble that movie actors (and Yassir Arafat) used to wear? Is this a fashion statement on his part? Are editors reusing an old photo to make Mr. Moffitt seem scruffy? Is this the way Mr. Moffitt appears in person all the time?

    • bsummers

      When I’ve been close to Representative Moffitt, I’ve noticed that he very carefully trims that 5 o’clock shadow.

      I wonder if he has one of those Don Johnson razors?

  4. Meiling Dai

    Adding two more commissioners to the Buncombe County Commission will NOT add new costs. The Commissioners will decide how to adjust the budget and who will take the hit resulting in a possible lowering of their salaries? And according to the Buncombe County Board of Elections, it is too late to put a proposed referendum regarding the water issue
    on the November ballot. If it goes forward, this referendum will take place sometime in 2013.
    This referendum will only apply to
    city voters. And yet the majority
    of Asheville’s water customers live in the county.
    Go figure.

  5. bsummers

    “And yet the majority of Asheville’s water customers live in the county. Go figure.”

    According to the COA water dept, this is false.

    Approx. 53,200 COA water customers live in the city, 20,600 live outside. page 17

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