Asheville budget cover

City Council weighs parks, fire spending at budget work session

Offered in response to public demand for greater transparency in the city’s finances, the work sessions allow each governmental department to explain how it uses its portion of more than $180 million in spending. The sessions also provide a forum for Council members to seek information on specific budget items, such as Pack Square Park maintenance.

News briefs: Build a playground­, equal representa­tion urged for Mission successor foundation

In a Sept. 25 open letter, ten local organizations called on the Dogwood Health Trust, which would come into existence to receive the proceeds of the proposed sale of Mission Health to for-profit Healthcare Corporation of America, to ensure proportional representation of women and nonwhites on its board. The signatories also called for all geographic areas served by the trust to be represented.

League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County candidate forum at Leicester Public Library

League of Women Voters cuts short Leicester forum

Four candidates, including three Democrats in contested races, showed up to the event. Their three Republican opponents — Senate incumbent Chuck Edwards, House candidate Marilyn Brown and Commissioner Robert Pressley — didn’t appear. According to League policy, candidates without an opponent present are limited to a two-minute opening statement.

Stephanie Pace Brown at podium

BCTDA shares tourism growth plans at annual meeting

Roughly 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Buncombe County since late 2015 — an increase of approximately 15 percent over that period — with 1,900 still planned. “Since the start of this construction cycle, we’ve been able to fully absorb a pretty enormous supply,” said Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Pace Brown. “We just need to do that over again in the next three or four years.”

Map of Kenilworth and Mission Health

Kenilworth residents renew noise complaint against Mission Hospital

Earlier this summer, Kenilworth residents followed up on a complaint first sent to the city of Asheville in September 2017. They allege that changes Mission has made to address their noise concerns haven’t eliminated the problem — and that the health system wasn’t acting in good faith when it entered into discussions with the community.

News in brief: Legislativ­e wrap-up, teachers honored

In this week’s news in brief, read about the Sunday, Sept. 30, event that promises to help you get more engaged in shaping city government. Learn which Buncombe County teachers won top honors, and check out the initial results of Warren Wilson College’s initiative to offer all eligible incoming North Carolina students four years of tuition-free education.

Tunnel Road corridor map

Council targets Tunnel Road for pilot corridor study

The effort was sparked by the French Broad River Metropolitan Planning Organization, of which Asheville is a dues-paying member. Last fall, the MPO offered the city $157,500 (to be matched with $25,593 in local funds) for a corridor study of its choosing, with the goal of reducing automobile congestion and creating “an alternative to the auto-oriented cycle.”

Updates to police policy up for discussion at Council’s Sept. 25 meeting

Although Chicago-based 21CP Solutions finished its report on Asheville’s response to a police beating scandal in August, the city isn’t done hiring consultants to assess its policing approach. That’s one of the key takeaways from interim City Manager Cathy Ball’s memo discussing action items from the report, to be presented at Asheville City Council’s upcoming regular meeting.