During a debate organized by the Council of Independent Business Owners on Oct. 5, candidates vying for seats on the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners talked school safety, affordable housing and how the county should respond to the fallout from the Wanda Greene investigation.
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.
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.
Commissioners quibbled over extra money for early voting sites in Buncombe County during their meeting on Oct. 2. They also delayed a decision on cuts to certain employee benefits.
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.
In the final months of 1922, news spread that E.W. Grove had plans to raze the original Battery Park Hotel and demolish the hill it stood atop. Not everyone was on board with the plan.
As part of an effort to bridge a possible budget gap in FY 2020, commissioners could decide Tuesday, Oct. 2, to replace the three health care plans it offers to employees with two new options.
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.”
Hotelier John McKibbon predicts the massive 18-story project, which is filling the empty shell of the former BB&T building on Pack Square, will be complete by the end of March next year.
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.
No matter one’s political affiliation, it is difficult to deny that recent politicking at the national level has departed from traditional norms. Based on the Sept. 26 League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County candidate forum at the West Asheville Library, local races are sharing in that unconventionality as well.
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.
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.”
The goal looks the same for everyone involved: an equitable, resilient system where all community members have access to plenty of nutritious, fresh food.
Unto These Hills debuted July 1, 1950, at the newly constructed Mountainside Theatre in Cherokee. Anticipation for the production was apparent throughout the spring and summer leading up to opening night.
Xpress takes a look at some of the steps elected officials and top staff have taken to guard against future corruption and what policies the Board of Commissioners plans to address in the immediate future.
Those yearning for a thorough version of this classic will find it here. The cast rises to the emotional challenge and reminds us how wild and untamed Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof can be.
The ninth annual Rooted in the Mountains Symposium will integrate many different disciplines as well as native and Western approaches in its exploration of women’s health and heart health Thursday, Sept. 27, and Friday, Sept. 28, at Western Carolina University.
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.