Graphic by Scott Southwick and Able Allen

Is WNC fairly represente­d on state boards and commission­s?

“We’re certainly not overrepresented,” says Republican Rep. Chuck McGrady, who’s in his fourth term representing Henderson County in Raleigh. In fact, depending on how you break down the numbers, you could say that Western North Carolina falls a little short of genuinely proportional representation on state boards and commissions, according to data obtained from the […]

Seal_of_Asheville,_North_Carolina

Asheville City Council to vote on budget

Asheville City Council will vote on the city’s 2017-18 budget for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. New pedestrian safety measures for Fairview Road, an affordable housing development on city-owned land and a strategy aimed at allowing Asheville residents to control the method used for electing representatives to City Council are also on the agenda for the Tuesday, June 13 meeting.

Current Buncombe County Board of Commissioners (2017).

Buncombe Commission­ers appoint new county manager

Press release from Buncombe County Government: Asheville, NC At their June 9 special meeting, the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners named current Assistant County Manager/Health & Human Services Director Mandy Stone as the new County Manager to be effective July 1. Ms. Stone succeeds Wanda Greene who announced her intent to retire after 20 years […]

BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER: While community members largely spoke out in favor of Alternative 4B for Section B of the I-26 Connector Project, several aspects of NCDOT’s design, such as the three bridges that would span the French Broad River near Montford (above), have a coalition of Montford neighbors and others questioning the scale and scope of the design. Image via NCDOT; courtesy of DWAC

Despite progress, concerns about the I-26 Connector persist

When the DOT finally decided on a design for Section B of the Connector project in 2015, many stakeholders thought they saw light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other residents, however, see serious flaws in Alternative 4B, questioning whether the project’s long-term benefits will justify the sacrifices their neighborhoods must make to see it completed.

BUDGET FINALIZED: The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners approved a budget during its meeting June 21. The spending plan includes a property tax hike of 2.6 cents per $100 of assessed property value.

Schools may be key to property tax relief

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners held a nearly five-hour budget workshop May 16, a forum dedicated to presentations and requests from county departments. However, talks also showed a possible path toward nudging closer to a revenue-neutral property tax rate. A taxing issue County Manager Wanda Greene’s proposed budget for next fiscal year is $419,289,728, […]

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. Photo by Max Cooper

Mayor Manheimer, Asheville citizens call for fair redistrict­ing

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer held a press conference Thursday, May 11, to highlight House Bill 200, which seeks to end gerrymandering on a statewide level. Asheville residents affiliated with Common Cause NC, a nonprofit organization based out of Raleigh, also spoke against gerrymandering within congressional districts and the need to support the proposed legislation.

Chuck Edwards, Republican, NC Senate District 48. Photo courtesy of Edwards

Lines in the sand: Fight brews over Asheville districts

Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville explains some of the considerations that led him to introduce a bill that would compel Asheville to institute district elections for seats on its City Council. And Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer lays out the reasons the city plans to follow a “parallel process” that may include a referendum on the issue, despite Raleigh’s insistence that the city knuckle under by Nov. 1.