The Sept. 26 Mountain Xpress has an article about leaf pickup and recycling, which states that Hendersonville “employs bagless collection, where citizens simply pile loose leaves curbside for pickup” [“Raking It In: Fallen Leaves Offer Great Garden Benefits”]. Wow —what a nice thing to do for its taxpaying residents. Oh wait, those of us paying outrageous Asheville city taxes used to have that. After City Council decided the trucks were too expensive, they gave us free bags we could pick up at fire stations to bag our own leaves, but that, too, was a benefit I guess deemed too costly and discontinued.
This year, we get a new downtown police unit for about $1 million, which will, among other things, satisfy the hoteliers and tourists to make sure they are happy and safe while we get continued tax increases and bond payments along with less services. Where is the entity that has driven the increased temporary population and wear and tear of downtown? Oh, the TDA is spending almost $6 million to further advertise Asheville, which for those of us who have given up trying to enjoy downtown due to its overcrowding, seems like overkill. I am aware that their mission is to promote Asheville, but granting the city money to police/repair downtown among other things does not seem to be a bad idea, even though it is wishful thinking.
I really wish Council would adjust their priorities and think of us who pay extra fees for our vehicles ($30), dog licenses ($10), chicken registration ($25) and so much more — the 2018 Fees and Charges Manual is over 120 pages and is an interesting read. Yes, I am whining and have to accept the changes that have taken place over the 25 years I have lived here, but I would really appreciate a bit more bang for my buck. If we residents/taxpayers have to do more with less, then perhaps (and this is speculation) the city could reduce its ever-expanding budget and have the staff do what we are doing.
— Larry Layton