[Regarding Asheville Watchdog’s “Down Town” series, Feb. 27-June 1 (avl.mx/crk), with condensed versions republished in Xpress:]
Want to hear something funny? Asheville City Council members are operating under the illusion they are leaders. Ninety percent of leadership can be summarized in four main qualities, which are: being supportive; operating with a strong results orientation; seeking different perspectives; and solving problems effectively.
They are incapable of actual leadership, and worse, they lack the courage to actually be a leader. At best, they are policymakers, very often playing the role of people who work in human resources or accounting. Budgeting different departments and pay for city employees. This is part of their duties.
Aside from administrative tasks, they are incapable or lack the courage to tackle actual problems that affect those who live in or visit Asheville. They make few decisions, other than hire outside consulting firms for possible insight when looking for a solution. If the recommended solution doesn’t sit well with them, wait a while and hire another consulting firm with the hope its solution is more palatable.
Once a solution that fits their vision is found, at taxpayer expense, they may still have to hire yet another consulting firm for the “how-to” to actually implement the plan.
With Asheville’s form of government, a critical person in the leadership food chain is actually the city manager, hired, of course, by Council. The current city manager, who acknowledges she is an introvert, can’t lead. She may be an outstanding administrator but clearly is not a leader or implementer.
So, we have bike lanes that are seldom used but horrible traffic. You have to be very alert if you are downtown, either that you don’t step in human waste on the sidewalk or to be alert for the aggressive panhandler waiting to harass you for money, if not demanding or threatening.
Asheville is an awesome beer destination, and there are some great breweries downtown. I don’t recommend them to visitors, solely because downtown is a cesspool of homeless and drug addicts, and there are plenty of equally good breweries outside the downtown. And somewhere, the leadership decided that removing a significant number of on-street parking spots, forcing people into predatory private lots, was a good move?
If you are happy with the status quo, then reelect these failed leaders, but if you don’t want aggressive panhandlers in your face, human waste on your shoe or to be able to have pride in Asheville, vote them out and demand those elected replace the city manager with an actual leader.
— Miles Bosworth