A number of people have decided to run in the Asheville City Council election primary on Oct. 10. This is a good thing. The citizens have a choice among a field of candidates concerned about the well-being of our city. I thank them all for their willingness to serve.
Many of us are seriously concerned about the rapid development presently occurring — how is it affecting our quality of life, our environment, infrastructure, economy? How can this small city incorporate the booming tourist and hospitality industries, the increasing numbers of folks who desire to move here and the interests of those who already live, work and raise families here? How do we create a resilient city that can address the challenges that climate change is bringing and will bring? What role does the city play in protecting the civil liberties and human rights of those who live here?
These questions are only a part of what a committed city councilperson has to address. Cecil Bothwell has served on Council for two terms and would like to serve one more term. He has proven himself to be a sincere, thoughtful, intelligent, visionary and articulate leader. He has tirelessly displayed the courage of his convictions advocating for affordable housing, a living wage, social and economic justice, better public transportation, more public parks and green spaces, and a commitment to consider climate change in every decision he makes personally and as a community leader. Cecil “walks his talk.”
He was the chief advocate for our Big Blue recycling bins, doubling Asheville’s recycling rate, which has resulted in reducing the city’s landfill costs and the landfill’s greenhouse gas emissions.
He thinks that local homeowners should be able to benefit from Asheville’s tourist economy if they so choose through short-term rental of accessory dwelling units in their attics and basements. After all, the desirability of Asheville as a tourist and retirement town has raised property values, thus raising property taxes, and this is one way those who live here can afford to stay here.
I have often contacted Cecil with my questions or concerns about the city, and I always received a polite and thoughtful reply. Cecil is accessible to the citizens and visible in our community, not only as a councilperson but as a volunteer. I am grateful to him that he wishes to serve another term.
Check out www.cecilbothwell.com.
— Anne Craig