Letter: Commissioners’ delay offers jarring juxtaposition

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Twenty-plus people opposing the Pratt & Whitney plant called into the Nov. 17 Buncombe County Board of Commissioners’ meeting, but commissioners voted for it quickly with little discussion. PW’s plants produce components for weapons-delivery systems that maim, kill; lay off workers in other states to build in right-to-work states (no unions); pollute, leaving contaminated sites when they close. Commissioners seemingly disregarded this.

Per local media, seven people opposing the Buncombe County ban on discrimination based on gender identity, race and other factors called into the April 6 board meeting. They opposed protections for members of our community who are continually persecuted, even though, as reported, callers to previous meetings supported these protections. Some callers requested a vote delay. Some religious leaders claimed the ordinance was coming at “warp speed,” that no one had contacted them. The commissioners delayed the vote.

My point here is the great divide between how the commissioners rolled out the welcome mat for PW, with virtually no regard for the opposition, yet postponed the protection ordinance vote that has far less opposition.

However, I would be remiss if I didn’t address the need for this ordinance. N.C. Senate Bill 514, being considered now, bars medical doctors from treating transgender youths for transition. Buncombe County would join six other North Carolina jurisdictions that have provided local protection for this population as the state assembly tries to strip them of this right. (Arkansas’ governor vetoed a similar bill, but the Arkansas general assembly overrode the veto, making it the first state to prohibit physicians from providing gender-affirming treatment for trans people under 18.)

Asheville city leaders have allowed our hometown to become a tourist’s “Hotelville,” while residents struggle to find affordable housing. Buncombe County leaders are driving us to become another cog of the military-industrial-congressional complex while postponing an ordinance that could be lifesaving for some members of our community.

These are not the leaders I thought I voted for.

— Cynthia Heil


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4 thoughts on “Letter: Commissioners’ delay offers jarring juxtaposition

  1. KW

    Indeed! It should be noted that Asheville officials also voted to name a greenway after Wilma Dykeman, but they stand idly by while Florida developers who do not care about our area move forward with plans to wipe out a pristine forest beside the beloved French Broad River that Wilma Dykeman wrote so much about. We know that most council members ignore our letters, but have our elected officials ever bothered to read a book by Wilma Dykeman?

  2. Local Grandad

    The writer is upset with county leadership for supporting support job growth in the midst of a housing crisis? The writer is upset her politics weren’t more important than the kind of jobs, wages, benefits, healthcare and education that will lift residents and families out of working poverty and into economic security and even home ownership? That’s the juxtaposition. I applaud both recent actions of our commissioners to promote job growth and non discrimination. Sounds like progress.

  3. Enlightened Enigma

    Cynthia…you will learn just how heinous the local democrackkk ‘leadership’ really is, but you see, in the city that is all there is…evil democrackkks…it’s shameful, their actions.

    like they tell me, move if you don’t like it…it’s an effed up place run by evil…

  4. indy499

    Who cares what 20 people out of 260,000 choose to call in on some issue. Not really interested in what .008% of county residents think. It’s called a representative deomcracy for a reason.

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