[Sen.] Terry Van Duyn … proposed a “compromise” with [Sen.] Chuck Edwards regarding the districting of Asheville City Council. Seventy-five percent of city residents voted not to district our Council seats. Isn’t government in a free society dependent upon the assent of the governed?
Ms. Van Duyn’s “compromise” is not just hollow, it’s completely empty! A jot instead of a tittle is not a compromise. Van Duyn’s “compromise” represents to me a knuckling-under of an elected official that was sent to Raleigh with a specific mandate to represent and protect her constituents. Van Duyn was not sent to Raleigh with a mandate to “join ’em if you can’t beat ’em”!!!
Our “conservative” legislature has repeatedly seen defeat in litigation in the courts of our land regarding flawed and illegal legislation. I find it appalling that Ms. Van Duyn thinks it wiser to engage a senator that isn’t even from Buncombe County, much less Asheville, to support legislation that isn’t favored by the citizens of our city. Mr. Edwards lacks the vision, understanding and intellect to impose his views on anybody else.
That Ms. Van Duyn views this “compromise” as beneficial, rather than simply remaining in opposition to a measure that her city has rejected at the polling booth is an abrogation of her position. This measure is not government by assent, it is not democratic, and I seriously believe it to be an illegal attempt to oppress a city full of citizens because the author simply views himself in an artificially illuminated light.
I’m with Mayor [Esther] Manheimer; bring litigation if this ridiculous and voter-rejected mandate is forced upon us!! At least Esther Manheimer understands her constituency. Ms. Van Duyn seems to have, very sadly, forgotten her constituency and where she’s from. Ms. Van Duyn contradicts herself in her stated position on her very own website, which seems not to have been updated since shortly after her election.
This I do know: I will not cast another vote for Terry Van Duyn. It seems obvious to me that she simply is not capable of doing the job she’s been elected to do.
I wouldn’t have written this letter had Ms. Van Duyn not defended her position to me personally via email. She places herself in direct contradiction to the voters who elected her.
What a shame.
— Bill Grindstaff
Editor’s note: Xpress contacted Sen. Van Duyn for a response to a summary of the letter writer’s points and received the following reply: “If there was any way I could have stopped the districting of Asheville’s city elections I would have. I simply did not have the votes.
“Sen. Edwards, on the other hand, had all the votes he needed to implement the original six-district map. He modified that plan, drawing five districts and one at-large seat, a change that allows all existing City Council members to run for re-election.
“With the input of the mayor and several City Council members, I requested an amendment to move the elections to even years, where increased turnout should result in elections that more fully represent the people of Asheville.
“My vote acknowledges Sen. Edwards’ willingness to accept input from the city, and will hopefully help get this issue behind us.”