Letter: Vote Bothwell

Graphic by Lori Deaton

If you want to make downtown’s grating, gravel Pit of Despair into a pinnacle of pastoral park pleasure, vote for Cecil Bothwell for Asheville City [Council]. If you want a counselor with the courage of their convictions and more — leading the dangerous charge to convict a corrupt Buncombe County sheriff, standing up to the inquisitional fundamentalists of Western North Carolina by refusing to swear on the Bible — vote Bothwell.

If you want a philosopher-king counselor who has written 10 insightful books, who paints landscape masterpieces with one hand while spinning out lyrical guitar songs with the other and who can poetry slam dunk with the best, vote Bothwell.

If you want a counselor who has helped replace all city streetlights with economical and environmental LEDs, certify the city as a living-wage employer and secure Asheville an affordable-housing subsidy program that stresses energy efficiency, vote Bothwell.

That is — vote Bothwell.

— Bill Branyon


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19 thoughts on “Letter: Vote Bothwell

  1. SpareChange

    Are we really sure Mr. Bothwell advocates atheism? Because I haven’t heard so many “Hosannas” since the last time I listened to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” If this were an endorsement of any mere mortal it would simply be dismissed as so unctuous as to be embarrassing — but in this case we’ll just consider it the beatification preceding the full and formal canonization of St. Cecil of Bothwell.

  2. Mike

    As a conservative myself, when Cecil first joined the council he seemed to me to be the looniest leftist of the bunch. Now he often seems to be the only reasonable member of the council.. I’m not sure whether Cecil changed or the rest of the council did.

  3. gjb

    Was it not Bothwell, who without notifying the citizens of Asheville, made us a sanctuary city? Which is not to say I want a border wall or want to turn away anyone who comes to this country legally but I want to know and have input into the decisions that are being made by those elected by us. I also do not like his idea on making downtown bicycle friendly only (no cars). I am an independent with leanings to the left but his ideas are just TOO LIBERAL for me and the decisions of this city council is turning our city into a high-priced vacation land for the rich while those of us who have lived here all our lives are being pushed out because we can no longer afford to live here. He and his city council companions keep spending and allowing all these hotels, beer companies (DUI’s have tripled the last few years) to flourish while the average taxpayers can’t make ends meet. I have not and do not like the direction city council has been leading us and I say a big ‘NO” to Bothwell and the others liberal extremist on this council. So Bill, I don’t want someone who can paint and sing and do all those artistic things. I want someone who will makes decisions on everyday life for ALL the citizens of Asheville and not just a select few.

    • cecil bothwell

      gib, you’re off base on a few matters here.
      Asheville is NOT a sanctuary city, though yes I advocated for that between 2009 and 2013 when Council unanimously passed my Civil Liberties Resolution which instructed City employees to not discriminate on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identification, place of national origin and etc. Basically I was able to get Council to endorse the Bill of Rights.
      I have never advocated “no cars” in the City, but I have noted that the pending autonomous revolution is going to radically shift our automotive habits. Industry experts now predict an 80-90 percent drop in personal car ownership by 2030. This is not my opinion, it is the opinion of people closely attuned to our transportation future.
      Council has done NOTHING to allow hotels, other than approving the remodeling of the BB&T building. None of the hotels currently under construction were approved by Council (they were all allowed by the Planning & Zoning Board.)
      Beer companies have not been “approved” by Council. They are mostly local startups benefiting from our exceptionally clean water.
      And gib, please tell me how anything I have voted for on Council has benefited a “select few.”
      I have been the most populist member of Council for close to 8 years. I think you have me confused with Carl Mumpower.

      • Lulz

        But Brother Bothwell, if we are for allowing illegals in who get generous benefits while others have to struggle, who are you for? See Brother Bothwell, the power of taxes has the ability to destroy if left unchecked. And you’re doing a damn fine job of destroying Asheville where only the rich can thrive. But you have to actually get out and have the balls to accept critical opinions and accept that you have played a huge part in it. But you won’t dare do that. Hell, you don’t even know the people in the city. Neither do the other goons on council. Especially Smith who is so full of it as to take a pic in Greenlife of all places and talk about food insecurity. Maybe he should step into Sav-Mor but I highly doubt he’d feel comfortable with the working class, immigrants, and poor that shop there. Probably couldn’t stand the smell. The smell of money that is.

        No one has you confused with Mumpower bud. But you have yourself confused with actual progress. And you damn sure don’t have any ability to think for yourself. You have been by far the biggest virtue signaler on council. OWS, Antifa, statue destruction, illegals, you name it and if the left popularizes it you are all for it. You have no opinions but of what others put forth.

        • Lulz

          Oh and I hear Pelosi has denounced Antifa so I guess that you will also. Group think and the lack of any critical rationalizing is rapidly becoming the hallmark of democrats. This letter is proof of that. It totally lacks any substance and merely emotes feelings. Well this guy is obviously rich because he cares nothing about the increasingly obscene cost of living here. But neither do you.

        • cecil bothwell

          Yo Lulz, who said anything about allowing illegals to get generous benefits. As a point of fact, over the years the undocumented work force has paid multiple millions in taxes and SS without any hope of getting benefits. (Before the upgrade of computer tracking it was easy to fake a SS# each season – so payroll deductions were made by employers and sent into the system. Those SS payments benefited every “legal” recipient of SS and Medicare.)

          My goal with the Civil Liberties Resolution was to impress on City employees that we need to treat everyone equally and fairly under the law.
          When I initially hoped for Sanctuary status it was in accord with the National Police Chief’s organization which does not want to be saddled with immigration enforcement. Their reasoning is that if immigrant communities are afraid of the local police they won’t report crimes. So it wasn’t exactly some wild-eyed liberal position to support the police chiefs.

          Meanwhile I take exception to a whole lot that Pelosi supports. Donations from PACs for example. And I hardly march in lock step with the DNC.

      • Big Al

        You really believe that in a mere 13 years, 8 or 9 of every 10 car owners will stop driving?

        That is beyond delusional.

        • luther blissett

          I’m with Big Al here.

          “it is the opinion of people closely attuned to our transportation future.”

          Well, it’s the opinion of people who are betting the house on technology that currently can’t accommodate children, seniors or people with special accessibility needs — groups that supposedly are the greatest beneficiaries — and has difficulty “proceeding confidently and reliably like a human driver within the endless variation of normal traffic.”


          The danger of buying into the glorious robot car near-future is that as time ticks on and some difficult problems remain intractable, political leaders will be lobbied to remodel cities and restrict traffic in radical ways (at public expense) to make those problems go away by brute force.

          I’m fine with caution on building new parking lots, and with incremental spending on multimodal transportation. I do worry that Mr Bothwell’s uncritical embrace of the rosiest projections of the robot car brigade might make him susceptible to the 21st-century equivalent of the Springfield Monorail.

          • bsummers

            Shut up, you. You want all the robot cars to go to Shelbyville?

          • NFB

            We can’t bust heads like we used to. But we have our ways. One trick is to tell stories that don’t go anywhere. Like the time I caught the ferry to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for m’shoe. So I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. “Gimme five bees for a quarter,” you’d say. Now where were we… oh yeah. The important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. I didn’t have any white onions, because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…

        • cecil bothwell

          Big Al, automotive experts believe that using a ride-hailing autonomous system will cost 1/10th that of owning a car (think driverless Uber), and many predict an 80 percent or more reduction in car ownership by 2030. A transportation consultant told Council a couple of months ago “think three times before you build another parking deck, you don’t want to be the entity that built the last deck.” The CEOs of Ford and GM are projecting rollout of fully autonomous cars in 2021, and Teslas are a software upgrade away from full self-driving capability. None of these are my ideas, I’m just following the news.

  4. Deplorable Infidel

    Will Bothwell become PRO active FOR the taxpayers by finally demanding city oversight of, and accountability from the Housing Authority of Asheville ?

    Does he support demanding the resignations of Gene Bell and David Nash for ZERO leadership abilities ?

    Does he support demanding that the housing authority fund and provide their OWN 24/7 police force at all sizeable ‘communities’ ?

    What will Bothwell DO to affect positive change from the housing authority TO the taxpayers ?

  5. Roger

    The most “populist”? Really?! The “most this”…the “most that”…? I think of Cecil Bothwell as the most self-absorbed, the most sanctimonious, the most expert of all at crafting a “perfect” statement meant to mislead the reader into thinking that it was he who in 2005 first advocated for opposition to the monstrous parking deck that threatened the health, security and safety of the residents at Battery Park Senior Apartments; that it was he who originated the idea for a civic plaza and public park instead of a parking deck at the Basilica of St. Lawrence; that it was he who wrote the petition to Save Battle Square from an inappropriate and expensive parking garage that would have destroyed the historic character of the area; that it was he who collected thousands and thousands of petition signatures to defeat the misguided plan. None of it is true, folks. He has never found it in his holier-than-thou consciousness to acknowledge those “low-income” seniors who collected 3,500 signatures; nor has he provided the written statement he was asked to produce that he accepted the binder of 3,500 petitions signatures he was entrusted with presenting to City Council on behalf of the seniors at Battery Park Apartments; or even thoughtful enough to ever mention the Residents’ Committee that achieved those results. The members of the 2017 Committee at Battery Park Senior Apartments find Cecil Bothwell to be so expert at misleading the public about who he really is that he exemplifies the perfect character of the what the American People have come to think of as “a politician.” It was a member of the Basilica Church who admonished Bothwell in 2016 for duping “every one of us,” and it was his comments that reflect our own sentiments toward the councilman. It was that letter writer to Mountain Xpress of October 2, 2016 (“Candidates should renounce St. Lawrence Green associations”) who accused Bothwell of using the political action committee “as a proxy” for doing what he ultimately did to dishonor the achievement of our 2005 Committee: “St. Lawrence Green has used the image of my church as a colorful, wistful backdrop to leverage political attacks, channeling what was a nobel and worthy pursuit into the gutter of what on the surface is cutthroat politics….stripping the credibility from its original populist crusade.” Now he is using the issue as his chief reason in running for reelection. His issues, some of them, are right-minded, but his character is flawed.

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