Letter: What happened, Asheville?

Graphic by Lori Deaton

Regarding Charlotte Street, Richmond Hill, hotels, etc.: What the hell happened to all the “plans,” all the “visioning,” all the “charettes,” all the community meetings, all the Tree Commission recommendations about saving Asheville’s canopy, all the hours spent by the Preservation Society trying to save our history, all the gatherings of Asheville neighborhood associations to create unique neighborhoods, all the flip chart notes and ideas?

We’ve already lost the goose and the golden egg. Now the City Council is selling what’s left to the highest bidders. Shame on you.

— Leni Sitnick


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21 thoughts on “Letter: What happened, Asheville?

  1. Robert McGee

    Wonderful letter by a great former mayor!

    For those of you who are fed up with the way things are going, you do have a voice. If you’d like to help Stop The Bluffs, please visit the Richmond Hill and River Rescue FB page. There you’ll find links to both our petition and fundraising page.

    If you’d like to let current officials know that you’re watching and expecting them to vote responsibly and stand up for citizens as much as they kowtow to developers and tourists, visit the Town of Woodfin website to find the agenda and Zoom link for our **April 5th hearing (tomorrow, Monday!) at 6:30PM.**

    Finally, contact current mayors of Woodfin and Asheville ASAP (by letter and by phone) to let them know how you feel about having our rivers and forests and access to Richmond Hill Park forever destroyed.

    And remember to vote vote vote!!!

    • Enlightened Enigma

      The Bluffs will be a fantastic project for that part of town and Woodfin! EMBRACE the FUTURE !!!

  2. kw

    I’d also like to know more about the plans to act on yet another outside consultant’s view on employee pay. Unless they’re talking about the bottom of the wage earners at the city of Asheville, which is understandable, there are plenty with high wages paid, not to mention the benefit package is high end. This is something that came up from the meeting the council tried to have in private where the city attorney sounded like someone from the private sector.

    • indy499

      You’ll never see a breakdown of attrition by pay grouping. If it weren’t all in the bottom rungs, they would have said that.

    • NFB

      And this has exactly what to do with the subject matter of this letter? Thread hijack much?

      • kw

        It has exactly everything to do with how city leaders direct this city and spend its funds! Single minded much? I can easily post this in other current stories, too.

  3. Draino

    As Asheville’s operations and quality of life circle the drain, we ponder how much of a raise city employees should get, if $100k is too much to pay to demolish a rock monument, why city council pays for a (“private team building”) facilitator and why the school superintendent spends $90k on a PR firm. Who’s driving Asheville? Anyone? Lol

    • indy499

      Same keystone kop council we’ve had for years, just with different actors.

      • Enlightened Enigma

        NO this NON inclusive all female crew is total ignorance…including ESTHER ! SHE should be ashamed to show her face in AVL !!!

        • bsummers

          Lemme ‘splain this to you gals. “Inclusiveness” is BAD when it means more women on Council. It’s GOOD when it means For Gods Sake Get A Man On Council These Ladies Don’t Know How to Do It Like I Think They Oughtta.

  4. NFB

    What has happened to Asheville is simple. People have decided they want to live here and are thus moving. The highest bidder has always won out. Always has and always will.

    • JustJoe

      Yeah, not really. While people may be moving here, the city could at least operate with efficiency and some awareness of the environment and cost to taxpayers. They could obviously not care any less than they do.

    • R.G.

      Yeah, and did you hear one of the most recent highest bidders (someone connected with The Bluffs) call the Woodfin Board ‘a bunch of scumbags’ on April 5th just because they were doing their jobs and trying to listen to both sides before casting their votes?

      You can probably find it on YouTube. Contact Town of Woodfin with any questions about how to access.

      • Orphie Lovin

        That was Apollo Beach, Florida character, John Warren Holdsworth. He was projecting.

  5. blueridgeguvnor

    My experience with Asheville has been that lots of so called progressives folks talk a good game, and not much else.

  6. Ash


    Thank you for your post. I am one of the few WNC locals. Growing up here, I have seen a real decline in what has made this area special . Mostly by the real estate industry and a lack of regulations. It is sad to see our land raped by developers buying up whole mountains and then subdividing them off. It is sad to see nothing but “Private Property” signage all through the forests. Pretty soon we will be looking at homes instead of mountains. Have you heard the phrase, “loving it to death”? All the greenspaces where I used to walk in the city have now been bought to make yet another “spec” home. The small, once quaint, streets are now clogged due to all the large apartment complexes popping up on every corner. I am for growth but with proper infrastructure and regulation in place. There is a point where growth becomes greed and sadly Asheville has already crossed that line. This issue weighs heavy on my mind every day. I’m ready to do my part and fight for change. Please let me know how I can get involved.

  7. Scotty Bower

    Asheville lost its charm and identity many years ago. Overdevelopment, destruction of history, crime, homeless encampments , panhandlers and open drug use that is supported by a small but vocal group of racial carpetbaggers has made downtown unlivable for families with children and seniors who care about safety and scenic beauty. In fact if you don’t know better you could mistake downtown for parts of Chicago, Detroit or Baltimore.. now that’s losing ones identity.

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