The mayor pitches from Esther Manheimer and Kim Roney should lead voters to conclude Esther is the best choice on the ballot for mayor. But neither has a sufficiently functional public safety and public health strategy.
I was the one on the 2022 primary ballot to come up with the Asheville-Buncombe Public Safety Action Plan and WNC Counter IMF (Illegally Manufactured Fentanyl) Task Force ideas. Also, I was one of the few people on the primary ballot not already on Council to have participated in a multitude of Public Safety Committee meetings.
Public safety and public health have correlation around IMF. Whether locally, statewide, nationally and even globally, there needs to be a fresh stance against issues like IMF. With the city manager on board, the mayor of Asheville must lead those difficult policy directions as part of the WNC Counter IMF Task Force within the PSAP — a task force which unfortunately does not yet exist.
It can seem Asheville public safety is hopelessly in free fall. At the Buncombe County government level, the Citizen Times story “What Will Buncombe Do With $2.25M in Federal Grants to Help Victims, Reduce Crime?” reveals one chunk of the larger strategy performance picture. More resources without strategy that apprehends the true nature of the challenge won’t get the public safety and public health job done — whether it’s IMF or related solutions like America’s TBD National Health Service.
Let’s all surface the truth.
— Grant Millin