Letter writer: Bond proposals would speed up city improvements

Graphic by Lori Deaton

I’m voting yes for all three bond proposals in the upcoming election.The proposed bond spending includes improvements to transportation networks (including roads, bike paths and greenways), recreation infrastructure and affordable housing projects within city limits. For some people, this referendum seems to have come out of nowhere. However, these proposed projects aren’t new. For years, they’ve been discussed and vetted by the community and planning professionals.

The city of Asheville has gone to great lengths to gather community input in its planning processes. On the Vote Yes campaign website are references to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Asheville in Motion mobility plan, Transit Master Plan, 2013 Greenway Master Plan Updates, and 2015 Housing Needs Assessment and Market Study, among others.

Each plan mentions community, neighborhood and key stakeholder meetings, as well as surveys and focus groups where residents voiced opinions. These projects have broad public support. It’s clear that residents want a better quality of life and feel these improvements are all community priorities.

The $74 million in bonds means that these projects would be completed within the next five to seven years, a timeline well ahead of how much time it would take­ individual projects without a new source of funding. The costs would be covered with an estimated 4.15-cent increase in annual property taxes. That is, an additional $110 a year, or $9 per month, for a home valued at $275,000. As an owner of residential and commercial real estate, I’d be willing to take on my share of these small increases because of the positive impact these projects would have on our community.

So the question is not whether or not residents want these projects. Rather, it’s if they’re willing to put money and votes behind accelerating these vital community improvements!

— Justin Belleme
Asheville

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38 thoughts on “Letter writer: Bond proposals would speed up city improvements

  1. Lulz

    LOL, great lengths? Who did they poll again? Oh I know, their friends. How much debt will this put on property owners again? Especially considering how much (in billions) of property is exempt from taxation around here?

    • Deplorable Infidel

      This bond scam is brought about by corrupt and inept progressives, who have squandered city management for decades … this will take us from about the lowest per person city debt in NC to about the highest on par with Charlotte. We cannot do this to the next generation. Progressive democrackkks, PLEASE wake up and come to reality, before you ruin it further.

      WHERE are the Vote NO signs that City should be providing equally with their Vote YES signs ? Discrimination ?

      • bsummers

        WHERE are the Vote NO signs that City should be providing equally with their Vote YES signs ?

        I doubt it’s the “City” who’s putting them up – more likely it’s the Asheville Chamber of Commerce. Um, you’re free to put some up yourself, Fred Caudle. Is this a great town or what?

    • “Who did they poll again?”

      Asheville City Council Meeting Minutes, 7-26-16, Page 25:

      “Mr. Tige Watts, representing Campaign Research and Strategy, provided Council with the benchmark study results. He reviewed the background and methodology, noting that 403 telephone surveys were conducted with registered voters between the evenings of June 29 and July 1, 2016. The representative sample was randomly selected with respect to voter registration records of the County and are reflective of the turnout from the November 2012 election. The margin of error for this study is 4.9% at a confidence interval of 95%. He then reviewed all the questions posed, and in summary, at this snapshot in time, there is clear indication there is support for all three bond issues. He said that he believed this is one of the strongest baseline for bond packages in quite some time.”
      http://bit.ly/2e9vgK3

      Tige Watts
      http://tigewatts.com/about/

      Openly gay activist [Tige Watts] plans to run for Columbia City Council
      http://bit.ly/2dTO8Ng

        • I have no idea. That’s the headline. Maybe you should stick to being a city watchdog instead of a social justice busybody. You might learn something.

          • bsummers

            You chose to post an article featuring the sexual orientation of the pollster hired by the City. You think we believe it was an accident? “Not my fault – that’s the headline.”

            Maybe you should learn to take responsibility for your acts.

          • Peter Robbins

            We’re supposed to learn something from someone who has no idea? I could do that myself.

          • bsummers

            Ho hum. You used to be so interesting.

            Does this mean you’re going to stop following me around and posting my picture on your twitter page? Thank the gods.

          • bsummers

            Thanks, buddy. Every time I think about throwing in the towel, you remind me how important it is that I stay involved.

          • Good. You’re always good for a laugh. Did you see I tweeted your photo again? You’re a peach, buddy.

          • Tracy Rose

            I do believe it’s past time to return the discussion to the substance of the letter and take unrelated conversations off site. Thanks.

  2. Austin Hill

    I will not be voting for the housing part of the referendum. The character of my old neighborhood was destroyed when a subsidized developer slapped down a mini projects on the one remaining lot. The area is always trashed now. People should really consider if the city should be encouraging that behavior in their neighborhood. If you don’t want something like that built next to you on your dime then vote no.

    • NFB

      So do you have any other solution to the housing crisis in Asheville?

        • Austin Hill

          I would add that I have seen affordable housing successfully incorporated into existing projects. Like on Depot Street. That seems like a good idea.

        • NFB

          “Not my job bub.”

          Well, until somebody comes up with a better solution I’ll plan on voting “yes.”

          • Lulz

            LOL, you think the same entity that ensures housing is out of reach for many will suddenly turn around and change their tune? Are you nuts? These people are subsidizing gentrification via taxpayer dollars. They need values to continue upward merely to generate more money for their coffers.

            The bond issue will pass of course because of people like you who are ignorant. But so will contiinued property tax increases as well. And all under the guise of this phony crap. Yet nothing will ever improve because government will continue to become nothing more than a place for cronyism and corruption.

          • NFB

            So I guess you don’t have an alternate solution to the Asheville housings crisis either?

            Not that this is surprising.

      • Deplorable Infidel

        ‘housing crisis’ is NOT a government issue nor function. period. taxpayer collections are NOT for this purpose.

      • “So do you have any other solution to the housing crisis in Asheville?”

        There are plenty of “other solutions” to the housing crisis in Asheville. All poo-pooed in dismissive tones by our wise progressives. Why shout them again into an empty black hole?

          • These problems have been solved elsewhere, by business titans, political philosophers, and ordinary people. But never by arrogant smirking progressives.

          • Peter Robbins

            Negrodumas say: It’s hard to credit the advice of housing experts after they’ve crawled back under their rocks.

    • AVL OG

      As someone who grew up here I too am scared and afraid of growth in my city. I mean, who needs to live in a place with a bright economic future when you have CHARACTER?

      • Lulz

        LOL, yet those benefiting from it are not paying for it. Again, why are residents subsidizing developers, multi-million dollar non-profits, and corporations? Don’t you democrats like the working class no more? I guess not.

  3. The city has shelves and shelves of books containing studies done over the years. Most never resulted in anything.

    Interesting to see a few being used to demonstrate the “great lengths” the city went to in order to gather input. Most meetings where “input” is gathered don’t screen the participants. Generally the adjacent leech town residents, eg, Woodfin, pontificate on what we taxpayers need to improve parks and the like for their use.

    I’ll use my vote to demonstrate my “input”. It’ll be a no.

    • Lulz

      And we know one famously who post here yet doesn’t pay for any of it. Hypocrites like him are a dime a dozen.

  4. Deplorable Infidel

    Where are the EQUAL number of Vote NO signs printed by the city and being put out around town ? Can you say discrimination against the NON supporters ? WHO at City authorized these signs and how much did they cost ?

    REMOVE every bond scam Vote YES *signs* that you see around town! We’ve already been bond scammed once this year by the NC power elites, many of which are right here in this cesspool of sin.

  5. Deplorable Infidel

    REMEMBER: it’s NOT $74 Million DEBT – it’s $110+++ MILLION DEBT with specifics not being disclosed.

    Do YOU want YOUR $$$ going to private developers this way? Let private developers do it on their own!

    • bsummers

      YOU could try TO persuade the PITCHFORK mob of idiots who will be denying that Hillary won THE election to ALSO support a COUP against the bond REFERENDUM, Fred “Fisher” Caudle.

      But then that would put you in prison with the others on treason charges. Best to just coward down & do your usual login change three times a month so you can pretend to be someone new…

      • Lulz

        You mean like giving Iran money in a phony nuke deal that now has their buddies in Yemen firing missiles at Navy ships? That of course isn’t important because a democrat did it. Or is it the open borders in the south? Because that really is treason. Oris it giving speeches in foreign lands only to have money given to your foundation? Or is it registering dead people or illegals or felons to stack the deck? LOL, and you support these people? Lulz, you’re just another crony.

        Problem is loon, the people you identify with think they’re above the law because the think the Constitution is somehow irrelevant since it was written by “old white slave owners”. It doesn’t work that way though.

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