Letter writer: Hidden writer with not-so-hidden agenda

Graphic by Lori Deaton

[In response to the letter to the editor, “Allow and Regulate Short-Term Rentals,” Dec. 7, Xpress:] Before I dignify this self-serving [letter] with a response, why the anonymous request, where does the writer reside, and how does he earn his livelihood? Answers to these questions would allow readers access to his or to her fundamental motivation.

To address his notion of what neighbors and neighborhoods comprise, his definition of borrowing a cup of whatever or trading flowers is beyond insulting. Neighbors affect the quality of one’s life. A bad neighbor in a desirable area has a devastating negative impact on one’s peace and happiness.

On the other hand, a good neighbor enhances these things and can often help brighten one’s most somber days. It is an elementary task to refute this “omniscient writer.” Not to belabor the process, however, how many times has a kind and knowledgeable neighbor assisted in an emergency when perhaps 911 might have arrived too late?

Deplorably, the writer supporting short-term rentals is ignorant about what the untold value of a good neighbor is, the immeasurable effect a close neighborhood has on one’s quality of life, and how short-term rentals contribute to anxiety, malaise and most likely to lowering home values in the area.

I suggest that Mr. anonymous (no capital for this person) keep hiding, cure him/herself of paranoia regarding city inspectors and selective enforcement, or better still, relocate to an area where his/her definitions of a neighbor and neighborhood are appreciated. A sad letter by an obviously sad person with a sad life outlook!

— Edward Tobias Wolfsohn


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23 thoughts on “Letter writer: Hidden writer with not-so-hidden agenda

  1. dyfed

    The negative effects of short-term rentals are “anxiety” and “malaise”? I suppose they must have a bad aura. Too bad there’s no way to measure that.

    Short on stats (“most likely” lowering home values? Come on! And I thought affordable housing prices were what Ashevillians wanted, anyhow?) and long on insinuations, I have to point out that the occupation of the letter writer is immaterial. I’m not a renter or a landlord, but one day when I own a home in Asheville I want to have my options open, and the bourgeois option of restrictively zoning housing is just another way of kicking entrepreneurs out of the housing market and reserving it for rich developers who can afford to lobby the city for millions of dollars in tax breaks and variances.

    • Lulz

      Yet the city is ran by the same crew for decades and to get those changes you desire, people have to react by kicking them out.

      • luther blissett

        Let us know when you officially launch your campaign. We could do with a laugh.

  2. Deplorable Infidel

    Did you know that there has been a lawsuit filed to STOP the recent Asheville City $110MILLION ‘bond scam’ ? It was filed over one week ago, and thus far no local news media has reported the story… WHY would local media refuse to report this ?

    • luther blissett

      The Illuminati told them not to, Fisher Caudle.

      (“Man who doesn’t believe anything unless it’s published by Roger McCredle complains about publishers who aren’t Roger McCredle.”)

    • Tracy Rose

      Actually, one of Xpress’ reporters was already looking into this. But thanks for mentioning it.

  3. Finn

    Good response to call someone ignorant, they want to remain anonymous because of people like you who snitch on there neighbors every chance they get. Don’t hurt yourself when you fall off that high horse Tobias.

  4. The Real World

    Strange how Edward seems to take the original letter so personally. Does he fear that he’s a “bad” neighbor?

    Anyhow, what seems obvious is that there is a citywide lack of clarity of what constitutes a ‘short-term’ rental VS the legally-allowed 1 month minimum rentals VS regular rentals on residential properties. I think the city dropped the ball on this and have left everybody hanging about a realistic and balanced way to allow some aspects and disallow others. We can do better than this.

    • boatrocker

      I’d propose an easier/saner explanation:

      Maybe this writer just saw the BS hypocrisy for what it was?
      Mtn X purposefully going against its own TOE for LTEs(sorry for all the acronyms)
      in order to let the Dec 7 LTE writer tout an anonymous letter espousing an awful business practice so outta towners could treat local STRs and their neighborhoods like a rock band treats a hotel room, then leave with no accountability?

      In short, the locals who live here are actual human beings who enjoy living in nice neighborhoods. If STR owners disagree, profits be damned.

      Don’t worry, by the way, I wasn’t the only one who questioned whether the Dec 7 LTE writer had an ulterior motive, as in being involved in the ‘biz’somehow. Believe what you will, but hell yes I agree that the city can do better than this.

  5. Austin Hill

    You can’t expect consensus when there isn’t compromise. Let’s vote out Smith, Wisler, Mayfield, and Manheimer. They are placing their “affordable housing” obsession above locals who have their own ideas about how to interact with tourists. Why should I prefer another hotel around the corner to having someone stay in my apartment? Why would you?

    • luther blissett

      “above locals who have their own ideas about how to interact with tourists.”

      “Interact with” isn’t a synonym for “make money off of”.

      How about this compromise: open up your apartment to someone who can only afford $500 in rent per month.

      • Austin Hill

        Why would I do that? Way to much invested. It will never be affordable. Thanks for the semantics lesson though.

        • boatrocker

          Way to make a buck off locals’ having to put up with being considered a Jane Goodall like tourist oddity.

          (golf clap happens here)

          • Austin Hill

            I’m not sure how the scientific study of apes relates to my perceived property rights. I’ve been servicing tourists for the 20 years I’ve been Asheville. It’s the economy stupid, and either you believe in a shared economy or you support giving it all to the hoteliers. I guess we know where you stand.

          • boatrocker

            I’m not sure what you mean by ‘shared economy’ unless you’d care to elaborate, but hell no to giving to town over to hoteliers. i think we agree on that much.

            I refer to Goodall as she as a human probably still secretly feels a wee bit superior to the chimps, kind of like tourists do to us unwashed masses also known as locals. Same with any town with a tourist based economy. And nope, not gonna move from here.

            As a side note, never trust anyone who uses the phrase “it’s the economy, stupid”. Always remind those folks that you’re self employed and said comment sounds like something Ebeneezer Scrooge would say while kicking the crutches out from Tiny Tim.

        • Deplorable Infidel

          Exactly Mr. Hill !!! Kudos for your understanding! Now I find my rental rates are WAY behind at 2014 levels for the county! They’ve gone up 24% since reported by HUD! Shame on me for being such a pushover landlord. But I have been suggesting that rents will again increase greatly BECAUSE of the recently passed $110Million city bond issue, which was passed mostly by people who do not own real property in the city. There is a lawsuit filed to stop bond issuance, but still haven’t seen any mainstream media cover it. Why are they afraid to report it?

          • luther blissett

            “BECAUSE of the recently passed $110Million city bond issue”

            Still peddling that deceit? When you get, say, a $100,000 mortgage at 4%, do you refer to it a $172THOUSAND mortgage?

  6. Brian

    I have been considered moving to Asheville and have been reading about the area on line. The letter I read seems to of had a lot of thought put into it and well balanced. there is a control battle going on here and the people in charge, Smith, Wisler, Mayfield, and Manheimer, appear to not to be in touch with the whole community. I would be renting for a short time and I don’t see many places at all, with all the things I’m reading I am now second guessing the move.

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