Barry Summers would have you believe that I was not sufficiently committed to fighting the legislative takeover of the Asheville water system, led by former Rep. Tim Moffitt and current Rep. Chuck McGrady. Here is just some of what the WNC Alliance and I did during that fight:
• I testified in opposition to the bill at a legislative hearing.
• We took out a full-page ad in Mountain Xpress calling on people to vote “No” on the 2012 referendum.
• We hired phone bankers who called and asked thousands of Asheville residents to vote no.
• I drafted a resolution that other local governments adopted in opposition to the takeover.
• I secured the help of two full-time environmental lobbyists in Raleigh.
• We promoted the forum Barry references, and we hosted an Asheville Green Drinks on the topic.
• We worked closely with the city and its lobbyists, making sure our local grassroots strategy supported their efforts.
We stood completely aligned with SaveOurWaterNC on the goal of protecting Asheville’s water system. We differed only on strategy and tactics and, therefore, sometimes did different things. Everyone else involved in the water fight knew where I stood, including Rep. McGrady, and I have disagreed with him on this publicly. I have also told him that, if elected, I will fight him on the issue again if need be.
Asheville voters do not need to question my willingness or ability to fight for Asheville and its water system in Raleigh. Indeed, rather than creating a conflict of interest as suggested, my experience with the legislature and my relationships with our entire WNC delegation only make me more effective.
— Julie Mayfield,
Co-director at MountainTrue (formerly WNCA)
Candidate for City Council
Editor’s note: This letter is in response to Barry Summers’ letter in this issue, “Mayfield Failed to Fight for City Water System.”