City Council is being bullied by wealth

Have the citizens of this country and their representatives lost their minds completely? We have a representative government. The citizens vote for candidates who will represent their interest in deciding on important issues affecting their lives and the lives of their fellow citizens. Only these representatives have the right and responsibility to levy taxes in order to fund necessary government functions. The idea being that we citizens can protest and even reject representatives who make decisions we don’t like.

Now our City Council is planning to [possibly] hand over its taxing authority to a group of people who have not been elected by the citizens: the Business Improvement District. In addition, the makeup of the downtown BID would give more votes to major property owners (over 3 million) than to others. While I know our country is handing over its governmental functions to the wealthy, this is ridiculous! Has our City Council decided that the worth of a human being is directly connected to the amount of wealth possessed?

Then there is the issue of keeping the downtown area free of undesirables. That is the responsibility of the police. Has anyone noticed that the police are limited in their enforcement activities by the rights of citizens some of us may consider undesirable? That is as it should be in the USA. Now who is going to protect the rights of those considered undesirable by BID? And how will the BID board decide who is undesirable? Perhaps they will limit downtown access to property owners, or people with a certain income.

City Council is apparently being bullied by wealthy private interests to the detriment of representative government. They need to stand up to these rich people, no matter what financial promises they make.

— Norma Warren
Asheville

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