City Council is five steps away from effectiveness

Thank you, City Council, for voting down the Howington project in Kenilworth. I especially liked the speech by Teddy Jordan, president of the Kenilworth Residents Association, because she described the flaws in the democratic process. The main issue is clear: How could the Howington project pass both the TRC and P&Z, yet be voted down — unanimously — by City Council? City Council needs to make five major changes:

1. Add a step in the review process: a Community Review Board.

2. City Council must be required to visit the site of a proposed development and interview the neighbors.

3. CAN must do its job — that is, unite neighborhoods to face common problems, like developers clear-cutting trees and building on steep slopes.

4. The city manager needs to make the law clearer — that is, in this case: “The developer must meet all seven of the conditions.”

5. The Tree Commission needs to do its job — preserve trees.

— Linda Brown

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13 thoughts on “City Council is five steps away from effectiveness

  1. Politics Watcher

    “City Council must be required to visit the site of a proposed development and interview the neighbors.”

    Well said, indeed . . . except when it comes to projects in North Asheville by the developer Mountain Housing Opportunities. Then the views of the neighborhood and the impact of the project on traffic should be ignored.

  2. J

    The only problem with Linda’s proposal is that the City Council would have to leave it’s marble tower and interact with the public.

    Bothwell would have to interact with the free loaders, and he’d run away crying like he did from Matt Mittan when people expressed their real opinions. Gordo wouldn’t be able to talk to anyone, because he’d be too busy on his smart phone googling talking points to verbally cut and paste. Bill would take some notes, and pillory all of his opponents on air like he did in the Larchmont hearing,and Brownie would need to conduct a study on the most effective way to communicate to people.

    It’s funny that Bothwell thinks this was well said, because I sure don’t remember anyone from Council interviewing the citizens about to be impacted by the Larchmont development. Bothwell eternally proves talk is cheap.

  3. Asheville Dweller

    I don’t see our city council ever doing any of this. Most of Asheville city council doesnt care about the rest of Asheville unless it involves getting tax money to fund downtown fads.

  4. orulz

    I’m curious what Kenilworth folks think about the Silverman project on Swannanoa River Road at Caledonia. Will that meet the same fate or is the fact that it’s on a major road and a flat site better?

  5. BigAl

    Lets be fair, A.D. The city doesn’t need the money for downtown fads, it needs the money to pay off the massive DEBT that it has already incurred on downtown fads: Grove Arcade, Pack Square park, the Civic Center…did I miss anything?

  6. UnaffiliatedVoter

    Let’s get city council to rebel against the NC League of Municipalities and declare our own autonomy, instead of way too much state control.

    When will the progressives embrace that most important issue?

  7. Asheville Dweller

    Ok BigAl I gotcha, gotta pay off those previous failed Fads before any new ones.

  8. hauntedheadnc

    I’m curious to know how exactly a viable central city is a “fad,” as Big Al and Wishes He Dwelled Anywhere But Here call it. Parks, markets, and performance halls have been all the rage in downtown areas for oh… forever now? Like literally forever, since people first began living in permanent settlements?

  9. J
    “run away crying”? huh?

    Mittan can make up whatever stories he likes, that doesn’t make them true.

    Talk may be cheap, but it takes up a lot of my time, talking and e-mailing with people on both sides of every significant issue that comes up before Council. Site visits take time too – again with every important vote that’s come up, I’ve gone out and looked, walked, considered. I talked to people on both sides of Larchmont. I went to the Royal Pines anti-annexation community meeting. You are entitled to your opinions, of course, but you ought to base them on something other than libertarian daydreaming, if you expect to maintain some credibility.

    There’s plenty of loose talk in the blogs, but out in the community there are people with a real stake in our decisions, and I’ve been out there listening.

  10. J

    I just thought the fact that Cecil blocked Matt Mittan from being able to see his facebook page would have been comical if it wasn’t sad.

    I guess when I see emails like this one that’s been circulating amongst neighbors, it’s hard to believe that everyone on city council is listening; it certainly doesn’t convey a sense of caring. Since you erase all public records, it would be difficult to dig up the emails where you visited the site at the behest of the developer?

    From: Cecil Bothwell []
    Sent: Monday, March 22, 2010 6:44 PM
    To: Dawa Hitch; Bob Oast
    Subject: Re: Records Request: Larchmont Project

    Am I required to preserve all e-mails I receive about every issue?

    I know that e-mail communications between Council members are a public record, but I routinely delete all e-mails from anyone about anything after I read them (unless I have reason to save for reference.)


    Oh, and Cecil:
    § 132?3. Destruction of records regulated.
    (a) Prohibition. – No public official may destroy, sell, loan, or otherwise dispose of any public record, except in accordance with G.S. 121?5 and G.S. 130A?99, without the consent of the Department of Cultural Resources. Whoever unlawfully removes a public record from the office where it is usually kept, or alters, defaces, mutilates or destroys it shall be guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor and upon conviction only fined not less than ten dollars ($10.00) nor more than five hundred dollars ($500.00).

  11. slowlocal

    “J” just sounds like a professional malcontent. keep doing the good work, cecil, you’re what a local elected offcial should be – accountable, responsive and involved. thank you.

  12. Local and Proud

    Linda Brown is a big supporter of Cecil Bothwell, as are many of her neighbors, I suspect. Cecil sticks up for his backers. Now if you live in Royal Pines…ahem…well no supporters to speak of there.

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