In the Oct. 3 letter, “Another Done Deal,” Joe Cobble of Asheville quoted Mayor Terry Bellamy as having asserted, after voting against the wrong-headed plan for the McKibbon group: “I don’t like the way this deal was done. Over the years, we did not give the public enough information and voice through the decision process.”
The mayor will recall the fight that our residents’ committee at the Battery Park Apartments community initiated in 2005 to fight against the monstrous multilevel garage that would have dwarfed the beautiful Basilica and placed it in dark shade where it could not fully be appreciated by the citizens and our visitors.
We fought hard to prevent our senior community from being made unhealthy by that plan, and the good citizens of Asheville rose up in the thousands to help us put a stop to it. It was just a few weeks ago that Clare Hanrahan and I (both residents here) delivered more than 3,300 petition signatures to Council member Cecil Bothwell. The city was lucky in 2005, after hundreds of citizens fought the good fight and thousands stepped up to voice their opposition to a wrong-headed plan that would have done great harm to Asheville’s future. That, too, was a "done deal." …
Fast-forward seven years, to now, and we witness a sad day for Asheville. It is a sad day because those other Council members who could have done something great for the city lost their vision. What is that proverb? “Where there is no vision, the people perish.”
When Clare and I presented those petition signatures to Bothwell, we also signed a cover letter in support of the Basilica’s plan, which City Council was too blind to see. That plan had vision, and soul. Unfortunately, the McKibbon greed will hurt our lovely city, and all those good folk who showed up to fill several chambers at City Hall to voice their opposition were the ones City Council failed to see or hear. …
— Roger Smith