As an environmentalist, progressive and lifelong Asheville resident, I will vote in this fall's election for Cecil Bothwell and Gordon Smith for City Council. These two candidates will protect the character of our lovely city and work in the best interests of the citizens, rather than developers and their lobbyists.
Journalist Cecil Bothwell has covered local government for years and comes to the race with a deep and sophisticated grasp of the problems facing our city. Leni Sitnick, one of the most popular and dynamic mayors Asheville has ever seen, has endorsed Bothwell. That says a lot about his character. Bothwell's hard work campaigning for Obama last fall also bodes well for Asheville.
I appreciate Bothwell's focus on the local economy in the form of policy that takes into account the serious environmental problems we face. I'm grateful that Bothwell has focused on the abominable water rules Asheville taxpayers have to bear. Despite living near the infrastructure, Asheville city water customers pay the exact same rate as people in the county. We can thank county and state officials for this and, in turn, the development lobby. Bothwell has a plan that will not only cut Asheville taxpayer costs and help shift some of the rate burden to the county where it belongs, but will boost conservation.
Gordon Smith is also a fine candidate. This Warren Wilson graduate works as a child and family therapist. He has served the community as an environmental educator and has worked extensively with the mentally ill.
With his blog, Smith helped uncover and publicize the nasty shenanigans behind the Parkside development deal. He also played a role in the fight against an unnecessary power plant in Woodfin.
Compassion, intelligence and reason mark both campaigns. It will be a beautiful thing to see Bothwell and Smith voted into City Council.
— Heather Rayburn