I felt the need to respond to the accusations of “slander” made by City Council at the March 25 meeting [“Development Moratorium Discussion Gets Testy,” April 2]. If it’s slander to confront Council and other elected officials about their inability to say no to any developer who brings a proposal for consideration; if it’s slander to be passionate about not destroying one of the few places like Asheville left in our country, not just our state—then yes, I’m guilty.
If [it’s] stating the obvious—that there is a definite bias toward high-end projects in the city and county, and that the hundreds of people who will be drawn to the jobs that will be created will not just fade away, but will be real people who will bring their families and will need schools for their children and a host of other social services from a city already strained for affordable housing—then, guilty.
If I offended Council by bringing up the word that’s anathema to them—moratorium—and the fact that said moratorium would send a clear signal to developers and special interests that elected officials were serious about a master plan for growth in Asheville and the county—I make no apology.
Finally, I think the real slander belongs to officials who would insult the intelligence of their electorate who dare to question them, and in effect say: “Who you gonna believe—us or your lying eyes? After all, we know what’s best for you.”
For my part, I’m more disappointed in the fact that we are bereft of visionary leadership [and] cannot see beyond this development frenzy, and have acquiesced to this idea that if we don’t continue to rape the mountains and develop every inch of green in sight and replace it with malls, condos and high-rises—then somehow we will wither and die.
That, to me, is the slander.
— Jesse Junior