Four reasons why Bothwell’s should be on City Council

I am blessed to reside in Black Mountain. Asheville, however, is my home and it's where my heart will always reside, so her future is my concern.

If I lived in Asheville right now, I would want:

1) reasonable limits on development and a candidate for City Council who could and would demand such;

2) environmental wisdom and someone who is a visionary to lead the charge for a green future;

3) a Council member who will work to make sense of the confusing history and current situation of the water issues; and most of all

4) a leader who has a heart for all citizens, especially those facing challenges with affordable housing and earning enough income to survive.

If I were living in Asheville right now, I would want Cecil Bothwell on City Council.

— Marlisa Mills
Black Mountain

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10 thoughts on “Four reasons why Bothwell’s should be on City Council

  1. Politics Watcher

    In his numerous comments here in the Mountain Express, Mr. Bothwell seems to this reader to project a sense of absolute certainty about his views, a “this is the way things need to be done” quality. He responds quickly to what he perceives as attacks. He expresses himself in long, thoughtful, well-articulated statements, perhaps one of the hazards of being a professional writer. He often seems confrontational and defensive.
    Does Mr. Bothwell know about politics as the art of the possible, working amicably, patiently and productively with his opponents to craft compromises? Does he have a track record of working quietly behind the scenes to bring accord to people and groups who may be at loggerheads? Would he be effective with legislators, county commissioners, business people, even developers in the give and take of governing in the best interests of all the community? Will he be a “Carl Mumpower of the Left,” a polarizing figure?
    I have never met Mr. Bothwell and only know him by the persona that comes across (to me at least) from his public statements, as a crusader and an oracle. Crusaders and oracles have their role in public life, as Ralph Nader has demonstrated.

  2. observer

    Marlisa,
    Thanks for your input. You don’t live in Asheville so your opinion is duly noted and relegated to the pile of useless opining it deserves.

    Politics Watcher’s comment above is vastly more relevant even though I don’t know where the poster resides.

    Regardless, Bothwell deserves no place on council. We have more than enough progressive voices there now.

    Are you weary of the pie-in-the-sky spending that has occurred of late?

    Many of us are and hope to make real change this election.

    Oh, Gordo is persona non grata as well. My word, what an immature putz he is.

  3. Oh no!, not that!

    [b]He expresses himself in long, thoughtful, well-articulated statements, perhaps one of the hazards of being a professional writer. [/b]

    Oh no!

  4. Proving Pol Watcher partly accurate, I am responding quickly. From my perspective I usually respond quickly to misinformation, not attacks per se.

    To Travelah, I don’t believe you can become an award winning news reporter UNLESS you listen well.

    My reporting career combined with my years in public life have made me well aware that there are more than two sides to every story. Yes, I am pretty clear about my opinions and am willing to state them. But I am also fully willing to be persuaded that I am wrong, and to admit it.

    Politics is clearly the art of the possible, and Council decisions require four votes. Those who offer well reasoned arguments are often able to persuade others to take positive action. Those who simply argue to be contrarian waste everyone’s time.

    And while working quietly behind the scenes has its place, my experience as a reporter convinced me that far too many decisions are reached behind the scenes. (Which is I spoke before the County Commission and City Council on behalf one of the many community groups I have worked with, requesting adoption of Government in the Sunshine laws. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jsltb6bceBw)

  5. BTW (and knowing I should probably sit down and shut up) I am on very cordial terms with three members of our legislative delegation, three members of the Board of Commissioners, numerous architects and builders, many small business owners, and etc.

    I sit on the boards of two educational nonprofits doing projects in Latin America, was a long-time member of the national editorial board of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies, and am chair of the Human Rights Team and a member of the Social Justice Council at my church. My point isn’t to burnish my image but to say that I think I play pretty well with others despite my sometimes strongly expressed opinions.

  6. travelah

    “To Travelah, I don’t believe you can become an award winning news reporter UNLESS you listen well.”

    Cecil, journalism is full of biased and slanted journalists. Getting a pat on the back by some of them is not exactly vouching for your supposed unbiased and open fairness with regard to your political ambitions. From the credentials you provided, I would guess your views are pretty much in line with them. That doesn’t take much listening at all, does it?

  7. Politics Watcher

    I’m not sure if Mr. Bothwell’s comment about responding to misinformation was intended for me. I was not offering any information at all, (I don’t have any) only my perceptions of how Mr. Bothwell, as a candidate, comes across to me.

    I also asked a number of questions, which were the questions I was asking myself and thought other voters might want to ask themselves. I haven’t decided whom to vote for yet.

    Serving on boards of groups that share your views and goals does not, in my mind, offer evidence that one can mediate and compromise with opposing groups. I don’t share Mr. Bothwell’s optimism that offering arguments, however reasonable, to his fellow council members, will get the tricky business of governing accomplished. Mr. Obama’s reasoned arguments about the need for health care reform haven’t gotten health care reform enacted. Tough political bargaining (and, yes, behind the scenes) will be necessary. It wasn’t Lyndon Johnson’s oratory or arguments that got the first civil rights legislation passed. It was Johnson’s mastery of the arm-twist and the sweet-talk and knowing what the self-interests of legislators were and how he could help them, or hinder them, in obtaining their goals.

    I’m delighted to hear Mr. Bothwell is on cordial terms with many of the same people I’m on cordial terms with. My cordial relations (and sometimes my vote) – or my reasoned arguments – aren’t enough to persuade them of the correctness of my views, if their agenda or political interests are different.

    I leave this discussion with something specific, I hope. I see broken water pipes almost daily, with water trickling or cascading wastefully down the gutters of streets. I know our water rates are some of the highest in the state. The original letter writer who prompted this conversation said she would want “a Council member who will work to make sense of the confusing history and current situation of the water issues.” I’ve read Mr. Bothwell’s explanation of how he hopes to entice users to conserve water by a system of credits. But on the deteriorating condition of the system itself, he says only, “Bothwell also notes that fixing the leaks in the system remains a high priority and that he both supports the ongoing repair project and will seek to engage county participation in infrastructure repairs.”

    If the city council tells our legislative delegation that a piece of legislation is in the city’s best interests, and the county commissioners tell the legislative delegation that same piece of legislation is against the county’s best interests, does Mr. Bothwell have a plan for reconciling these seemingly irreconcilable views, other than “seeking to engage” county participation?

    I appreciate the Mountain Express offering readers an opportunity to let voters and candidates offer their thoughts.

  8. PolWatcher – didn’t mean to imply that I was posting here to correct you. What I meant is that, in general, I try to keep my comments on the facts and not simply be knee-jerking.

    I support the repairs ongoing to the water system and have advocated for a 4 cent increase in the room tax with the money directed toward city infrastructure projects including the water system, the Civic Center, pot holes, sidewalks, etc. (We have the lowest room tax of any tourist town in the state, and are the only town where ALL of the room tax goes to the Chamber of Commerce for advertising.)

    You’re entitled to believe that serving on boards with people who broadly agree does not involve compromise, but that suggests to me that you’ve never served on such a board. Progressives, the saying goes, form firing squads in a circle.

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