I don't want to come off sounding like an angry letter-writing vegetarian, but that is exactly what I am. I feel compelled to write my very first letter to the editor after having thoroughly enjoyed reading them for the last 15 years (didn't even write one during the Mumpower years).
I would like to express my feelings concerning Mayor Bellamy (whom I voted for both times). I'm mad and disturbed by her comments during the Feb. 9 City Council meeting in which same-sex domestic-partner benefits were discussed (FYI, I am not an angry lesbian).
Her reason for objecting to a premature vote on the issue, according to the Xpress' coverage: "[T]he mayor went on to oppose the move on other grounds, asserting that her job is to represent everyone in the community, some of whom object to this idea." I object to a parking deck across from the Basilica, but do you think she cares what I think? Forgive me if I'm mistaken, but is it not her job to make decisions, have input and vote on issues? And logically, will there not always be someone in this community who objects to an idea, which in turn is why we the people elect a mayor and Council members? To make decisions and vote on issues pertaining to our lovely city?
She went on to say, "We all choose to live in Asheville. We all choose to make this place our home, and we all choose our lifestyle." That is another topic for another day. The debate over homosexuality aside, what truly compels me to write are the following comments she made: "I'm not going to support the motion. I'm not going to support it now, and I'm not going to support it when the information comes back." She is basically saying that no matter what information comes back, her mind is already made up. …
I'm disappointed in Mayor Bellamy not just because of the same-sex issue … but because she very stubbornly and with great arrogance took my trust and belief that our elected officials objectively, and without preconceived notions, weigh all the advantages and disadvantages of a particular issue before deciding how to vote (I know, dare to dream). …
Her flat-out refusal to even consider this issue, which has the potential to positively affect many of our city employees and their families (many of whom voted for her) before having all of the information available disheartens me, thoroughly disappoints me and makes me want to rescind my vote for her. … Had she said this prior to the election, she absolutely would not have gotten my vote, regardless of the lifestyle I choose.
To end on a positive note, I applaud Council member Esther Manheimer's comments during this same session. It's nice to hear some compassion and understanding coming from our elected officials every once in awhile — looks like I at least got that vote right.
— Lori Wyrick