How the election saved Asheville

Within basic political reality, I couldn't be happier with the local election results and feel that if predictions hold up, Asheville/Buncombe has real cause to celebrate, for once, the wisdom of our voters. I actually erred in my endorsements of Bothwell and Smith, when shortly after I wrote, Manheimer showed up to Blue Ridge Pride and said she would initiate gay-partner benefits. Then, though Manheimer failed to oppose zoning, I discovered on blogs that her contributors, like Albert Sneed, do oppose zoning and very effectively. So now I am doubly impressed with Manheimer, wish I had endorsed her over Smith, and am so glad she won. I had become too discouraged to do enough early research.

Not only did Manheimer win, but I think she won the deciding vote on both issues, because now four cultural progressives can [successfully support] gay benefits and attract a community that does so much to save us all from paralyzing childcare taxes, while four different fiscal conservatives protect homebuilders, and with them, the buyers, renters and construction workers from the job-ravaging NIMBYs. So Manheimer is in a position to literally save Buncombe County just when I had written it off as politically hopeless and was focused on fleeing.

And for icing on the cake, Swannanoa incorporation was trounced, thus protecting construction workers and homebuilders there too, hooray! The future of both cultural progressivism and fiscal conservatism in Buncombe, and the link between the two (gays save taxes), seems to have just been saved, mostly by Esther Manheimer and mostly without my timely knowledge.

— Alan Ditmore

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