So after all is said and done, the people who were put in charge of the welfare of the citizens of Asheville and the county have—to no one’s surprise—sold us out to the highest bidders.
While elected officials are still haggling and hedging on the Parkside fiasco [and] Stewart Coleman threatens and holds the city and county hostage, the Downtown Commission and the TRC have given their blessings to the two—not one but two—2-plus-story condo/hotels that Tony Fragga has planned for downtown—this in addition to the 22-story Ellington slated to break ground soon.
This, of course, means that the commissioners and City Council will follow lockstep and approve these and any other projects that can get on the agenda before the master-plan results are completed—speaking of which, it was duly noted that not one commissioner or member of City Council could rearrange their schedule to attend the session for the African-American community input (again, no surprise).
But I digress. This county commission and City Council have ignored the signatures and petitions of thousands of citizens who oppose their blatant acquiescence to the developers.
Irony of ironies is that the same commission and City Council know that they have put forces in motion that they now have little or no control over—ergo: the master-plan sessions—which is admitting, in effect: We have no clue what we’re doing; please get us out of this mess we’ve made.
I have an idea, elected officials. Try listening to the people. Try being—dare I say the word?—transparent.” How about being in tune with your constituency first, not your contributors. How about … .
Sorry I drifted off there. Back to reality. There is a ray of hope (the economy). The developers may have overestimated what Asheville can support and sustain, so perhaps forces not under the control of the developers and our elected officials will do what all our petitions and protestations seem unable to do. We can only hope.
— Jesse Junior