I was disappointed to read the Mountain Xpress’ coverage of the City Council meeting concerning stream-side buffer requirements [”Asheville City Council Approves a Stormwater Plan and Endorses Public Finances of Elections,” June 9]. I spoke for nearly ten minutes to Council, trying to promote sensible and fair buffer requirements. In pointing out how the enforcement of buffer requirements are not equally applied in Asheville, I gave several examples of large nonprofit projects that do not meet current buffer ordinances or general construction practices. I also spoke about future water-quality projects that would require total realignment of stream beds. The point of my remarks to Council was that stream-side buffers are more of a political issue than one of water quality, and this was really a referendum on who rules the roost here and will direct Asheville’s future growth.
The Mountain Xpress claims to promote “thoughtful and diverse community dialogue” but did not mention any of my comments when writing the article about this Council meeting. I can only guess that this is because I gave, in the Xpress’ opinion, a politically incorrect view in discussing how unfair the entire issue is for small property owners and builders. I am tired of media outlets that promote “news” from a specific political point of view, and I find it difficult to watch or read any of them.
In the future, I would ask the Xpress to report all of the facts and sides of a story and let the public make up its own mind. Most of us are intelligent enough to decide how we stand on an issue if we are given the whole story.
— Pete Hildebrand
Editor’s response: We edit City Council reports (and all news stories) for length, style and clarity, never because someone gives a politically incorrect view. Some meetings feature dozens of speakers, depending on the issue. There is simply no way to include everyone.