Sen. Chuck Edwards, who represents Henderson, Transylvania and eastern Buncombe counties in N.C. Senate District 48, said he remained firm in his desire to see the city of Asheville take a different approach to electing its council members. “I get constant feedback from constituents in Asheville that they can’t get City Council folks to pick up the phone, let alone to listen to a specific concern that they might have in their neighborhood,” he said.
Mayor Esther Manheimer will be governing from afar during the June 25 meeting of Asheville City Council.
At Asheville City Council’s Jan. 22 meeting, Mayor Esther Manheimer said the city would re-advertise its vacant city attorney position — after she and her colleagues unanimously approved an additional $300,000 for outside legal services. The role has been filled on an interim basis by Sabrina Rockoff since the departure of Robin Currin in September.
As the Democratic Party retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, Buncombe Dems managed to hold onto a few key positions in local elections — perhaps most notably that of county sheriff. Politics also seeped into the Board of Commissioners race, where Republicans fell short in their bid to flip the party composition of the board.
“I find it appalling that Ms. Van Duyn thinks it wiser to engage a senator that isn’t even from Buncombe County, much less Asheville, to support legislation that isn’t favored by the citizens of our city.”
For the best chance to have your letter to the editor appear in the Nov. 1 issue of Xpress (the last issue before the general election), please email your letter by Wednesday, Oct. 25, to email@example.com.
Asheville voters will be asked to weigh in on a state plan to create election districts for seats on City Council via a ballot question in this year’s Nov. 7 general election.
On Tuesday, July 25, Asheville City Council will consider a new zoning ordinance for the River Arts District, a referendum on establishing election districts for City Council, a new Tunnel Road hotel, a self-storage facility and a plan to leverage $10 million in bond funding to promote the development of 485 units of affordable housing, among other items.
Asheville City Council will consider writing a check for an additional $6 million to get some elements of the River Arts District infrastructure project up and running. Construction bids came in over 50 percent higher than expected, forcing the city to cut elements from the planned improvements and dig deep into its pocketbook. Council meets at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27 at City Hall.
Asheville City Council will vote on the city’s 2017-18 budget for the fiscal year that will begin July 1. New pedestrian safety measures for Fairview Road, an affordable housing development on city-owned land and a strategy aimed at allowing Asheville residents to control the method used for electing representatives to City Council are also on the agenda for the Tuesday, June 13 meeting.
Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville explains some of the considerations that led him to introduce a bill that would compel Asheville to institute district elections for seats on its City Council. And Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer lays out the reasons the city plans to follow a “parallel process” that may include a referendum on the issue, despite Raleigh’s insistence that the city knuckle under by Nov. 1.
Asheville voters may face an up or down vote on the city district elections plan making its way through the N.C. General Assembly. City Council accepted the advice of City Attorney Robin Currin to hold a referendum on establishing six districts for seats on the council versus the city’s current at-large election system in November.
The Council of Independent Business Owners returned to the topic of district elections for seats on Asheville City Council at its monthly Issues Meeting on Feb. 10. Unsurprisingly, opinions on the wisdom of making a change were mixed.