Asheville City Council heard from advocates of medical cannabis and passed a resolution in support of pending legislation that would legalize the medical use of the drug at its meeting on June 27.
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.
“With the status quo untouched, the undeserving are to be driven out, and property speculators large and small allowed to run riot before moving on to their next victim, leaving our city a smoldering wreck in their rear-view mirrors.”
“So when the choice is between crazy and evil, which is the best choice I have ever seen on a ballot without my own name on it, voting for the nutcase is the easy choice.”
At its June 13 meeting, Asheville City Council adopted its 2017-18 fiscal year budget, which sets a property tax rate of 42.89 cents per $100 of taxable property value and includes funding for 15 new police officers to create a dedicated downtown police unit, as well as $630,000 for expanding the city’s transit system.
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.
A changing climate, aging infrastructure and rapid rates of development are contributing to a rising tide of stormwater problems in Asheville. But responsibility for stormwater infrastructure often rests with private property owners, complicating the process of planning and paying for fixes.
Activists dominated the May 23 public hearing on Asheville’s proposed 2017-18 fiscal year budget. The group $1 Million for the People opposes Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper’s request for $1 million in additional funding to hire 15 new officers for a new downtown policing unit.
Asheville City Council will hold a budget worksession at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, May 23. Immediately after the worksession, Council will hold its regular meeting at 5 p.m. During the regular meeting, Council will hold a public hearing on the proposed city budget for the 2017-18 fiscal year.
“In addition to pushing to lower APD’s racial disparity in police stops, Dee Williams on City Council will bring sanity to local politics and make racial and economic justice some of her top priorities.”
“Indeed, policies are still in place actively working against the formation of new communities — zoning rules that forbid local shops that could serve as neighborhood hubs, lot size restrictions that might work for the suburbs, but which result in a farcically low population density in a city; a lack of sidewalks that means you may have to take your life in your hands just to go check up on a neighbor.”
At its May 9 meeting, Asheville City Council grappled with the challenge of creating a city budget in a time of plenty. “Oddly,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer, this year’s budgeting process has been more difficult than during the recession. Council asked City Manager Gary Jackson to tweak his proposal to achieve a property tax rate that reflects a revenue-neutral rate plus 3.5 cents to pay for interest on the city’s $74 million bond program.
‘I wish Asheville would make providing recycling for renters mandatory. … I’m sure many of the thousands of renters who do not now recycle would if it were convenient.”
If you want to attend Asheville City Council’s May 9 meeting, arrive early. Between a response from the Police Department to a recent report on racial disparities in policing to the first presentation of the city manager’s proposed budget for the 2017-18 Fiscal Year, there’s a lot on the agenda that could be of interest to a variety of city residents and advocates.
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.
“City Council members Brian Haynes and Cecil Bothwell have the right idea — turn the vacant, city-owned parcel fronting St. Lawrence Basilica and the U.S. Cellular Center entirely into a park.”
Data reported to the State Bureau of Investigation by the Asheville Police Department reveal significant racial disparities in traffic stops, an attorney for the Southern Coalition of Social Justice told Asheville City Council on April 24. And even though the data are disturbing, they may not tell the full story: An analysis revealed an apparent failure to report data for 58 percent of audited traffic stops, despite a state law requires police departments to provide demographic data for all stops.
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.
Discussions on whether and how Asheville should regulate short-term lodging in residential neighborhoods will return to City Council on Tuesday, April 25.
“People contacted [former Sen. Tom] Apodaca initially, and now Mr. Edwards, because they no longer expect those who destroy their quality of life to have any interest in restoring it. We’ve seen this before during City Council’s forced annexation crusade.”