By the end of a six-hour session, Council had approved multiple items showing an unprecedented level of urgency for policing reform. Multiple split votes, however, showed the concern of some members over the process of making those changes.
Amid calls for increased public access to policing data, Asheville City Council left the city’s volunteer board dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about law enforcement in place for now. At the same time, the elected officials noted many vacancies on the Citizens Police Advisory Committee and signaled their longterm intent to dissolve the body once the newly forming Human Relations Commission has gotten up and running.
Asheville voters turned out in relatively high numbers on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to reelect two incumbents and significantly increase the diversity of City Council.
“It has been an honor serving with Cecil Bothwell on Asheville City Council. I know that he will always fight for fairness and equality for our citizens.”
Through their elected leaders, Asheville voters will now have more say-so over development projects downtown and new hotels citywide.
This year’s meal fed over 700 people and was served by community volunteers, including Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, District Attorney Todd Williams and Terry Bellamy, director of communications for the Asheville Housing Authority.
As commercial rents rise ever higher in Asheville’s downtown, local business owners and other community members hope the area’s popularity won’t lead to increasing homogenization, the proliferation of national chains and the loss of the city’s unique character.
With an annual economic impact of $2.6 billion, tourism is a critical industry in Western North Carolina. But politicians and local residents are increasingly asking whether the tourism industry is paying a fair share of the cost of providing everything from sidewalks to roads to public safety to tourists. Now, City Councilman Gordon Smith is pushing for a new study to consider the local tourism industry’s impact and sustainability.
At its regular meeting on April 12, Asheville City Council passed a strongly-worded resolution calling for the repeal of House Bill 2. Citizens and Council members reflected on the impact of the law on many aspects of life in North Carolina, striking a chord of near-unanimity in wholehearted dissent.
In addition to her new role as Vice Mayor, Asheville City Councilmember Gwen Wisler serves on a long list of important city boards and commissions, as well as civic organizations. Xpress talks with Wisler to find out what’s on her mind as she leads city projects from the budget to the update of the citywide comprehensive plan.
The city asked for input on downtown development review standards and, if turnout can be considered an indication, it certainly got it. At least 124 members of the community signed in for an open house-style meeting about development issues in downtown Asheville on March 23.
One clear winner from the 2015 City Council elections: local hopes for a public space for the city-owned lots facing the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center. Not so clear: exactly what kind of space Asheville needs and who will pay for it. The city’s Planning and Economic Development committee took up the hot potato issue to try to figure out how to move forward.
In its first full meeting since three newly-elected Council members were seated, City Council moved in new directions on a public space for a city-owned lot on Haywood Street and on including some accessory dwelling units in the city’s homestay ordinance for short-term rentals. Council also considered downtown development review standards and passed a resolution on the I-26 connector project.
Supporters of a public park on the site of a city-owned lot across the street from the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center are gearing up to present 4,389 signed petitions in favor of a park at the Dec. 8 meeting of City Council.
With four cranes silhouetted against the skyline, construction fencing blocking sidewalks and hundreds of construction workers on the job every day, downtown Asheville is buzzing with development activity. Despite the blazing pace of new construction, City Council has reviewed only four downtown projects since 2010. At its Dec. 8 meeting, City Council will reconsider the thresholds that trigger Council review.
Newly-elected Asheville City Council members were sworn in on Dec. 1. The new Council selected Councilwoman Gwen Wisler as Vice Mayor. Mayor Esther Manheimer pronounced the short, upbeat meeting a “good start” for the new body.
Newly-Elected City Council members Brian Haynes, Julie Mayfield and Keith Young will take the oath of office in Council chambers on the second floor of City Hall on Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. A new Vice Mayor will be elected from the seven-member Council.
Local business owners have banded together under the mantra UnChain Asheville in an attempt to sway the public toward shopping with small businesses rather than chains.
State-level PACs don’t typically get heavily involved in campaigning for municipal candidates. But, as in so many things, Asheville broke the mold.
While early voting results showed candidates Julie Mayfield, Keith Young and Marc Hunt in the lead, results quickly moved all up and down the board. Ultimately, Vice Mayor Hunt lost his bid for re-election, and Young, Haynes and Mayfield (in that order) won Ashevilleans’ votes and the three City Council seats.