Reid Thompson before Council

City could face equal protection suit after short-term rental vote

Reid Thompson has lost the most recent battle in his 13-plus-year fight with the city of Asheville. But the war, suggested Thompson’s representative and urban planner Joe Minicozzi, is far from over. “He’s got to file a civil suit to get his civil rights upheld,” Minicozzi said. “You can’t enforce the law on one side of the street and not enforce it on the other.”

League of Women Voters of Asheville-Buncombe County candidate forum at Leicester Public Library

League of Women Voters cuts short Leicester forum

Four candidates, including three Democrats in contested races, showed up to the event. Their three Republican opponents — Senate incumbent Chuck Edwards, House candidate Marilyn Brown and Commissioner Robert Pressley — didn’t appear. According to League policy, candidates without an opponent present are limited to a two-minute opening statement.

Stephanie Pace Brown at podium

BCTDA shares tourism growth plans at annual meeting

Roughly 1,600 new hotel rooms have opened in Buncombe County since late 2015 — an increase of approximately 15 percent over that period — with 1,900 still planned. “Since the start of this construction cycle, we’ve been able to fully absorb a pretty enormous supply,” said Explore Asheville President and CEO Stephanie Pace Brown. “We just need to do that over again in the next three or four years.”

WNC environmen­tal programs and agencies could see more cuts in new state budget

Local legislators and environmental advocates share their thoughts on which state budgetary and policy decisions could have a big impact on WNC’s environment in the coming fiscal year and beyond. They cited issues including the state’s response to novel contaminants like GenX chemicals, the budget for the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality and funding for the Clean Water Management, Parks and Recreation and Farmland Preservation trust funds.

Edwards rails against Buncombe news coverage

At a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners on July 14, Sen. Chuck Edwards, Rep. Brian Turner and Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer briefed the crowd on issues including the state economy, taxes, judicial matters, education, Asheville district elections and the River Arts District Transportation Improvement Project. Edwards also used the forum to complain about bias in local media coverage.

NC House District 116: Turner running unopposed

Democrat Brian Turner is running unopposed. Read his thoughts on district-based City Council elections, HB2, the economy and more below. There are two ways to view Xpress’ Q&A with the candidates: Either click the candidate’s picture to see a text version of their answers or click the grid below. The text versions have extra questions […]

A deeper dive into the Democratic blue: Analysis of Buncombe Commission­, NC House elections

Despite rightward-streaming state and federal political currents, Buncombe County stood out on election night as a small sea of Democratic blue. In several important local races, Democratic candidates toppled Republican incumbents or maintained their positions of power. Here’s a look at some of those key local races, with an analysis of what happened and the consequences going forward.