Chamber of Commerce looks to year ahead

When Kit Cramer arrived at the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce as president and CEO in 2010, Asheville’s downtown was the subject of much complaining about panhandling, trash and graffiti.

Fourteen years later, Asheville’s downtown is the subject of much complaining about panhandling, trash and graffiti. And the community is once again considering a BID.

A plan for everything

Late last month, Asheville City Council passed the Haywood Road Vision Plan, a years-long effort by community members and city staff to outline the future of the corridor. It’s not a one-time event either: Such plans for different areas of the city are a main way city leaders hope to shape the Asheville of tomorrow, and it’s a plan they want to extend to more neighborhoods. Sometimes, however, these plans can also prove controversial.

Asheville BID Board blasts Council over skepticism­, delays

At a meeting Thursday morning, March 14, members of the downtown Asheville Business Improvement District board harshly criticized Asheville City Council for delaying approval of the BID’s proposed bylaws and expressing “disappointment” that the board hadn’t also submitted a detailed budget. Many board members said they were almost ready to walk away from the project.

Goodbye Bele Chere, hello “creative economies”

This year’s Bele Chere will be the last — at least, the last run by the city, as Asheville City Council members agreed during a March 12 budget session to end their financial involvement. As part of an overhaul in the way government deals with arts and festivals, city staff are also studying a proposal that sets up a “creative economies” chief, instead of a traditional arts administration staff. Photo by Max Cooper.

Revised BID proposal: delayed ambassador­s, shorter borders, adjusted board

The Interim BID Board has released its revised proposal for a Business Improvement District in downtown Asheville. The new proposal shortens the borders of the district, delays the controversial ambassador safety program, and changes the composition of the governing board, as well as opening the possibility of a lower tax to fund the district.

To BID or not to BID: Government coercion no solution to downtown issues

The basic idea behind the business-improvement district proposed for downtown Asheville is a good one: people working together to solve shared problems that tend to hamper or impede the conduct of business and peaceful living. Graffiti, vandalism, snow, trash, debris, crimes and misdemeanors are real issues — but solutions to these and other problems can be effected individually or cooperatively.