Robin Currin sworn in as Asheville City Attorney by Mayor Esther Manheimer

City OKs extra funds for outside attorneys as legal limbo continues

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.

Airbnb involvemen­t could mark turning point in homestay discussion­s

In its first known formal engagement with Asheville, Airbnb sent two of its representatives to an Oct. 23 discussion of homestay regulations sponsored by the Homestay Network, a local group representing over 600 legally permitted homestay hosts. The firm has also committed to another meeting of over 50 stakeholders on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper

Asheville City Council split over Hooper resignatio­n agreement

According to interim City Manager Cathy Ball, Council held a closed session vote on the amount of Hooper’s $118,000 compensation. Mayor Esther Manheimer, Vice Mayor Gwen Wisler, and Council members Keith Young, Sheneika Smith and Brian Haynes all voted in favor of the agreement, while Vijay Kapoor and Julie Mayfield voted in opposition.

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper

Asheville Police Department Chief Tammy Hooper to resign in January

In a Nov. 7 press release, interim City Manager Cathy Ball announced that Chief Hooper would be resigning effective Wednesday, Jan. 2 — as well as that Hooper had previously attempted to resign in February. As part of her resignation agreement, Hooper will be paid $118,000 and will provide 75 hours of consulting services “to assist with the transition” of police leadership.

Map of Kenilworth and Mission Health

Kenilworth residents renew noise complaint against Mission Hospital

Earlier this summer, Kenilworth residents followed up on a complaint first sent to the city of Asheville in September 2017. They allege that changes Mission has made to address their noise concerns haven’t eliminated the problem — and that the health system wasn’t acting in good faith when it entered into discussions with the community.

Asheville city seal

Updates to police policy up for discussion at Council’s Sept. 25 meeting

Although Chicago-based 21CP Solutions finished its report on Asheville’s response to a police beating scandal in August, the city isn’t done hiring consultants to assess its policing approach. That’s one of the key takeaways from interim City Manager Cathy Ball’s memo discussing action items from the report, to be presented at Asheville City Council’s upcoming regular meeting.

Representatives from Firestorm Books & Coffee and The Steady Collective

West Asheville needle exchange fights city zoning violations

Firestorm Books & Coffee and The Steady Collective announced that they had formally appealed their notices of violation on Sept. 17. The appeals will likely be considered at the next meeting of the city’s Board of Adjustment, which takes place on Monday, Oct. 22. If the board rejects the appeals, the groups face civil penalties of $100 for every day they remain out of zoning compliance.

Former Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson

Former City Manager Gary Jackson leaves mixed legacy

As Asheville gears up to begin a new chapter in its administration, Xpress asks what lessons, if any, can be learned from Jackson’s time as the city’s top employee. But given the reluctance of so many current and former city officials to discuss either Jackson’s firing or his legacy, any final assessment of this recent history may have to wait.

Asheville city seal

“Fireworks” in store for June 19 Council meeting

Two weeks before the Fourth of July, the meeting’s agenda promises a grand finale of rhetorical explosions over two matters of unfinished business. The first is the Asheville city budget, which Council member Brian Haynes has said he will not support as long as it contains funding for additional officers to staff the Asheville Police Department’s downtown district. The second is a series of resolutions to rescind and replace the three motions on police policy previously proposed by Young and passed by Council on May 22.

Police group threatens legal action against Asheville City Council on recent policy changes

The words City Council adopted on May 22 could land the five members who supported them in hot water, according to lawyers from the N.C. Police Benevolent Association. Language in the city’s charter suggests that the consequences could be serious, possibly even including loss of office if convicted of giving an order to a city […]

Police accountabi­lity and transparen­cy focus of City Council meeting

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.

BEST FOOT FORWARD: Patrick Conant, a volunteer with the nonprofit civic technology advocacy organization Code for Asheville, presents his group's "Petition for Police Accountability Through Data Transparency." Photo by Daniel Walton

Asheville Council takes step toward police data transparen­cy

“In the words of Bernie Mac, bust a move.” Asheville City Council member Keith Young summarized the sentiments of many in attendance at Council’s April 24 meeting as he encouraged interim City Manager Cathy Ball and other city staff to speed up their work on promoting data transparency for the Asheville Police Department. Council considered […]