1509809_10153678045436953_7173959811433351332_n

Asheville inches closer to police body camera rollout

The Asheville Police Department trails the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office in rolling out police body cameras — but the city is trying to catch up. Police Chief Tammy Hooper outlined a draft policy for the cameras at a recent panel discussion, and says the first cameras will be deployed by summer. We look into what needs to happen between now and then to make that schedule happen.

URBAN FOREST  Unaware of the controversy over their fate, 23 mature oaks stand on a knoll overlooking Coxe Avenue. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Oaks’ last stand: South Slope urban forest won’t get city funds

If the 23 mature oak trees at 11 Collier Ave. on Asheville’s South Slope are to escape the chainsaw, it will have to be without the city’s help. While City Council followed through on its commitment to explore possible strategies for preserving the urban forest, in the end Council decided that committing resources to the effort in advance of significant private fundraising wasn’t a responsible use of taxpayer assets.

Following a moment of silence in remembrance of former Councilman Marc Hunt's son Taylor, Boy Scout Troop 91 led the Pledge of Allegiance. Photo by Virginia Daffron

City Council to take steps on expanding Homestays, planning for park

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.

City Councilman Cecil Bothwell presents results of a poll showing majority support a park on land across from U.S. Cellular Center and Basilica of St. Lawrence. Photo by Virginia Daffron.

Bothwell: Poll says 86 percent of Asheville voters support park

In a press conference across the street from the so-called “Pit of Despair,” Asheville City Councilman and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners candidate Cecil Bothwell said this morning that a poll conducted by his campaign shows that 86 percent of likely Asheville voters favor a park on the city-owned parcel opposite the Basilica of St. Lawrence and the U.S. Cellular Center.

Lafayette Gregory speaks to Asheville City Council about animal cruelty in exotic animal circus performances. (Mountain Xpress/Jesse Farthing)

Asheville City Council: Housing Trust Fund, ordinance adoptions and circus ban considerat­ion

On April 8, Asheville City Council members voted unanimously to pass a resolution to adopt a Housing Trust Fund recommendation to fund Biotat LLC’s Oak Hill Commons Project, as well as an ordinance adopting the new 2014-15 Fees and Charges Manual. Council also considered a request that city officials ban circuses that use exotic animals from […]

Asheville City Council: To Moog or not to Moog

Asheville City Council passed $90,000 in incentives for Moogfest this evening, both in cash and services, with the possibility of a partnership continuing for years. However, while its proponents touted it as an important investment in the city’s future growth, one Council member asserted that it’s an unreasonable amount of taxpayer dollars to go to an event not entirely open to the public.

Election results: Manheimer Asheville’s next mayor; Wisler, Smith, Bothwell win Council seats-attachment0

Election results: Manheimer Asheville’­s next mayor; Wisler, Smith, Bothwell win Council seats

With all precincts reporting, turnout in the Nov. 5 city of Asheville elections was low, but the results were decisive. Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer defeated former city risk manager John Miall by a considerable margin to become the next mayor. Former Coleman CEO Gwen Wisler, along with incumbents Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell, also won Asheville City Council seats by a large number of votes. Photo by Nick King.

The Halloween Voter Guide to Asheville City Elections-attachment0

The Halloween Voter Guide to Asheville City Elections

With Halloween and the Asheville city elections so closely aligned, we offer both some scary art (by cartoonists Brent Brown and Randy Molton) and the candidates’ replies to five key questions.
Come midevening on Nov. 5, Asheville voters will have picked their new mayor and three City Council members. There are two mayoral candidates and five Council contenders (of whom two are incumbents). In a series of forums, what positions have the candidates taken? How have they responded to voter questions? Look for recent stories at mountainx.com/election, and check these excerpts from the candidates answers.