“It’s a cynical and shameful ploy to deny you the ability to serve your constituents. It’s anti-democratic, and I look forward to working together with you to reject this encroachment on our rights to protect our health and the health of our mountains, rivers and streams,” Karim Olaechea, deputy director of strategy and communications for MountainTrue told commissioners during public comment.
“I would like to know why North Carolina, Buncombe County and the city of Asheville don’t help people with disabilities.”
“The game is rigged to exploit us, and the promise of jobs for a few is the currency to get communities to comply.”
“The argument was made that if we put conditions in the incentive contracts, a company may not sign. What then is our incentive to give them our money?”
Funds supported with tax money from Buncombe County, the city of Asheville and the Tourism Development Authority are being managed by the nonprofit Mountain BizWorks. Because of this arrangement, government and TDA officials say they will play no direct role in determining what area businesses and nonprofits receive public dollars.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners doled out a $2.2 million loan for an affordable housing complex in Swannanoa and over $200,000 in economic development incentives at its Feb. 5 meeting. The city of Asheville held two public sessions seeking input on the selection of a new police chief. Residents can also weigh in via an online survey through March 1.
Two lodging projects will be up for debate: a 56-room hotel spread across four buildings on Biltmore Avenue downtown and a 170-room project on Fairview Road in Biltmore Village. The first proposes to convert three historic houses into accommodations and construct a new five-story structure with a restaurant, while the second would build a new six-story building.
Asheville City Council will hear public comment on two proposed hotel projects and an economic development incentive grant at its meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11. City parking fines will rise on Feb. 1, 2019.
“If the county is paying these corporations, then the county is their employer and has the duty to hold them accountable when they don’t benefit the taxpayers.”
Members of Asheville City Council will hear an update on Tuesday, July 24, on efforts to boost transparency of policing data and will decide whether to approve an ambitious new plan for the city’s mass transit system.
Buncombe County commissioners signed off on amending economic development incentives, expanding preschool offerings and moving forward with a lawsuit against opioid manufacturers.