FAKE NEWS: Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville accused the Asheville Citizen-Times of being unwilling to publish positive state news at a meeting of the Council of Independent Business Owners on July 14. Photo by Virginia Daffron

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.

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer. Photo by Max Cooper

Mayor Manheimer, Asheville citizens call for fair redistrict­ing

Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer held a press conference Thursday, May 11, to highlight House Bill 200, which seeks to end gerrymandering on a statewide level. Asheville residents affiliated with Common Cause NC, a nonprofit organization based out of Raleigh, also spoke against gerrymandering within congressional districts and the need to support the proposed legislation.

Chuck Edwards, Republican, NC Senate District 48. Photo courtesy of Edwards

Lines in the sand: Fight brews over Asheville districts

Sen. Chuck Edwards of Hendersonville explains some of the considerations that led him to introduce a bill that would compel Asheville to institute district elections for seats on its City Council. And Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer lays out the reasons the city plans to follow a “parallel process” that may include a referendum on the issue, despite Raleigh’s insistence that the city knuckle under by Nov. 1.

The roof of Asheville City Hall.

Asheville voters could choose: Council districts or status quo?

Asheville voters may face an up or down vote on the city district elections plan making its way through the N.C. General Assembly. City Council accepted the advice of City Attorney Robin Currin to hold a referendum on establishing six districts for seats on the council versus the city’s current at-large election system in November.

Buncombe County commissioners and Asheville City Council members held a special joint meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 7. Issues included energy use, public safety and more.

Whitesides questions commission­, Fryar sees window for criticism at county-city meeting

The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners and Asheville City Council held their first joint meeting in more than one year on Tuesday, Feb. 7. While it was mostly presentations and information updates, Commissioners Al Whitesides and Mike Fryar used the time to question the African-American Heritage Commission and energy efficiency, respectively.

FULL HOUSE: A sell-out crowd gathered for the Asheville Downtown Association's State of Downtown luncheon on Jan. 31 at the U.S. Cellular Center. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Annual State of Downtown event focuses on investment­, opportunit­y

At the Asheville Downtown Association’s annual State of Downtown luncheon, Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and Buncombe County Commission Chair Brownie Newman touted lists of major public projects and initiatives that benefit downtown. Meanwhile, urban planning consultant Joe Minicozzi argued that tax revenue data show more municipal investment in downtown is both warranted and needed.

Sustainability expert Doug Bruggeman is proposing an investment strategy to protect multiple watersheds in WNC.

N.C. Supreme Court rules taking of Asheville water system unconstitu­tional

“Many years ago,” says Mayor Manheimer, “our city leadership made the bold and wise investment in a watershed and water infrastructure that provided the foundation for the robust water system we have today … This ruling ensures that Asheville can continue to own this great water system and continue to provide safe drinking water for years into the future.”

BIG DECISIONS: Asheville voters will weigh in on three separate bond measures: $32 million for transportation projects, including road repaving, sidewalks, bus shelters, traffic-calming measures and greenways; $25 million for affordable housing, including $15 million to repurpose city-owned land for affordable housing and $10 million for the city’s affordable housing trust fund; and $17 million for parks and recreation projects. Graphic assembled by Scott Southwick

Asheville leaders and organizati­ons weigh in on bond choice

City-sponsored early polling indicated that a solid majority of Asheville voters say they will vote for the proposed $74 million city bond referendum on this year’s general election ballots, and far more local groups and organizations have lined up to support the bond than to criticize it. As with any issue, however, opinion is mixed.