The office finds itself without any permanent staff and has no public process for hiring new employees. The vacancies come after a wave of resignations, as well as public criticism from former employees and elected leaders about a lack of support and accountability for equity work.
Leadership Asheville pulled in some high-octane local speakers for the final installment of its summer Buzz Breakfast series held on Aug. 14. The composition of the panel reveals some key trends shaping the power dynamic that’s emerged over the past year.
In court documents filed March 12, former Asheville Police Chief Tammy Hooper’s attorney, Joseph P. McGuire, responded to a legal complaint brought against Hooper by former Asheville Police Sgt. Lisa Taube.
Asheville City Council will be asked to add its piece of a $39.7 million redevelopment puzzle on Tuesday evening. The 2016 General Obligation Housing Bond will provide $1.82 million, while $1.38 million will come from the city’s general fund and $1 million will be spent from the Affordable Housing Capital Improvement Program.
Crying about the year’s area government scandals doesn’t do much good — but bursting into song just might!
Asheville has gotten whiter over the past two decades. The proportion of African-American residents in the city dropped from 17.6 percent in 2000 to 12.3 percent in 2016, a change city officials attribute to a combination of white influx and black exodus. For the people of color who remained in Asheville, 2018 proved a mixed bag.
Change proved the only constant among staff members in Asheville city government during 2018. Firings, resignations, reassignments and new hires left the city’s bureaucracy radically changed from its makeup at the start of the year.
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.
“Oh happy day,” proclaimed Council member Sheneika Smith after the unanimous appointment vote for the city’s most powerful unelected official. “As an organization, as a city, and even the county is rejoicing today.”
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.
At the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce’s 13th annual Elected Officials Reception on Aug. 16, local politicians acknowledged that the intensity of recent city and county government scandals have sometimes pushed other issues to the side.
Candidates from across the country have until Monday, July 30, to apply for the most powerful staff position in Asheville city government. The role, currently filled by interim City Manager Cathy Ball, oversees all of the city government’s daily operations and advises Council members as they develop long-term plans.
Asheville City Council will meet in regular session on Tuesday, April 10 at 5 p.m.
City Council discussed police reforms during a work session on March 20 and ousted longtime City Manager Gary Jackson, who was about nine months away from retirement.
After a closed session of Asheville City Council on March 5, the city released more information on the timeline and investigation into the Asheville Police Department’s use of force against resident Johnnie Jermaine Rush.
With two newly elected members and an evolving political landscape, Asheville City Council’s annual retreat at The Collider Feb. 15-16 reflected a shifting mindset about what issues the city should tackle in the coming years.
Two finalists for the newly created Equity and Inclusion Manager position with the city of Asheville mingled with community members at a meet-and-greet on July 10. Kimberlee Archie and Alaysia Black Hackett shared their backgrounds, their visions of how the position can serve the city and some of the issues they see as most pressing for the new role.
Several senior Asheville city staffers are serving in interim roles as the city scrambles to fill vacancies and get its $74 million bond referendum program projects off the ground.
A changing climate, aging infrastructure and rapid rates of development are contributing to a rising tide of stormwater problems in Asheville. But responsibility for stormwater infrastructure often rests with private property owners, complicating the process of planning and paying for fixes.