All nine Asheville City Council candidates shared their thoughts and ideas on everything from climate change to raising employee wages at the Asheville City Council Candidate Forum hosted by Mountain Xpress.
Candidates for Asheville City Council share their responses to the Mountain Xpress voter questionnaire in advance of the March 3 primary.
As world leaders met in Spain for a United Nations conference on climate change, Western North Carolina residents converged on Pack Square for their own environmental action on the morning of Dec. 6. Organized by Sunrise Movement Asheville in conjunction with six other area nonprofits, the Asheville Climate Strike for a Green New Deal called for government leaders “to take bold action and treat this like the climate emergency that it is.”
What does transit — and the city’s support of its bus network — mean to Asheville? Xpress talked to residents with different perspectives to better understand Asheville Redefines Transit’s role in the community.
The total cost of those buses, according to a city staff report, would be approximately $1.5 million, of which Asheville would contribute $225,000 in matching funds. Some members of the public commented that the switch from battery-electric to hybrid buses represented a step backward in the city’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
Transit advocates called for the city to more strictly enforce its contract with RATP Dev, which manages the ART system, citing 539.5 hours of missed service in July. But city staff said the management company “is making a good-faith effort to work with us” and does not currently plan to assess a number of penalties.
The ambitious proposal would increase bus service hours by 44 percent starting in fiscal year 2020, construct a new $50 million operating facility by 2024 and double the current fleet by 2029. Elias Mathes, transit planning manager for the city, says these bold changes are needed to make Asheville Redefines Transit a viable alternative to automobile commuting for the city’s future.
By the end of a six-hour session, Council had approved multiple items showing an unprecedented level of urgency for policing reform. Multiple split votes, however, showed the concern of some members over the process of making those changes.
Asheville voters turned out in relatively high numbers on Tuesday, Nov. 7 to reelect two incumbents and significantly increase the diversity of City Council.
“I will be voting for Gwen and Kim so that we can put their experience, commitment and new ideas together on Asheville City Council.”
“While there are four women vying for seats on Asheville City Council, Gwen Wisler will not be getting my vote. I base this decision largely on Gwen’s lack of advocacy to fund for Youth Transformed for Life …”
“I was especially impressed with Kim’s excellent communication skills and calm demeanor.”
Candidates for Asheville City Council and mayor got up early for one last candidate forum before Nov. 7’s general election. Presented by the Council of Independent Business Owners, the Nov. 3 forum focused on business and economic issues.
Asheville City Council and mayoral candidates fielded questions about everything from childhood hunger to city-county food policy partnerships at a recent food-focused forum at Lenoir-Rhyne University.
“We need leadership who is smart and flexible, who holds fast to the values of equity and affordability but is willing to listen and learn along the way. Kim Roney is that kind of leader.”
“She has more integrity than almost anyone I’ve ever met, and she puts her muscle where her mouth is, working in common cause with those who are being pushed aside by Asheville’s rapidly gentrifying economy.”
The Buncombe County Young Democrats and the Asheville Sustainable Restaurant Workforce hosted a forum for Asheville City Council candidates this week that probed issues affecting the city’s population of restaurant and hospitality workers.
A City Council candidate forum called into question how progressive Asheville really is when it comes to rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ community. All six candidates said they are in favor of the city of Asheville implementing a nondiscrimination ordinance, which is specifically disallowed under House Bill 142.
As Asheville enjoys the benefits of a bustling economy, it also confronts challenges that come with growth, including concerns over housing, tourism, budgeting and certain segments of the city getting left behind. Xpress asked all the candidates for mayor and City Council to share their thoughts on these topics and more prior to the Nov. 7 general election.
“Kim is all about making Asheville a thriving, family-centered, supportive and inclusive community for all.”
“Personally I will be voting for Sheneika Smith, Dee Williams and Kim Roney. I really believe these three amazing, strong, outspoken, forthright, visionary women will make a huge difference that is needed on our City Council.”