As newly elected Asheville City Council members Sandra Kilgore, Sage Turner and Kim Roney embark on a new chapter of civic leadership following a close race, they inherit controversial priorities from the outgoing Council that will likely dominate the first few months of their term.
Xpress has compiled election night summaries for each of the contests previously included in our general election voter guide. The Buncombe County Board of Elections will not officially certify results until Friday, Nov. 13, and the state board will not issue certification until Tuesday, Nov. 24.
Zoning may not deliver the same zing as other hot-button issues in a competitive election cycle, but it’s among the most crucial discussions Asheville leaders and residents face as the city grows. Each candidate has different ideas about what to do first.
Candidates in the 2020 general election for Asheville City Council give their answers for the Mountain Xpress voter guide.
“She … stands in solidarity with the intergenerational leadership of Black Asheville Demands, calling for divestment from police and reinvestment in the Black community.”
Environmental advocates urged Asheville City Council to adopt a series of proposals to strengthen protections for Asheville’s urban forests.
Townsend cited the impact of COVID-19 on her family’s health and finances as one reason for dropping out of the race. She also listed “the current state of Asheville and the role [she] would play in the continual perpetuation of systemic harm” were she elected to Council.
Since March 16, local government boards and commissions meetings have been canceled, meaning citizens have largely been shut out of formal policy discussions as Asheville City Council and the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners manage the tandem economic and public health crises caused by the coronavirus.
More Buncombe County voters — 81,887, or 41.79% of all eligible residents — took part in the primary elections that wrapped up March 3 than in any previous primary in the county’s history. Xpress outlines the winners and losers for levels of elected office from president to Asheville City Council.
Watch this space for the latest 2020 primary election results for Western North Carolina and commentary from the Mountain Xpress news team. The post will be updated regularly throughout the evening.
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 …”