Emails reveal state reps trying to settle Asheville water lawsuit, may change city elections

Emails obtained by Xpress reveal that some state legislators have asked city of Asheville representatives to drop their lawsuit contesting a state-mandated transfer of the water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District. The emails also show legislators discussing the fate of legislation that consolidates Asheville and Buncombe County parks-and-recreation services — a move that could save the city $5 million a year. Further, the candid discussions shine a light on a long-rumored proposal that the state may force Asheville to switch to district-based elections.

Old disputes at heart of bill that transfers water system to MSD

About seven years ago, the Regional Water Authority of Asheville, Buncombe and Henderson County fell apart. The creation of what had been an historic agreement involving the three governments, ongoing disputes and frustrations led Asheville officials to end the partnership in 2005. Fast-forward to the March 28 filing of House Bill 488, which transfers the Asheville water system to the Metropolitan Sewerage District.

Storify: State house candidates face off at CIBO forum

The Buncombe County candidates running for seats in N.C. House districts 115 and 116 faced off at a Sept. 27 forum organized by the Council of Independent Business Owners.  Candidates were asked a range of questions, giving them a chance to show where they stood on issues like Asheville’s water system, jobs, education and more. Roughly 75 people attended the forum. Here’s a look at the event in words, photos and videos as it unfolded, via Storify. (photo by Max Cooper)

And in this corner…

Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair Nathan Ramsey and Vice Chair David Gantt, who’s challenging Ramsey for the chairman’s seat, kept the tone mostly civil during an Aug. 27 lunchtime forum, but the two exchanged barbs about each other’s records on the Parkside controversy, zoning and taxes. The contenders: Buncombe County Board of Commissioners Chair […]

We need to talk

“A funny thing happened on the way to the forum.” That title line of an early ‘60s musical comedy-of-errors has now turned out to be more pertinent to Asheville than we might wish. For the last two months, Mountain Xpress has been working to pull together a forum on the broader governmental issues underlying the […]

Changing of the guard?

The past few years have been busy ones for the Buncombe County Planning Board, as the county’s seen the advent of zoning, record growth and more than one controversial development-related issue. During that time, four board members simply stayed on after their three-year terms had ended, despite not being formally reappointed (members can serve up […]