District elections: Beyond the rhetoric

The recent disclosure that state Rep. Tim Moffitt had drafted a bill to change Asheville City Council contests from an at-large system to predominantly district elections has triggered heated debate among both elected officials and the general public. Although Moffitt hasn’t yet filed the bill, which mirrors the state-mandated 2011 switch for the Buncombe County commissioners, he could follow through at any time, and the potential impacts are substantial. In the following articles, Xpress takes a closer look at what such a move might mean for this city — and for this year’s scheduled elections.

A cultural bypass

Amid a contentious behind-the-scenes debate, a bill that would've originally allowed Buncombe County and its cities to consolidate parks and recreation departments was revised June 26 in the North Carolina Senate to exclude municipalities completely. First garnering bipartisan support this spring, recent revisions have highlighted ongoing political tensions between local and state officials over consolidation […]

Buncombe commission­ers split over culture authority, likely to delay budget vote

Buncombe County commissioners may likely delay their vote today on a $337 million budget. The source of the postponement appears to be the contentious behind-the-scenes debate over state legislation that would allow them to create an independent Cultural and Recreation Authority that consolidates services offered by the county and municipalities within Buncombe. Some commissioners say they weren’t consulted about a recent amendment to the CRA bill, and it’s unclear whether a majority of commissioners supported the amendment.

Advocates for redistrict­ing reform tout new study; poll shows overwhelmi­ng support

Ahead of the last election, Buncombe County was split between two congressional districts, and lines were redrawn in ways that helped Republicans get elected to the N.C. Statehouse and Buncombe County Board of Commissioners. Now, a new study shows how gerrymandering distorts elections in North Carolina, while a new poll finds overwhelming public support for changing the redistricting process.

In the running

Election season is underway for Asheville City Council. So far, a number of contenders have announced that they’ll run: Vice Mayor Esther Manheimer and former Asheville Risk Management Director John Miall will aim for the mayor’s seat (current Mayor Terry Bellamy departs and will take another shot at beating Rep. Patrick McHenry for a seat […]