Ed Manning at Asheville City Council retreat

Budget outlook challenges Council at annual retreat

“This may hurt some feelings, but you can no longer operate the city of Asheville like it’s the Oprah Winfrey talk show, where you get a car and you get a car,” said Council member Keith Young, referencing the daytime TV host’s famous giveaways. “As much as we love all these programs and trying to help the public good… this is the time to close the bank.”

Asheville city seal

Council to hear residents’ input on bond referendum­; take deciding vote

City Council will hear public input on a proposed $74 million bond referendum at its Aug. 9 meeting — but all Council can do in response to those comments is vote for or against including each of the three bond categories on the general election ballot in November. The deadline to adjust the total borrowing amount in each category was July 26.

Buncombe County commission­ers spar over perceived transparen­cy issue

Another issue that put the commissioners’ divide on display was a resolution concerning the creation of a Utility Energy Innovation Task Force. The venture is a partnership with Duke Energy and the City of Asheville aimed at, “working to delay or avoid the construction of an additional fossil fuel powered combustion turbine electricity generating facility at the Asheville Plant site in 2023.”

County Republican­s stave off property reappraisa­ls for now

County Commissioners deadlocked on a request from tax director Gary Roberts to reappraise county real estate in 2017. With Commissioner Ellen Frost absent, the board members voted 3-3 along party lines, delaying for at least a few weeks a decision on whether the county will voluntarily undertake a reappraisal before the state Department of Revenue forces its hand.

CIBO discussion­: Property values and the state of the local economy

About 50 local business owners gathered over grilled chicken yesterday for a discussion about property values and the state of Asheville’s economy. The monthly “Power Lunch Meeting” was sponsored by the Council of Independent Business Owners and featured a panel of city, county and business leaders, including County Tax Collector Gary Roberts, County Attorney Michael Frue, Asheville City Manager Gary Jackson and the owner of Spake Real Estate, John Spake.

The writing on the wall

The man came to me, explaining with unassailable logic why, in the face of a tax revaluation that threatened to tear the communities of Jackson County apart, his quiet community by the river would be safe from the proposed 4,000-acre development of golf courses and mountain mansions. “Two percent of the people in this country […]