After former Buncombe County Commissioner Holly Jones finished her questions about an allegedly improper $20,000 allocation of county money to build an animal barn at Charles D. Owen High School, her colleague Ellen Frost messaged then-County Manager Wanda Greene: “Like you said earlier, silence is a beautiful sound.”
At the Sept. 17 regular meeting of the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, Mountain Xpress shared concerns about new fees for the fulfillment of public record requests. In a unanimous vote, the commission authorized the county’s communications office to assess special charges for requests deemed particularly extensive.
The report notes that the county approved nearly $19.57 million in capital spending for the last fiscal year, including more than $7.95 million for Buncombe County Public Schools. However, less than $1.12 million has been spent to date on those school needs, with just over $1.87 million spent on other county projects.
Building permits and inspections, birth control through county Health and Human Services and disposal of solid waste are all slated to become more expensive in Buncombe County’s newly proposed fee schedule. The Board of Commissioners will vote on the new fees during its regular meeting at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17, in room 326 at 200 College St.
“While A-B Tech has never had a problem fulfilling public records requests, your reporter seemed to want to establish a problem with our procedures.”
The lawsuit filed by five local media outlets, including Xpress, to obtain the Asheville Police Department evidence room audit will go before Judge Bradley B. Letts on Sept. 4.
The full legal complaint from a coalition of local media calling for the release of the audit of guns, drugs and money missing from the Asheville Police Department evidence room.
Legislation introduced yesterday in the N.C. General Assembly could make public records more accessible by allowing for recovery of attorney’s fees in successful suits for disclosure.
Spend 14 years in the newspaper business, as Xpress has, and the paper starts to pile up. Over time, our reporters have collected mountains of memos, reams of reports, and enough official studies to keep a paper shredder humming 24/7. And don’t even get us started about the megabytes of e-mail correspondence clogging our hard […]
Many critics have argued that secrecy, at the federal level, has skyrocketed during the Bush administration. But what, exactly, does that mean? And how can citizens gauge the degree of secrecy their government practices? One relatively new measuring stick designed to answer both questions is OpenTheGovernment.org, a broad, Web-based coalition of public-interest and professional organizations […]
Thomas Wolfe, Carl Sandburg, Terry Sanford, Charles Kuralt. Most North Carolinians probably wouldn’t find anything sinister in this list of some of the state’s favorite sons. Yet the FBI investigated and maintained secret files on all of these prominent people, whose names are written into both state and national history. These and similar files, declassified […]