Board chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferarra and member Amanda Edwards have placed a resolution endorsing the Sheriff’s Office’s use of MAT on the commission’s agenda for Tuesday, Aug. 20. The treatment is currently offered to the jail’s pregnant female inmates, but Buncombe officials hope to expand its availability to all incarcerated individuals.
At the Black Mountain Public Library on July 23, Sheriff Quentin Miller spoke to roughly 35 people in the first of five planned listening sessions meant to build relationships with community members around public safety. Topics included compliance with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainers, school resource officers and transparency in the Sheriff’s Office.
Republican members of the board argued that their Democratic colleagues were out of place in issuing official letters against pending state HB 370, which would require Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller and other sheriffs throughout North Carolina to comply with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests on penalty of removal from office.
The four Democratic board members — Chair Brownie Newman, Vice Chair Jasmine Beach-Ferrara and Commissioners Amanda Edwards and Al Whitesides — have all signed letters asking state officials to withhold their support from the proposal. In February, Democratic Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller announced that his office would no longer honor ICE detainers.
James Baumstark, deputy chief of the Asheville Police Department, declared that all of the backlogged kits in his department’s possession had been reviewed — nearly 600 in all — with 414 already sent in for testing. Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller also said that his office was evaluating and prioritizing a backlog of 201 untested kits.
The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners got its first look at the county’s fiscal year 2020 budget at a noon meeting originally announced to review the agenda for the board’s 5 p.m. regular meeting on April 16.
In an effort to address what he sees as needs in the department, which includes increasing the number of patrol officers, Buncombe County Sheriff Quentin Miller asked the board for additional funding to pay for 21 new positions and an increase in the number of vehicles that the county refreshes on an annual basis. The sheriff’s office anticipates that the requests would produce a total recurring cost of approximately $3.2 million per year.
The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office will no longer honor requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement to hold detainees on ICE’s behalf without a valid criminal warrant.
Sixty years ago, Ernest Green and his classmates were just kids trying to graduate from high school.
Asheville has gotten whiter over the past two decades. The proportion of African-American residents in the city dropped from 17.6 percent in 2000 to 12.3 percent in 2016, a change city officials attribute to a combination of white influx and black exodus. For the people of color who remained in Asheville, 2018 proved a mixed bag.
As the Democratic Party retook control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2018 midterm elections, Buncombe Dems managed to hold onto a few key positions in local elections — perhaps most notably that of county sheriff. Politics also seeped into the Board of Commissioners race, where Republicans fell short in their bid to flip the party composition of the board.
Miller pledged to live up to his campaign promises of promoting the idea of a “community of we” and seeking ways to work together. “We must treat people with dignity and respect,” he emphasized. “We also request that you treat us with dignity and respect.
Robert Pressley, incumbent Buncombe County commissioner for District 3, was the only Republican to win a county race in the hotly contested 2018 midterms. Buncombe County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rose said the party’s unprecedented midterm voter outreach had helped propel Democratic candidates to wins in nearly all local contests.
Watch this space for the latest election results and commentary from the Mountain Xpress news team. The post will be updated regularly throughout the evening.
“In my opinion, Quentin Miller has those qualifications — an easy, balanced demeanor backed up with years of experience in the profession.”
“You can be sure the Republicans are pouring millions into stopping her so they can continue to take away voting rights, due-process rights, the rights of municipalities to prohibit discrimination, etc.”
“He is a well-respected, successful business owner and has been for a big part of his life.”
“You must not know that Quentin plans to hold regular town halls to build community rapport. Or that our opioid crisis will be one of Quentin’s top priorities.”
“Quentin Miller seeks a positive future for Buncombe County that includes innovative cooperation with other agencies to combat the opioid epidemic, more transparency of policing activities and increasing the safety of all students and adults.”
Part of the 2018 Mountain Xpress General Election Voter Guide