Who’s in charge?

Most states place some limits on what their legislature can do to the localities under its jurisdiction, delegating broad authority to city and county governments. But in North Carolina, things are different. “The Legislature has absolute control over local governments,” says Frayda Bluestein of the UNC School of Government. “They're created by the state Legislature; […]

Ruled from Raleigh?

Relations between Raleigh and the city of Asheville are strained, to say the least. “Our relationship, historically, with our local delegation has been very open,” notes Asheville City Council member Gordon Smith. “What's changed with this session is seeing bills that don't have consensus from the local delegation and seeing legislation move forward without any […]

Balancing act?

Depending on whom you ask, a recent change to Buncombe County's election law is either a blatantly partisan Republican dictate from Raleigh or a much-needed adjustment to restore balance and fairness to local government after an unduly long period of Democratic rule. Ratified by the state Legislature May 19 after House and Senate votes that […]