BUYING TIME: While some requested data about the Asheville Police Department will be released soon, city staffer Scott Barnwell, right, told City Council, other records requested by activists and Council members will take longer to be made public. Photo by Daniel Walton

Police accountabi­lity and transparen­cy focus of City Council meeting

Amid calls for increased public access to policing data, Asheville City Council left the city’s volunteer board dedicated to hearing residents’ concerns about law enforcement in place for now. At the same time, the elected officials noted many vacancies on the Citizens Police Advisory Committee and signaled their longterm intent to dissolve the body once the newly forming Human Relations Commission has gotten up and running.

STANDING TOGETHER: From left, Asheville City Council candidates Vijay Kapoor, Rich Lee and Kim Roney at an Oct. 25 forum on LGBTQ issues. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Council candidates come out to support LGBTQ community

A City Council candidate forum called into question how progressive Asheville really is when it comes to rights and protections for those in the LGBTQ community. All six candidates said they are in favor of the city of Asheville implementing a nondiscrimination ordinance, which is specifically disallowed under House Bill 142.

MUNICIPAL CANDIDATES: Early voting is underway in the races for Asheville mayor and City Council. Xpress presents answers to burning questions from the candidates.

Voter Guide: Q&A with candidates for Asheville mayor and City Council

As Asheville enjoys the benefits of a bustling economy, it also confronts challenges that come with growth, including concerns over housing, tourism, budgeting and certain segments of the city getting left behind. Xpress asked all the candidates for mayor and City Council to share their thoughts on these topics and more prior to the Nov. 7 general election.

CANDIDATE LINEUP: Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum at UNCA. From left: Kim Roney, Andrew Fletcher, Gwen Wisler, Dee Williams, Pratik Bhakta, Jeremy Goldstein, Cecil Bothwell, Vijay Kapoor, Adrian Vassallo, Sheneika Smith, Rich Lee and Jan (Howard) Kubiniec and moderator Tim Hussey. Photo by Carolyn Morrisroe

Race, housing take center stage in Council candidate forum

Who can afford to live here and how can we all live together? Those questions formed the crux of the conversation among Asheville City Council candidates at a Sept. 18 forum where two issues garnered strong and varying viewpoints: the lack of affordable housing and persistent racial tensions in Asheville.

BEST AND BRIGHTEST: Participants in the City of Asheville Youth Leadership Academy were recognized at the May 9 meeting of City Council. Photo by Virginia Daffron

Asheville Council closes in on city budget

At its May 9 meeting, Asheville City Council grappled with the challenge of creating a city budget in a time of plenty. “Oddly,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer, this year’s budgeting process has been more difficult than during the recession. Council asked City Manager Gary Jackson to tweak his proposal to achieve a property tax rate that reflects a revenue-neutral rate plus 3.5 cents to pay for interest on the city’s $74 million bond program.