Silence Sometimes Speaks Volumes - TribPapers

Silence Sometimes Speaks Volumes

Floodwaters washed away a section of the road in Asheville.

North Buncombe High – I joke with people that being a reporter is a license to be nosey, but it’s really true. However, it’s not for selfish reasons. I’m not keeping it to myself, but telling everyone who will read about the information I’ve learned.

What people don’t realize is that their silence sometimes speaks volumes. What people don’t say will often speak louder than what they do say.

Take the City of Asheville and a washed-out road (see story page 4). After initially telling the Tribune that the road didn’t belong to them. The Tribune sent a photo with the damaged section inside the city limits sign and asked, “If this is not in the city limits, how does the city place their city signs?” City of Asheville Communication Specialist Ashley Traynum-Carson said she would check. Weeks went by and we didn’t hear anything from Ashley. When I gave Ashley a friendly reminder, I was handed off to Polly McDaniel. Another week went by where we still didn’t recieve an answer. 

So, the Tribune decided to move forward with what we have and inform the public. Why doesn’t someone just turn in a FEMA claim for the flooding damage and let the federal government pay for the flooding damage? 

Let’s be honest, it all comes down to “we the people” paying for it, since we pay federal, state and local taxes. The city is financed by the state to keep up the roads. It is known as Powell Bill money and again is paid for by taxpayers. FEMA funds are federal money used to help in a natural disaster, again paid for by taxpayers. Are the folks living in Honeysuckle Land, Appalachian Way and Honeysuckle Lane not taxpayers? 

Why have they been swept to the side and access to their homes disregarded? What about emergency service access for medical emergencies and fires to these homes? The responders now have to take alternate routes, adding lifesaving minutes. It sounds like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. 

As stated in the Tribune’s full disclosure note at the end of my article, I have friends and family who live in the area affected by this damage, but I’ve covered numerous stories where taxpayers did not recieve the answers they deserve. Just because I know, or are related to, some of these people should not make their plight any less of a story. We’re letting you, the reader, know this. If the city ever does respond to our questions, we’ll let you know that too.

Goodbye and Hello

I like my job as a reporter and commentator. I seem to get along with almost everyone in the government and have a good rapport with local elected officials.

There’s nothing personal about me vocalizing my dissagrements with elected officials. I don’t let it affect my reporting and hope they understand that I have a job to do.

So with that, I want to welcome those who have joined the ranks of elected officials in Weaverville and Woodfin. If you ever catch me being unfair in any of my reporting on government, please call me out. If I disagree with you in any of my commentaries and you want equal space, just ask. I look forward to working with you for the betterment of the communities you serve.

To those who were not reelected, I will say I enjoyed covering your time on the board and wish you the best.

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