Leslee Kulba

Buncombe Engages Redistricting Representation

Statewide redistricting remains in litigation, causing concerns over whether it will be possible to hold fair elections in a timely manner.

Corridor Users: Plans Still Not Pragmatic

Asheville City Council approved corridor plans for Hendersonville Road, Tunnel Road, and Biltmore Avenue/McDowell Street. Changes set to reduce automobile traffic lanes and accommodate more transit, cycling and walking.

Buncombe’s 2022-2023 Budget Richly Subsidized

Conversations from the Buncombe County Commissioners’ first budget worksession for the 2022-2023 fiscal year indicate the commissioners, awash with funding from ARPA, the opioid settlement, Hurricane Fred relief, HCA, etc., need help from the public deciding how to spend it all. Focus areas selected by the commissioners include broad categories like “affordable housing” and “climate and environmental solutions.”

Ramada Neighbors Take Grievances to County

Residents and property and business owners feel the shelter at the Ramada Inn, rather than helping persons suffering addiction, has burdened their neighborhood with filthy and criminal activities. Finding Asheville City Council, which intends to purchase the shelter, unresponsive to their demands for a safe neighborhood, they took their complaints to the county commissioners.

Helping the Poor with Committees and Plans

Winter is coming, the homeless population remains at record levels and the City of Asheville is sitting on hundreds of thousands of federal dollars disbursed to aid the disadvantaged and dispossessed with housing. The funds are being held up, for approximately a year, to give the city time to come up with a plan, with public listening sessions, to help decide who should receive funding.

Is Asheville Planning More Police Defunding?

To date, the City of Asheville appears to have done little, besides conveying a sense of withdrawn support, to appease the vocal minority clamoring for defunding the police. Strides in that direction were, however, swiftly taken to comply with new state legislation.

Community Planning with Equity Lens Proving Expensive

Buncombe County received two $500,000 grants from the Dogwood Health Trust, pending formal acceptance. Both would pertain to opioid interdiction: one would support planning with an equity lens, and the other would support a Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) team.

Buncombe County Addresses Dysfunctional Gov.

The commissioners discussed problems getting people to work in its Internal Audit Department and fortifying its anti-nepotism policy. Both were pivotal in reforms following the detection of extensive fraud perpetrated by former county leaders.

Asheville Gov’t Enters High-Roller Real Estate

Asheville City Council approved payment for due diligence on a 42-45-unit apartment building that will rent-control half its units for persons earning no more than 30% of AMI. It was assumed the city, county, and Dogwood Health Trust would pitch in $2 million each for the $8.3 million project later.

Commissioners Hear Three Sides of Soccer Issue

Having heard complaints from the Asheville Shield about playing field access, the commissioners listened to what ABYSA and county staff had to say.