Leslee Kulba

Equity & Inclusion Office Reports Activity

The City of Asheville means well, attempting to overcome economic disparity through innovations of its Office of Equity and Inclusion. Some of the initiatives, however, retain a tinge of paternalism and repression.

Council Endorses Hybrid School Board Elections

Answering to public pressure, Asheville City Council is now lobbying the legislature to change the way school board members are seated. Instead of appointing members themselves, council is recommending converting to either a fully-elected board or a hybrid of the two systems.

What Opioid Settlement Means for County

The Buncombe County Commissioners were asked to set aside $283,000 a year to continue what appears now to be a successful intervention in the local opioid problem.

County Proposes Nondiscrimination Ordinance

Many people identifying/expressing as one or the other binary gender feel violated sharing public showers with those who identify/express as the other gender. Those positioned somewhere along a broad spectrum of genders feel discriminated against if the former express their discomfort. The question is back on the table.

Transit, “Defund” on City’s Legislative Agenda

Asheville City Council approved this year’s legislative agenda. Priorities focused on increasing revenue.

Making Hoteliers Pay for Reparations

A developer of a 100-room hotel would pay around $400,000 in reparations. Wisler asked if he would now be paying $600,000, and Okolochany said it could go up to $800,000.

Commissioner wants more Money for Conservation

Buncombe County Commissioner Terri Wells would like to increase the amount of taxpayer dollars subsidizing conservation easements to $750,000 annually.

City States Case, Refocuses on Healing

Mass media conveyed a sense of community outrage over the removal of a homeless camp under the I-240 bridge in downtown Asheville. City Manager Debra Campbell wanted to assure the public the city was being as humane as humanly possible in dealing with a multifaceted issue - assistance is always welcome.

What Happens When Hotel Moratorium Ends?

Options for extending Asheville’s referendum on hotels have pretty much run out. To manage new construction, however, city council is considering allowing construction by developers who subsidize its general fund by supporting new governmental functions like building affordable housing, paying reparations, or supporting green and equity initiatives.

Red Cross Requests Blood Drive Space

There have been no reported cases of people getting SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, from a blood transfusion.