Tonight was a momentous evening in the Asheville City Council chambers. It was the night of swearing in for the newly elected representatives. Each took the oath of office found in Article VI, Section 7 of the North Carolina State Constitution. It goes:
Before entering upon the duties of an office, a person elected or appointed to the office shall take and subscribe the following oath:
“I, _______________, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and maintain the Constitution and laws of the United States, and the Constitution and laws of North Carolina not inconsistent therewith, and that I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as _______________, so help me God.”
I thought about complimenting all their outfits, so when they said, “This old rag?” people would suppose they were trying to be humble instead of articulating the slaps in the face citizens will feel when they vote to increase the national debt for corporate welfare, national police, national mortgage assistance, or whatever.
Councilman Cecil Bothwell didn’t have to implore the assistance of deity, Section 8 of the same article having been deemed inconsistent with the US Constitution or irrelevant, but not in any official capacity.
Things were not so straightforward in Sylva. Seating the new town board went more like a Chinese fire drill than an exercise in democracy. Cliquez ici for the exciting play-by-play.
A solar home appraised at $220,000 in order to win the People’s Choice Award in the 2011 US Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon, just sold for $15,000.
The Reverend William Barber, representing the NC NAACP, asked Art Pope to renounce legislation approved by Republican leadership in Raleigh. Until then, the public is being encouraged to picket stores owned by Pope. Pope somehow thought democracies should implicitly protect persons from retaliation against their viewpoints and political activities.
Grabbing national attention today are the 3200 problems with North Carolina’s Medicaid computer program, purchased for $484 million.
A bunch of public policy is illogical, rooted in impossible dreams like the infinite, yet non-existent supply side to economics. That said, there is a slim possibility that the computer programmers government is hiring to write its Health and Human Services software must bend programmers’ logic to comply with project specifications. However, I am more inclined to risk erring on the side of safety, and suppose things are proceeding in accordance with that diabolical scheme to gift another 1/6 of the economy to the federal government.
I would like to give Asheville Police Officer Jeffrey Rollins and the city’s PIO Dawa Hitch heaps of gratitude for their assistance with a weighty, proper role-of-government issue tonight.
State Senator Dan Soucek (R-Boone) hosted a meeting to mine constituents for ideas on how to change education policies. Soucek then told people they could not record the event electronically:
“These are private citizens, teachers, parents, and I wanted this to be a safe environment, where they felt safe that we could have a robust conversation that wouldn’t show up somewhere where it would defame them,” Soucek said.
Reportedly, the sheriff’s department did not think the forum was open enough to be an open meeting. Watauga’s county attorney could not comment.
This was not all:
Soucek said some who attended the event were paid by liberal groups such as the Democratic Party, the NAACP or MoveOn.org and were expected to be disruptive.
“It’s disappointing, because it’s not democracy, it’s — I have a lot of words I could use,” he said.
The first group denied paying anybody, and the other two could not be reached for comment.
The poor state has no money for teachers. Schools and children will suffer. But, unlike Rush Limbaugh’s industrialists who have no stash of cash in the back; the state does. It can give the City of Asheville $100,000 for a greenway and $500,000 for a playground, sprayground and more greenway for a community center. Now, seriously. If you had a choice, would you rather have a green and sprayed child or an educated one?
This is the kind of stuff that annoys me. First of all, I’d like to say the people working for Mountain Housing Opportunities are all very nice. I just don’t like how the organization operates. Lots of us would like to do a lot of good things if we had a lot of money. MHO manages to do so by writing grants. If the grants fail, MHO can take advantage of loopholes made by lobbyists who want privileges. By privileges, I mean the ability to dodge regulations that, if not necessary for some, are not necessary for all. That leaves the little guys without pull jumping through loops and paying more taxes and fees to make up the difference for the exempted ones. And, although our elected leaders are very intelligent, they pretend not to yet grasp the concept of (1-x) + x = 1.
On Asheville City Council’s consent agenda are requests from MHO to (1) change the drawdown schedule for a HUD loan they received, against the advice of HUD; and (2) waive their project management RFQ process. The option to waive the RFQ was made possible by legislative amendment this year.
As if downtown Hendersonville isn’t economically developed enough, city council approved a four-month study of Seventh Avenue. The consultant is charged with:
- Establishing strategic direction and priorities of redevelopment within the district.
- Developing financing and incentives options to encourage private investment in the district.
- Evaluating the cost and benefits associated with financing tools/incentives including possible expansion of the Historic Seventh Avenue District.
On a related topic, the city wants to corral buskers into street corners. Perhaps the council members have a thing for four-way cacophony, or maybe a spike in jay-walking is needed to boost city revenues. Police Captain Bruce Simonds observed a proliferation of street players following the city’s lifting of a ban on them. No generalizations are allowed to extrapolate this isolated instance of deregulation to anything else.