JLF Western N.C. Blog

What I Learned at City Council Tonight

  1. Are you in a blue funk, feeling off and unsure why? Well, when was the last time you checked the gender and amount of melanin in the skin of your local ABC board members? Asheville City Council decided to bump one man in favor of appointing a woman, and Mayor Terry Bellamy advised council to fill the next vacancy with some color.

  2. The city made good on its promise to split any end-of-year profits it realized amongst its employees, who had not had a raise in three years. Everybody would get $650. Councilman Chris Pelly commended the egalitarian distribution as “moving in the right direction.” Judy Strong, a member of the peanut gallery, argued the taxpayers were not getting that kind of bonuses. She thought it would be nice for the city to lower taxes or spend the money on something to prevent raising them. The mayor insisted that it was absurd to conflate government revenue with taxpayer contributions or even insinuate the two mutually-exclusive entities could somehow be made fungible.
  3. At least council shared reasonable insights with the noise ordinance. Cecil Bothwell challenged downtown residents who wanted the same standards of peace and quiet afforded in residential areas to extend to the central business district. After all, people were choosing to live in a hub of commerce. Members of the public indicated they could deal with the revelry coming out of bars at 2:00 a.m., but they could not stand the clamor of garbage trucks before 7:00 a.m. The mayor added that if the service trucks did not take care of business before rush hour, they’d be causing traffic jams. Council agreed to require service trucks to start no later than 6:00 a.m., unless all residents within hearing range were happy with the noise at earlier hours. Trucks had been starting around 4:00 a.m.

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