Asheville’s in its own category

Asheville is singled out, yet again, for special treatment by Raleigh
The Editorial Board | Oct. 12, 2019

What’s wrong with this picture?

A developer wants 802 apartments, vacation rentals and senior housing, as well as 14,400 square feet of retail space and 50,400 square feet of office space, on 68 acres on South Bear Creek Road. The land is bounded by Asheville on three sides and is near an Asheville park.

The request is going before the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment next month. The issue was to have been heard last week but, “There’s a lot of information to process,” said Bob Oast, an attorney for the Charlotte-based developer.

Why the county? Why isn’t this land in the city, where it belongs? The people who will live there will be using the city’s infrastructure and services. Why shouldn’t they be paying their fair share in support of the city? [NOTE 1]

Because the state has punished Asheville for electing members of the wrong party to city office. The state has put many restrictions on the water system and at one point tried to seize it without compensation. [NOTE 2]

The city sued and prevailed in the N.C. Supreme Court.

Most cities can require that land be annexed as a condition of providing water service. Asheville cannot. “This is unique to Asheville,” said Mayor Esther Manheimer. [NOTE 3]

She was reacting to a report that Asheville’s growth is slowing. [NOTE 4]

“Asheville city’s population growth rate dropped to 0.7 percent annually in 2017 and 2018, after averaging 1.5 percent annually over the previous six years,” said Tom Tveidt, an Asheville-based economist. [NOTE 4]

Also, most cities can charge higher rates for providing water outside their limits, which creates a financial incentive for annexation. Black Mountain, which buys its water in bulk from Asheville, has such differential rates.

Asheville’s in its own category

Again, however, Asheville is singled out for special treatment. State law forbids it from charging more for service outside the city. Another, more recent restriction forbids the city from refusing service to areas outside the city so long as it has the capacity.

There’s a lot of history in this, going back to how the city arguably mistreated residents of special districts established a century ago, but the effect nevertheless is to remove a tool for annexation in the here and now. [NOTE 3]

So, if Asheville cannot annex voluntarily, … [NOTE 5] …how about involuntary annexation? The city is under a special moratorium imposed by the state. Also, the city’s role in planning for areas near its borders, a power that would have given it a role in the South Bear Creek Road project, has been abolished by the state.

The ban on refusal of service, and reiteration of the ban on differential rates, were so patently unfair that they drew criticism from the judge who approved them. Wake County Superior Court Judge Howard Manning said the action “seems so unfair to the City of Asheville” and would be overturned if it applied to parties in a private dispute.

But, “in the legislative theater of conflict, the legislature has the power and authority to act in the manner in which it did.”

In the long run, North Carolina needs a home-rule constitutional amendment under which cities and counties would run their own affairs within broad guidelines such as free elections, due process and a balanced budget. In the short run, the state needs to stop treating Asheville differently than other cities. [NOTE 6]

A good place to start would be to stop trying to force the city to adopt district elections for City Council. [NOTE 7] The at-large system is working. [NOTE 8] In a 2017 referendum, three of every four voters supported the status quo. [NOTE 9]

That should be enough for Raleigh to start setting this picture aright.


When it comes to restricting extra-territorial jurisdiction powers, Asheville is not unique. State law H.B. 608 (2013) reforming ETJ authority for all local governments did not pass due to a variety of possible unintended consequences. However, several targeted local acts were passed instead during the 2011-2012 session and the 2013-2014 session. Eleven proposals out of 28 became law. H.B. 224 Asheville ETJ (2013) was one of them.

House Bill 608
ETJ Powers Limited
2013-2014 Session
Public Law
Last Action: Ref to the Com on Government, if favorable, Finance on 4/9/2013

NC General Statutes
Chapter 160A – Cities and Towns
Article 19. Planning and Regulation of Development
Part 1. General Provisions
§ 160A-360. Territorial jurisdiction

Search results for “G.S. 160A-360” (20)

Search results for “G.S. 160A-360” (8)


MSD Compensation Offer: Offer of $57M in compensation to Asheville from MSD for water merger. (PDF9).

Metropolitan Sewerage District of Buncombe County
Planning Committee
Meeting Date: November 30, 2012
Submitted By: Tom Hartye, General Manager
Subject: Consideration of Water/Sewer Consolidation Proposal

MSD Compensation Proposal:

  1. Water Assets remain public.
  2. Water Customers to pay the City of Asheville the Book Value for all water assets. This figure of $169 million will be adjusted for outstanding debt, developer contributed assets, and cash transfers to General Fund. This adjusted cost is estimated at $57 million to be paid over 50 years.
  3. Merger savings are estimated to be positive, inclusive of this payment.

See Also: “I would clarify that the … there was a proposal that was put together by the MSD.” -Esther Manheimer, Asheville City Council Press Conference: Water System Lawsuit, Council Chamber, City Hall, May 10, 2013.


Sullivan Acts:

Democrat lawmakers in Raleigh enacted the Sullivan Law water system restrictions as a result of abuse of the county by the City of Asheville. Specifically, House Bill 1064, Sullivan III – Asheville Public Enterprises (2005-2006) Section 2:

G.S. 160A-31(a) reads as rewritten:
“(a) The governing board of any municipality may annex by ordinance any area contiguous to its boundaries upon presentation to the governing board of a petition signed by the owners of all the real property located within such area. The petition shall be signed by each owner of real property in the area and shall contain the address of each such owner and a statement that the owner’s petition for annexation is not based upon any representation by the municipality that a public enterprise service available outside the corporate limits of that municipality would be withheld from the owner’s property without the petition for annexation.”


Asheville population growth slumping as surrounding areas pick up pace
John Boyle | Asheville Citizen Times | Sept. 11, 2019

“In a nutshell, at a time in which most Asheville metro area cities/towns are experiencing increasing population growth rates, the city has gone the opposite direction in the last two years,” said Tom Tveidt, an Asheville-based economist and founder of Syneva Economics. “Asheville city’s population growth rate dropped to 0.7% annually in 2017 and 2018, after averaging 1.5% annually over the previous six years.”


Asheville, like any other city in North Carolina, can annex voluntarily.

“G.S. 160A-31 authorizes a city to annex any area contiguous to its borders on receipt of a petition signed by all the owners of real property within the area proposed for annexation. The procedure is simple. Once a petition is presented and certified by the city clerk as sufficient, the council holds a public hearing on whether or not the statutory requirements—contiguity and signatures by all the owners of the subject property—have been met.” -UNC Chapel Hill School of Government, County and Municipal Government, County and Municipal Government in North Carolina

G.S. 160A Cities and Towns.
Article 4A – Extension of Corporate Limits.
§ 160A-31. Annexation by petition.


“North Carolina is not a home rule state. Here, authority is not granted through a broad delegation, but through numerous subject-specific general statutes and local acts.” -Frayda S. Bluestein, October 24, 2012, Coates’ Canons, Is North Carolina a Dillon’s Rule State?

“In North Carolina, cities, towns and villages are incorporated municipalities. An incorporated municipality means the North Carolina General Assembly has granted a charter authorizing the establishment of a municipal corporation and outlining the powers, authority and responsibilities of the municipal government.” -NC League of Municipalities, How North Carolina Municipalities Work.


Many other cities in North Carolina are using municipal district elections. See the report prepared for Senator Apodaca in May, 2016, when his district elections bill was considered.


The Citizen-Times held a different view about district elections for the county.

Our view: Buncombe commission should remain a bipartisan model
The Editorial Board | Nov. 28, 2016

“The Buncombe County Board of Commissioners has been a relative model of bipartisan cooperation in an era of partisan bickering, and that tradition should continue.”


On July 25, Asheville city council voted to place a non-binding referendum on the November ballot to survey voters about the law: Asheville City Council, Meeting Minutes, July 25, 2017, [40].

“SHALL THE ORDINANCE NO. 4603 (City of Asheville Ordinance No. 4603 adopted by the City Council of the City of Asheville on July 25, 2017), amending Section 6 of the Charter of the City of Asheville, as set forth below, to provide for six single-member electoral districts governing the nomination and election of Asheville City Council members, BE APPROVED?” -District Elections Ballot Question.


Giving Asheville a pass for poor leadership
posted by Pete Kaliner – Oct 14, 2019

“The Editorial Board of the Asheville Citizen-Times adopted and regurgitated yet another specious argument from the Mayor – in an effort to pretend the city and its inhabitants are being unfairly victimized by the evil Republicans in Raleigh.”

AC-T Editorial Board Totes Water For City Leaders
The Pete Kaliner Radio Show
October 14, 2019 • 121 min (Starts 16:45)

City Council Comments On Charter Amendment
Asheville City Council Meeting
September 24, 2019

History of the Water System
by John S. Stevens

This Was Our Valley
The Asheville Watershed

“In 1903, the City of Asheville forcibly acquired 5,000 acres of watershed property through a condemnation action from the residents of the North Fork community in the Swannanoa Valley to establish the Asheville Watershed.”

The Asheville Water System and Buncombe County
Who paid for the water system?

Transfer of Waterlines
Transfer of Buncombe County water lines to the City of Asheville

Delay and deny
by David Forbes |Asheville Blade | January 27, 2019
As public pressure to fight a state-imposed racist gerrymander mounts, Council finally breaks their silence, revealing more delays and refusing to challenge a part of the law giving them another year in office.

G.S. 160A Cities and Towns.
Article 4A – Extension of Corporate Limits.
§ 160A-58.64. Referendum prior to involuntary annexation ordinance.

House Bill 925: Annexation Reform 2 (2011-2012). An act to require a vote of the residents prior to the adoption of an annexation ordinance initiated by a municipality) is a Public Law that applies to the whole state, not to any one city.

Kaliner: “But the NC General Assembly banned all involuntary annexations in the state almost a decade ago. It wasn’t targeted at Asheville.”

“G.S. 160A-31 authorizes a city to annex any area contiguous to its borders on receipt of a petition signed by all the owners of real property within the area proposed for annexation. The procedure is simple. Once a petition is presented and certified by the city clerk as sufficient, the council holds a public hearing on whether or not the statutory requirements—contiguity and signatures by all the owners of the subject property—have been met.” -UNC Chapel Hill School of Government, County and Municipal Government, ‘County and Municipal Government in North Carolina’ – Part 1. Local Government Basics: Chapter 2: Incorporation, Annexation, and City–County Consolidation. pg. 18.

G.S. 160A Cities and Towns.
Article 4A – Extension of Corporate Limits.
§ 160A-31. Annexation by petition.

“Courts generally upheld annexations so long as the statutory procedures were substantially met. During this period, the law served to facilitate the orderly expansion of the state’s cities. In some cases, however, cities annexed without providing significant services. (In Nolan v. City of Marvin, 360 N.C. 256 [2006], the North Carolina Supreme Court invalidated an annexation because the city failed to provide meaningful services to the annexed area.” (fn8) -UNC Chapel Hill School of Government, County and Municipal Government, ‘County and Municipal Government in North Carolina’ – Part 1. Local Government Basics: Chapter 2: Incorporation, Annexation, and City–County Consolidation. pg. 17.

House Bill 224
Asheville ETJ and Annexation
2013-2014 Session
An act to make various amendments to Chapter 160A of the General Statutes with respect to the City of Asheville.

Mayor Manheimer’s Comments On Charter Amendment
Asheville City Council Meeting
September 24, 2019

“I feel like I’ve had to bite my tongue on the timing issue for…ever, because, um, quite obviously one of the issues here is that the legislature went into session in January and they only now are finally, sort of, going home, uh, and for us to take action on this issue while they’re in session would be somewhat ridiculous because they would just probably turn around and undo what we did. So, we’re hoping that by, look, this ain’t our first rodeo, folks. We have been doing battle with the legislature over various items for a long time. This is chess not checkers. So, we’re, you know, please know that this isn’t just something we’ve been ignoring. This is, you know, this requires careful planning. And I’m still not giving away all of the cards because it’s not going to be over if the legislature decides to come back into session between now and when it’s time to file, you know, I don’t know what exactly we’ll do. So, um, I’m sorry if some of you are frustrated by the timing but please know there was some thought put into that. Uh, and, and, here we are, and there is still no absolute guarantee but maybe with, um, the new maps being drawn, I don’t believe Senator Edwards, who’s been the supporter of this legislation, will have any part of the city in his district any longer, although we know that has not been an impediment for coming after Asheville by the legislature. In fact, the person who removed our primary was a representative from a suburb in Charlotte. So, uh, right, who lost his election in the, to the former governor’s daughter. Um, but, uh, you know, I, I, I, I want to say I don’t take lightly taking on Raleigh, because I, we have seen very real consequences of engaging in that kind of warfare. So, I, I, I appreciate that folks want to push us and they are ready to shove us out front and to do battle on this but for those of us who actually go down there and walk the halls and look at the climate we’re dealing with, this is, this is, you know, this is serious, and I, I think that it’s important enough issue that we undo what they did, again, and I think that, um, uh, we asked the voters to vote on this issue so we could have support from the citizens in, in, you know, in this movement forward we’re trying to work on here, uh, and you did that, you did it, we also did a referendum on the water issue when the water system was taken. So, we have, um, there is method to the madness here and we have been somewhat successful but we have lost some things. We’ve lost some critical things. We’ve lost, for example, the ability to annex subdivisions that are built on the outskirts of the city that tap into our water system. We’re the only city in North Carolina that can’t do that. Which means that we — right, you’re looking confused — because that is retribution for who we are and our position vis-à-vis Raleigh. So, you know, there, there’s going to be chink, there’s going to be a cut, there’s going to be a repercussion, so you have to decide carefully what, you know, what you’re willing to take on. And, uh, we are fighters and we have been fighters and anyone who doubts that is not paying close attention. Um, but, I, I think this one is worth it and, um, and I am hopeful we’ll come out on top. But there may be some bumps in the road before we get there.”



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Keith Young

kyWilliam Keith Young is a Black Male and was selected by the progressive ‘machine’ to win his current seat on Asheville City Council as a pre-emptive political rebuttal to a Republican-led legislature that sought to impose a district election system for the sake of diversity. (The same is true for Vijay Kapoor from the poorly-represented South Asheville.)

Young was the top vote-getter in the 2015 election, along with Brian Haynes and Julie Mayfield, edging out Rich Lee who finished a disqualifying fourth.

1. Keith Young: 6,315, 18.22%
2. Brian Haynes: 6,271, 18.10%
3. Julie Mayfield: 6,114, 17.64%
4. Rich Lee: 5,376, 15.51%

Young was elected under the previous non-partisan at-large system, where the entire city’s voting population decides the composition of city council.

Under the proposed district system, Young would have to compete for election in 2020 from Municipal District 2, which splits Downtown Asheville into two, and North Asheville into two, and also does not include West Asheville at all. (I speculate that Young’s race for reelection would be more competetive under such scheme.)

According to Young’s voter card, his residence is currently in Precinct 01.1.

Click to access MunicipalMap_Asheville.pdf

If state law S.B. 813 is contradicted by a charter amendment, a municipal primary would be held in March under an at-large system. Jake Quinn: “You’ve got to register in December to run in March [primary]”

However, S.B. 813 would remain in effect as a Local Law and some provisions would still apply, such as the extension of certain terms by a year to 2020 and 2022. Section 1.(e)

The proposed charter amendments do not contradict state law in its provision to extened council terms, they only contradict the provisions that impose districts and eliminate primaries.

“To consider adoption two ordinance amendments to the City of Asheville Charter for the following purposes: A. To provide for at-large elections for the members of the City of Asheville City Council; B. To provide that Asheville City Council elections be conducted by the nonpartisan primary and election method.”


Councilman Keith Young speaks for people who look like him.

Samuel L Jackson says “Really?!”


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Linda Cohen

Untitled“Linda Cohen was a Philadelphia-based guitarist, who made three albums of instrumental music for classical guitar, augmented with various electronic instruments and effects. Sadly, she passed away recently, but was well-known in Philadelphia both as a musician and a guitar instructor. (Her obituary can be seen here.) Other members of the Philadelphia music scene help out on all her recordings: notably, Craig Anderton and Michal Kac of legendary psych group Mandrake Memorial, as well Charles Cohen, a modular synth player who is well-known to anyone familiar with the Philly underground scene of the past few decades. Leda was followed by Lake of Light (1973) and Angel Alley (1982); of the three, Leda seems to be the most sparse, with the warm nylon-string guitar of most tracks being subtly augmented by bass or synth sounds which remain in the background. Lake of Light is available at this Soundcloud page. Although the arrangements of Lake of Light are sometimes more engaging, I think the songs of Leda are stronger, ultimately making it a more enjoyable album. Calm, reflective, psychedelic, and slightly melancholic music, reminiscent of Führs & Fröhling.” Continue reading

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Chris Anglin: Fraud


Late candidacy could help Democrats win N.C. Supreme Court race
The Associated Press | Jul 5, 2018

RALEIGH — A last-minute candidacy has the potential to dilute Republican votes this fall for a North Carolina Supreme Court seat and boost chances for the Democrats to expand their majority on the court.

Raleigh attorney Chris Anglin filed on the last available day last week as a registered Republican to run for the seat held by another Republican, Associate Justice Barbara Jackson, who is seeking re-election. Civil rights lawyer Anita Earls is running as a Democrat.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports Anglin actually was a registered Democrat until he changed his voter affiliation in early June, a couple weeks before the judicial candidate filing period began.

Continue reading

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City Council and APD

City Council Meeting Agenda
Regular Meeting
May 22, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.
Council Chamber – 2nd Floor – City Hall

Tribune report:

“Kapoor blew the whistle again. For the third time in two weeks, council members were being blindsided by a request for a vote on an item that was not on the formal agenda, thus keeping members of the public in the dark; had not been vetted by staff, thus providing council with only one side of the issue; and had not been run through the committee process, thus preventing resolution of conflicting datasets. Wisler concurred; due process required noticing the public of potential changes in policy and inviting them to speak on the topics.”


“When Manheimer asked if council wanted to table the matter until their June meeting, Young said, ‘I will not make a motion to lay on the table.’ He said if members of council did not like the measures he had proposed, they could vote against them. ‘Call the question!’ he ordered. ‘You-you don’t want public comment?’ asked the mayor. Young shook his head no. ‘Oh-ka-ay,’ said the mayor hesitantly. Council then rashly approved all three measures, with only Kapoor and Wisler voting in opposition.”


Young: (referring to his 3 motions) “This side is action”

City Council drives through policing changes

“Young cut debate and public comment on his proposals short by calling the question, a parliamentary motion that brings an issue up for immediate vote. While Robert’s Rules of Order, the procedural manual used by Council, requires such a move to be approved by a two-thirds majority vote or unanimous consent, no such vote took place.”

Police group threatens legal action against Asheville

Kapoor issues statement on policing changes

Pete’s Prep: Wednesday, May 23, 2018

“Indeed, the Council and the Mayor rushed to adopt the new rules without public input, as Councilman Keith Young ‘called the question’ – which is a parliamentary rule that shuts off debate and forces a vote.”

Radio: Asheville City Council Cuts Out The Public


City Council Meeting Agenda
Regular Meeting
June 19, 2018 – 5:00 p.m.
Council Chamber – 2nd Floor – City Hall


B. Asheville Police Department Equity & Transparency

1. Resolution regarding written consent
2. Resolution regarding consent search criteria
3. Resolution regarding regulatory vehicle stops


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LTE: District Elections

Dear Asheville Daily Planet,

Municipal district elections are coming to Asheville. This voting method separates the city into six geographical areas for electing six city council members. Candidates must reside in their separate districts and be elected by voters from that district. The mayor will still be elected by all of the city. District elections are all about regional representation, increased democracy, and decentralization in city politics.

A law requiring this election method for Asheville was passed by the state legislature in June. Senate Bill 285 mandates that the city change its charter by November 1st to provide for election districts starting with the 2019 elections.

On Tuesday, July 25, Asheville City Council voted to place a referendum on the ballot that purports to allow the voters of Asheville to decide the matter. This is a ruse. You are being lied to. This issue has already been decided by law and a vote against it would only be used to manufacture evidence for a court challenge in a desperate play to maintain the status quo by a few. Senate Bill 285 is clear and in no way allows the results of a local referendum to take precedent over legislation passed by the General Assembly.



Ballot question: “Should Ordinance #4603 be approved?”
Elections Timeline
Asheville Districts Map – Apodaca


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McGrady on the Regional Water System

Interview on WCQS

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Game Plan 2017

Can anyone spot the fatal flaws in this Democrat strategy?

Game Plan 2017

Our Shot – Episode 1: The 2017 Opportunity
Facebook Townhall Video
Hosted by Rep. Graig Meyer

NC Democrat Party Pipeline Project
The Pipeline Project is the North Carolina Democratic Party’s new program to recruit, train, and support candidates running for local office in the 2017 Special Election.

Court Order
It is ORDERED that: 1. The General Assembly of the State of North Carolina is given the opportunity to draw new House and Senate district plans for North Carolina House Districts 5, 7, 12, 21, 24, 29, 31, 32, 33, 38, 42, 43, 48, 57, 58, 60, 99, 102, and 107; and Senate Districts 4, 5, 14, 20, 21, 28, 32, 38, and 40, through and until 5 p.m. on March 15, 2017.

NC Legislators Serving In the 28 Districts



(1) The 28 districts to be redrawn are all Democrat districts, except one. If they are redrawn in any way similar to existing districts, only the Democrat incumbents will have to run for re-election. Are the Democrats recruiting candidates to challenge their own incumbents?

(2) It is the Republicans that will have the task of drawing new maps for 27 Democrat districts and 1 Republican district. The Republican majority is not going to draw themselves out of power. If anything, Republicans will draw new maps that will result in picking up seats.

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Warriors and Citizens

by General Jim Mattis and Kori Schake

a preview

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Civitas SDR Lawsuit

Civitas Files Federal Lawsuit Against NC State Board of Elections
Demi Dowdy | Civitas Institute | November 22, 2016

AUDIO: The Mark Shiver Show: Francis De Luca on the Civitas lawsuit filed with the NC State Board of Elections regarding the validity of same day registrations

AUDIO: The Pete Kaliner Show: Francis De Luca on the Civitas lawsuit filed with the NCSBE regarding same day registrations

Recount request, lawsuit add uncertainty to governor’s race
Associated Press | November 22, 2016

VIDEO: Civitas sues, cites concerns about same-day registration
News & Observer | November 22, 2016

Civitas Institute seeks expedited hearing in NC ballot lawsuit
Associated Press | November 23, 2016
A conservative-leaning group has asked a federal judge for an urgent hearing on its lawsuit demanding the state verify addresses of voters who use same-day registration. The leader of the Civitas Institute filed a motion Wednesday for a preliminary injunction and an expedited hearing on the lawsuit filed this week.


The Strained Relationship Between The News & Observer and Facts
Sister Toldjah | American Lens | November 23, 2016
With all the talk about “fake news” as of late, as well as the credibility hit the mainstream media took in the aftermath of the surprise victory of Donald Trump, you’d think news outlets would be taking concrete steps to make improvements in the accuracy of their reporting. Restoring the trust between readers and journalists by reporting the facts would be a priority, one might conclude. Such doesn’t seem to be the case with the Raleigh News and Observer (N&O).

Partisan Press Gets Caught Lying
@RaleighReporter | November 23, 2016

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