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.