Asheville City Council

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council voted Tuesday night to accept the recommendation from a task force to remove the Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.  But many questions remain before the 65-foot obelisk is taken away.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

A task force appointed by Asheville City Council and Buncombe County commissioners voted Thursday to recommend the removal of the 65-foot high Vance Monument from downtown Asheville's Pack Square.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Five candidates are running for three seats on Asheville City Council in the current election.  While there are differences on a variety of issues, there is one topic the majority of candidates agree on, and it deals with changing the duties of council members.

BPR News Presents: 2020 Local Election Special, is a production of the Blue Ridge Public Radio news team.  It's three segments include an interview with Buncombe County elections director Corinne Duncan, and portions of two candidate forums done on the BPR Facebook page - for Asheville City Council, and for

Asheville Equity Advocates Resign Amid Racial Reckoning

Oct 2, 2020

The CEO of the YWCA of Asheville has quit, becoming the second Black woman in a month to leave a high-profile job with a mission of improving racial equity in the city.

Libby Kyles resigned Sept. 18, a little more than a year after being selected to run the century-old women’s organization whose primary role is racial justice.

Her departure follows the resignation of Kimberlee Archie, the city’s first  equity and inclusion manager, who left in August.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

(UPDATE 10:45 p.m.) Asheville City Council Tuesday night approved a roughly 3% cut to the city police department’s budget.  The plan was crafted after council members delayed approving a full city budget after a group of Black activists sought cuts in police spending, with money being reinvested in Asheville's Black community.  

Matt Bush

Asheville City Council appointed attorney Antanette Mosley to a vacant city council seat Tuesday.  Mosley will fill the seat Vijay Kapoor resigned earlier this summer after he and his family moved away from Asheville.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

The 12 members of the task force that will determine the future of the Vance Monument in downtown Asheville have been chosen.  By the end of the year, the task force is scheduled to determine whether to the remove the 65-foot obelisk from Pack Square and relocate it, or leave it in place and repurpose or recontextualize it.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council approved a 3-month budget Thursday, essentially delaying the decision on whether to cut the city’s police department budget and by how much until September.  

Cory Vaillancourt

There are 435 elections this fall in the United State for the House of Representatives.  North Carolina’s 11th district will be unique in at least one way – candidates will be talking about reparations.  That’s because Asheville city council voted earlier this month to start the process for reparations to the city’s Black community.

The official date of Asheville city councilman Vijay Kapoor’s resignation is significant in how his seat will be filled.  As it stands, Kapoor’s colleagues will pick his replacement - not the public.

Residents of the city of Asheville can apply starting next month for the upcoming vacancy on city council created by the resignation of council member Vijay Kapoor.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Artists on Sunday completed a mural that spells out 'Black Lives Matter' in Pack Square around the now shrouded Vance Monument, which sits near where historians believe enslaved people were sold prior to the Civil War.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council Tuesday evening unanimously approved a resolution supporting reparations for the city’s Black community.  Details of what shape those will take will come over the next year.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Buncombe County removed a memorial to Confederate soldiers that stood outside the county courthouse early Tuesday morning.  It's the second Confederate monument to be removed this month in downtown Asheville after Asheville city council and Buncombe County commissioners approved such removals last month following a week of protests calling for racial justice.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council at its next meeting Tuesday will vote on a resolution that calls for reparations for Asheville's Black community.  The move comes after a strong push from the Racial Justice Coalition, which sought to get the matter on the council agenda for Tuesday.

BPR

Scaffolding is going up around the Vance Monument as the city prepares to shroud the 75-foot obelisk in Pack Square in downtown Asheville.   

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

By unanimous vote Tuesday evening, Asheville city council approved a resolution that calls for the removal of two Confederate monuments, while creating a group to decide the future of the Vance Monument in Pack Square.  The Buncombe County board of commissioners will also vote on the resolution at its next meeting this coming Monday.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will meet on Tuesday evening.  It's the first meeting since last week's protests, which culminated with a list of demands from a collective of black leaders from city government, which included cutting funds for the city police department and using the money to invest in the black community.

Candidate filing in North Carolina for the 2020 primary election ended on December 20th.  The primary will be held on March 3rd, 2020.  The deadline to register to vote on that day is February 7th, 2020.  There is no same day registration on primary day.  There is same day registration during the early voting period before the primary.  Early voting for the 2020 primary election runs from February 13th to 29th.  The deadline to request an absentee ballot by mail for the primary election is February 25th, 2020.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council members meet for the final time in 2019 Tuesday evening, and lawmakers will take up a resolution that calls for a climate emergency to be declared by the city.  While the resolution calls for action but offers no policy, a set of wide-ranging legislative proposals around climate change could be in front of lawmakers early next year.  Their sponsor refers to them as a local 'Green New Deal', patterned after the similarly-named plan introduced in Congress this year two Democrats - New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Massachusetts Senator Edward Markey.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Defying a bill passed by the General Assembly last year, Asheville City Council Tuesday evening voted to change the city's charter to ensure future city council elections continue to use an at-large system.  This stops election districts from being used for next year's election.  But the General Assembly could act again to impose districts.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will decide Tuesday whether to defy a state bill that forces the city to use districts for future city council elections. 

Asheville city council is getting closer to taking action to sidestep the North Carolina General Assembly regarding the use of districts for future city council elections.  A final decision won't come until next month, but a public hearing to be held next week could be a sign of which way a majority of council members are leaning.

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city attorney Brad Branham told council members Tuesday evening a potential lawsuit over a state law that imposes electoral districts for future council elections could cost the city up to $2-million.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will hold a work session Tuesday evening on potential legal options for the city to stop the imposition of electoral districts for future city council elections.  Suing the state or changing the city charter to ensure all council seats remain elected at-large are two of the main options that will be discussed at the meeting.  But city councilman Vijay Kapoor will offer a third.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville city council will hold a work session Tuesday evening on whether to take legal action stop the imposition of electoral districts for future city council elections.  Council members appear split on whether to sue the state in an attempt to stop districts, which were created after the Republican-controlled General Assembly approved a measure creating districts last year.  

Matt Bush / Blue Ridge Public Radio

Asheville City Council narrowly approved a revised plan to turn the Flatiron Building into a hotel at its Tuesday evening meeting.  The vote took place roughly a month after an initial proposal was pulled from consideration because there was not enough support for it on council.

At the end of lengthy meeting Tuesday night, Asheville city council awarded the naming rights to what is now the U.S. Cellular Center to Harrah’s Cherokee.   On January 1st of next year, the facility will be called Harrah's Cherokee Center Asheville.  The complex includes the ExploreAsheville.com Arena, the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium, and an exhibition hall and a banquet hall.

Matt Bush

The Flatiron Building in downtown Asheville will not be turned into a hotel – at least for now.  At the end of Tuesday night’s lengthy city council meeting, four council members – Brian Haynes, Julie Mayfield, Sheneika Smith, and Keith Young – all stated they were against a plan from a South Carolina-based developer to turn one of downtown’s most iconic and oldest buildings into an 80-room hotel.  Those four constituted a majority of council members, so the developer's lawyer pulled the plan from consideration before the council could vote on it.  That allows it to come up again at a future meeting.  

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