Asheville City Council

Part 2: House Votes Down AVL Districts Bill

Jul 1, 2016

This is part 2 of the hour and twenty minute long debate over SB897, which would have divided Asheville into six districts for the purpose of electing city council members.  In a stunning defeat, the bill fell by a vote of 48-58, after debate appeared to lead some lawmakers to change their mind.


In a stunning defeat, the North Carolina House voted down a bill that would have made changes to the Asheville city council.  Senate Bill 897 was introduced by Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Henderson County, over the strong objection of the entire city council and all other state lawmakers representing Buncombe County.  Apodaca is considered one of the most powerful lawmakers in the General Assembly.  But this bill went down by a vote of 48-58. 

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

This is WCQS News, I’m Jeremy Loeb.  A bill making changes to Asheville’s City Council has cleared another committee, this time in the House.  The House elections committee passed the measure over the strong objection of the only committee member from Asheville.  WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb reports.

At the start of the committee meeting, it was clear that this bill was not coming from Asheville.

“The chair was asked to announce to the committee that the City of Asheville through its representation to the General Assembly wanted to go on record as being opposed to this bill.”

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS


By a vote of 33-16, the North Carolina Senate gave final approval Monday to Senate Bill 897.  The bill changes the way Asheville elects its city council, moving it from an at-large system to one in which candidates would be elected in one of six districts.  Bill sponsor Republican Senator Tom Apodaca of Hendersonville explained the bill after introducing it.  

Young, Haynes, Mayfield Elected to Asheville City Council

Nov 3, 2015
Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

The only incumbent in the race for Asheville city council lost as three new faces will join the council.  Unofficial results from Tuesday's election (as of midnight) show Keith Young finishing first with 18.22% of the vote.  Brian Haynes finished a close second with 18.08%.  And in third was Julie Mayfield with 17.65%, despite finishing first in the primary.  The race was for three seats on the city council, so those three are the winners.

Q and A with the Candidates for Asheville City Council

Oct 29, 2015
Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times

Early voting is underway in the election for Asheville's city council.  The primary election whittled the race down to six candidates.  They're now vying for three open seats on the council in the November 3rd general election.  WCQS reporters David Hurand and Jeremy Loeb interviewed all six.  Their full comments are posted below in the order in which they aired.

Jeremy Loeb/WCQS

Asheville city council candidate Brian Haynes defended his son and campaign manager, who is facing felony drug charges.  Austin Haynes was reported to have been arrested and charged with possession of around six pounds of marijuana.  The candidate told WCQS he knew that his son's arrest could become public during the campaign.  He declined to comment on the specific charges, but said he loves his son and is proud of him.  Haynes said he wouldn't have wanted anyone else to be his campaign manager, calling his son one of the most socially conscious people he knew.  He says he hopes voters wo

Asheville Mayor No Fan of Senate Sales Tax Plan

Jun 23, 2015
Max Cooper/Mountain XPress

State lawmakers in the House and Senate are trying to reconcile two competing budget plans.  The Senate plan includes a change to the way sales taxes are distributed to favor rural counties over more urban ones like Wake, Mecklenburg, and Buncombe.  WCQS’s Jeremy Loeb spoke with Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer about what the plan would mean for Buncombe County and the city of Asheville.   They also touched on the city budget and county room tax. 

Picture of a white police car in an empty parking lot, trees in background.

The Asheville City Council is scheduled to vote on buying body cameras for the police department.

The Asheville Citizen-Times reports the City Council is set to vote on the purchase of 60 cameras that could be worn on various parts of the body, including the head or shoulder. The vote is scheduled during a regular Tuesday council meeting.

Lucy Nicholson/ Reuters/ Landov via

The Asheville City Council is saying “NO” to hydraulic fracturing.  Council members passed a resolution Tuesday night rejecting the drilling method and asking the state legislature to reverse course.  The Republican-dominated legislature has pushed to open the state to fracking.  Councilman Jan Davis joined the unanimous vote to pass the resolution.