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Showing posts from August, 2016

The Daring Daylight Pack Place Caper Of Two Thousand and Fourteen

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How the city stole a public building in broad daylight By Roger McCredie Great Moments in Asheville Government
This is a lengthy article providing an example of how our City operates - what often looks legit is often questionable.  In this story, we write about the taking of Pack Place to benefit the Asheville Art Museum.Article sections: The Story of the Name Behind the Art Museum SignHow Pack Place Came To BeThe Rise of the Imperial Art MuseumThe Loophole“Make your own damn list!”The Art Museum Piles On; The Colburn Calls It Quits; Pack Place  Finally ReactsThe Caper: “Have we got a deal for you.”A Lingering DeathThe Story of the Name Behind the Art Museum Sign
You know that red brick building on South Pack Square?  There’s a big sign above the front door that reads “Asheville Art Museum,” right?
Well, behind that sign is a slab of masonry into which is carved, in large Roman caps, “PACK PLACE.”
That’s becauseon a pleasant spring afternoon two years ago, the members of the board of direc…

He’s baaack! Peterson tells audience why Bond issue will result in $180MM city debt

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Atty. Bach says money will become “a slush fund” By Roger McCredie
Peterson is back, "Ponzi scheme" is reality
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth the ghost of Banquo – whom Macbeth has just had murdered - - appears seated among the guests at dinner, causing severe indigestion and a general cessation of merriment.  If any members of Asheville City Council ever read the play, they may have recalled that particular scene on August 9, when Chris Peterson came to the public comment podium.
The last time Peterson addressed Council, on May 17, he was forcibly ejected from the council chamber while calling the city’s 2016-17 budget “a Ponzi scheme” and accusing Council and city administrators of “feathering your nest” on the backs of city taxpayers.
$74 Million Bond
This time the subject under discussion was a package of three general obligation bonds, totaling $74 million, that Council during the meeting voted unanimously to put before the public on the November 8 general election ballot.  The bon…

Bond Analysis: South Asheville gets left out again

1.1% of $74 Million Bond will benefit South AshevilleBond Analysis According to the City of Asheville's projected plans for the $74 million bond it wants taxpayers to approve in November, only $825,000 will directly benefit South Asheville taxpayers and voters and it will all go toward a park, the Jake Rush Park. None of the $32 milliontransportation portion is allocated for improvements in South Asheville. None of the $25 millionaffordable housing portion will go to South Asheville. Actually, half of that goes to private developers ($12 million) and the other half goes to the City to buy land or houses with the intention of keeping them affordable but the developers nor the properties have been identified. Only $825,000 of the $17 million parks and rec portion will directly benefit South Asheville residents.To see a detailed list of proposed projects for each area of the bond, see the article in the Citizen-Times dates July 11, 2016, "What would $74M buy for Asheville?"

How many City Attorneys does it take to change a light bulb?

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Probably one.  For everything else, a staff of seven. And a $1M budget. By Roger McCredie
In 2005, Asheville had a population of just over 73,000. In 2016 the population is reckoned at just under 83,400, representing an increase of 14.2 per cent.
And over the same 11 years the city attorney’s office has grown from five employees to a full-time staff of seven, an increase of 35.7 per cent.
The total 2005 budget for the city’s legal department, including its five-employee payroll, was $569,567. Its projected 2016-2017 budget, including its seven-person staff’s compensation, is $982,182, a 47 per cent increase over 2005.
In the not-all-that-distant past, the City Attorney was a lawyer in private practice who was simply paid a retainer by the city to offer legal opinions, and handle or supervise such matters requiring an attorney’s services, as might from time to time be necessary.
These days the city’s in-house legal team occupies spacious digs on the second floor of City Hall. Five of …