Letter: District elections offer chance to spread leadership
A common complaint from the establishment left is that district elections is a matter that should be left to the people of Asheville to decide in a referendum. (Although this could have been done before under §160A, Article 5.)
But it seems the progressive ruling elite has only lately come to the idea of popular consent prior to taking actions. This was certainly the case in its attempt to annex Biltmore Lake to the benefit of its General Fund.
The self-sufficient residents of Biltmore Lake were resolutely opposed being forcibly annexed. They needed none of the city's services. Asheville took no vote on the matter yet the annexation proceeded—against the wishes of "the people". The residents then sued Asheville, at their own expense, and it took legislation from Raleigh to de-annex the properties of Biltmore Lake.
With district elections, we have an opportunity to spread leadership across the expanding reaches of a growing city. Asheville has exhibited a recalcitrant frame of mind in sharing power and this is offensive to justice. It will once again take legislation from Raleigh to give "the people" what they deserve. This time in the form of greater representative democracy in electing its leaders.
Tim Peck, Asheville
Asheville District Elections Map (showing current council members)
Asheville District Elections Timeline
Asheville District Elections in Redistricting Committee
Asheville District Elections in Elections Committee
Pete Kaliner on Asheville District Elections