I get the sense that almost everyone in Asheville is unsatisfied at how the city is being run, but there is lack of agreement on what that means.
But it all seems to be the fault of the newcomers.
First, I need to note the nebulous definition of the term "locals."
According to self-identification at local government meetings, it seems to mean people who have family roots in the region dating back to the Paleolithic Age. It also seems to mean people who moved the area pre-2010.
I've also surmised that if one can track their family roots to before the Civil War, then that means their views on urban development are 176% more correct than someone who cannot.
Regardless, it appears most who self-identify as a "local" share the same belief that things were pretty awesome until recently. Before those other new people moved in and changed everything.
And, to be sure, the reason Asheville and Buncombe are growing (at all) is because of the migration of people into the area. Locals are not replacing their population. And their kids are moving away to pursue opportunities that are simply not present in a town of 88,000.
Progressives apparently believe the City and County are not progressive enough. More green energy, more government-mandated "affordable housing," a mandatory minimum wage, more needle exchanges, more drug use, more MFA-debt-straddled artists, more buskers, more panhandlers, more taxes on other people, fewer hotels, fewer (non-busking) tourists, fewer cars, fewer new buildings -- these are the things that keep Asheville "weird."
Conservatives believe progressive policies are the problem. They don't want Asheville "weird" at all. They want fewer panhandlers, less celebration of the drug and beer culture, lower taxes, fewer hotels, fewer tourists, fewer new buildings. Of course, most of the conservatives have already fled the the city, and don't intend to return. Many avoid even visiting the downtown area.
So, this really is an internal fight among progressives. And there is little rein in those desires, except budgets restraints. Unfortunately, what seems clear is that Asheville intends to be a case study in long-term drug abuse.
And for a city dubbed the "San Francisco of the Southeast," there is a warning in the Bay City experiment.
Pete's Prep: Monday, May 6, 2019
Funeral services were held for Riley Howell yesterday. The ROTC cadet was killed while trying to disarm the UNC-Charlotte shooter. Howell was buried with full military honors, according to the Charlotte Observer.
From the Asheville Citizen-Times: "Measles confirmed in Tennessee - and no one knows Asheville's vaccination rate."
WLOS reports: A Cherokee County man is charged with possessing a weapon of mass destruction.
Allan Richarz wrote recently in the NY Daily News: "For all the handwringing over Donald Trump’s trampling of political norms, Democrats have simultaneously embarked on a campaign to dismantle those norms when it’s deemed politically inexpedient to the progressive cause."