Jul
08

City Council Open Thread

By

At close of business today, five middle-aged white guys have filed for the City Council election…with three, four — maybe even five other middle-aged white guys waiting in in the wings. If at least seven middle-aged white guys file by next Friday at noon, there will be a Primary.

There are some big unknowns. There is surely some behind-the-secenes maneuvering. There is undoubtedly intrigue. There is most certainly beer.

“I love rumors! Facts can be so misleading, where rumors, true or false, are often revealing.” — Colonel Hans Landa, Inglourious Basterds

So what ya hear, Hooligans? Early handicapping? Who’s saying what? This is your thread.

Anyone?…Anyone?…Bueller?


Comments

  1. Certain men always get their way.

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  2. TJ says:

    “Men of a certain age?”

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  3. Mule says:

    Tim Peck is running? Is this a joke?

    Thumb up 14

  4. Brother Christopher runs all the time. He isn’t joking.

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  5. John says:

    Man, these activist elections are so hard to call. Really hard to say since Newman and Davis haven’t decided to run or not. Their entry into the race would change the math quite a bit.

    Pelly, Sadler and Chase seem weak to me. I may change my mind after the first forum. I really don’t know them. Pelly might have a chance but he’s talking about issues that don’t really affect the majority of voters. Sidewalks in Haw Creek? Hell, I lived in Haw Creek and even I don’t support something that costly. He seems to have been fishing for an issue a little too long. I think his best chance is pick up the support of the other progressives – Browie, Gordon, Cecil. Then he might get some momentum. He is progressive, right?

    Russell is the toughest call. A lot of people respect Russell and if he can raise the cash he raised last time time then he’s serious contender. He does, however, have that pesky former R problem. But then again, he rarely votes against the rest of council which means he gets the job done behind the scenes. In this environment of fiscal responsibility, that will count for something. I’m guessing second or third.

    Cates is definitely talking about something important. Asheville does need to have conversation about its water system. It’s something we’ve put off and put off and put off. And then we all said: “Screw it, let’s put in bike lanes.” But I think I’m stating the obvious here when I say Asheville doesn’t want to have that conversation with a straight, white, male Republican. Asheville doesn’t like Republicans. Asheville doesn’t trust Republicans. A socially liberal, female, business owner Republican, maybe. But not Cates…

    At first I wasn’t going to mention Peck but now that I’ve gotten this far I might as well. This is clearly some libertarian educational campaign and lots of trolls will waste all of our time talking about it. I’ve know Tim personally for a few years now and it only took a year and a half for him to make me his enemy. From what I’ve been told, it doesn’t normally take that much time and there is long, long, long list of personal – not political – enemies. I sincerely believe this man has a social disorder. This campaign is about Tim getting the attention he so desires. His entry into this race makes me want to jump in just so I can kick his ass.

    Marc Hunt is going to get elected to the city council. He comes off as professional and worthy. His campaign appears ready and smart. As long as no feisty, intelligent, bi-curious, glasses-wearing, non-kooky, nerd-hot females don’t jump into this race, I think he’ll be the top getter in the current field.

    Like I said, I’m sure my predictions will change if Brownie or Davis or the afore mentioned nerd female jump in.

    OK, I’m tired of typing. Somebody else say something.

    Thumb up 10

  6. TJ says:

    “OK, I’m tired of typing. Somebody else say something”

    Wow! That’s a great breakdown of possibilities and point of view. You’ve got me beat… I’m still reading and observing and learning. I want to know more before I vote for someone… I don’t go by name recognition, etc. I will say that one or two whom I have heard speaking seem to have more of a sense of self-importance, rather than a straightforward desire to bring positive change. I won’t knowingly vote for someone with that trait, but much of this is still wait-and-see for me. I’ll be interested to read more here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  7. Tom Buckner says:

    “Asheville does need to have conversation about its water system. It’s something we’ve put off and put off and put off. And then we all said: “Screw it, let’s put in bike lanes.” But I think I’m stating the obvious here when I say Asheville doesn’t want to have that conversation with a straight, white, male Republican. Asheville doesn’t like Republicans. Asheville doesn’t trust Republicans. A socially liberal, female, business owner Republican, maybe.”

    Ahem.

    All across “middle Amurrica” are straight, white, male Republican types who wish all the gays/hippies/liberals/freeks would go “somewhere else.”

    So when the freeks find themselves just such a “somewhere else”: an Asheville, a San Francisco, a New York, the occasional college town…

    why, the straight, white, male Republican types aren’t happy with that, either!

    Straight white Republican males: the guys who just want to own the living shit out of EVERYTHING.

    Thumb up 7

  8. TJ says:

    Tom, as I sat at the drumming circle last night, with the off-and-on again drizzle, I got a grin on my face as I watched some tourists watching with wide eyes, and some with eventual smiles, and thought of one ScruHoo comment where someone wrote “damn hippies,” from Sunday Morning music, I believe.

    I’m glad those “damn hippies” are here… ;-)

    Made me feel at home when I first came, and was nice to see they were still here when I came back.

    Damn Republicans! ;-) (But, then again, who would we rail against if they disappeared? They’re such easy targets ;-). And, they love the attention.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  9. Aleck Smart says:

    “At first I wasn’t going to mention Peck but now that I’ve gotten this far I might as well.”

    Thanks for making this thread about Tim Peck. He is much more interesting than all of the other candidates (not really).

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  10. barry says:

    I just got back from hanging out with 20,000 hippies on the Eastern slope of Mt. St. Helens, at the annual Rainbow Family of Living Light Gathering of the Tribes.

    And I’m sure you’ll be as shocked as I was just now when I realized I didn’t think about you guys even once.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  11. Sanuk D says:

    While we are speaking about self-importance, let’s talk a bit about the residents and government of the City of Asheville. To wit: why, in the face over overwhelming evidence to the contrary, does anyone in Asheville continue to believe that you have control over what happens to the water system? The issue is a loser in the practice of governing because of the City’s impotence in the situation. It may be a winner in an election if a bunch of folks who don’t pay much attention to political currents get whipped into a frenzy, but anyone with an attention span knows that the ship sailed with the passage of Sullivans Two and Three.

    Which leads us to what the City can really do, which is make some sidewalks, pick up recycling, and make a deal to bring more parking and more storefronts into the commercial center. Check, check, check. Oh yeah, and public safety. Hmmmm. That could get a bit dicey. Overall, though, these incumbents’ reputations for practical good governance will make them tough to beat. (All the incumbents will run, if you ask me. Which you sort of did.)

    In addition to the incumbents there may be enough non-wingnut candidates in the field to prevent another Mumpower/Bothwell type from sneaking through the primary. Keep in mind that Bothwell was sixth in the primary, meaning he rode to a win in the general on Gordon Smith’s coattails. It’s true. So it’s possible that some wingnut could go far, but the chances of that wingnut being Timothy Peck are slim to none and, in the immortal words of Don King, “Slim has booked passage on a steamer to Liverpool.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  12. TJ says:

    “And I’m sure you’ll be as shocked as I was just now when I realized I didn’t think about you guys even once”

    Oh, yeah, I remember you…. ;-)

    Sounds cool, man!

    Ankle-deep mud? Sounds reminiscent of Woodstock. Police road stops? Sounds like the same old stereotypes.

    Welcome back …

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  13. Dixiegirlz says:

    “Straight white Republican males: the guys who just want to own the living shit out of EVERYTHING.

    You left out authoritarian.

    Thumb up 5

  14. John says:

    @Sanuck Thank you for getting back to topic.

    You, sir, are dead on concerning our water system. There really isn’t anything our city council can do about the Sullivan Acts. But I maintain we do need have a conversation about it. If for no other reason then to decide who send to Raleigh next year. I remain unconvinced that Sen. Nesbitt has done all he could for the City Of Ashville in regards to this issue. And I quote a Jeff Forbes Mtn Xpress interview on 03/12/2010:

    Is there going to be any consideration given to adjusting or repealing the Sullivan Acts?

    “No. None that I know of. We finally got a [N.C.] Supreme Court decision that says they’re appropriate. So I know of no reason you’d want to repeal them, that’s a 70-year argument that’s been settled by the courts.” — NC Sen. Martin Nesbitt

    Ummm… You’re the Majority Leader – at the time – and you’re not going to do anything about repealing the Sullivan Acts? I think this speaks volumes about D leadership in Raleigh over the last …oh… hundred years or so. There is only one D I want to see go and that is Martin Nesbitt unless he pulls his head from his ass. This is not to say he hasn’t done good things over the years but I believe his willingness to go along rather then kick ass when needed has reveled his expiration date. If I ever run for office, it will be to replace him. I mean, Asheville is having to forceable annex huge sections of the county over this. Asheville is starting to grow in some funky ways as a result. But now who’s getting off topic as well as digging up a horse carcass and beating it…

    Getting back to the thread…I’m not sure what Cates – other than the water system and he was pretty vague on how he planned to pay for that while lowering property taxes (I assume) – has planned to say outside of what I read in the Tribune. As I remember, it concerned hunger and public transportation. Both noble issues but – as I stated – the electoral reality is that Asheville isn’t going to elect a Republican based on their track record concerning hunger and public transportation. If he has a good jobs plan that doesn’t involve some form of corporate welfare that R’s claim to despise and yet propose (i.e. Linamar deal) let’s hear it. Yikes, I’m typing too much again.

    Anyway, What makes you think all the incumbents will run? I think Davis is done. He seems tired to me. Not to mention, Brownie’s been at this a while himself…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  15. Dixiegirlz says:

    And Brownie has probably collected all the “Brownie Points” he can accumulate while on City Council….my sense of him is he’s sooo ready for bigger things. He may not be, but I suspect he thinks he is.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  16. Sanuk D says:

    @John

    I think Jan Davis is like a hog in slop serving on the City Council. He clearly has his heart in it, and since he grew up here and has had a business here for a long time, I think he has a depth of knowledge that allows he to do a heck of a job. (Is that a little too boosterish?)

    I also agree with @dixiegirlz that Brownie may be interested in higher office. Maybe something on the State level, but he has young kids and stuff. Give him four more years.

    The growth issue is a big deal, and as the recovery slowly takes hold it will rear its ugly head again. The problem is that Asheville has tried to go it alone when it needs to build more regional partners. That starts with the County (happening) and other municipalities (maybe not so much?) Look for this debate to really get going in two years when the Mayor’s seat is open.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  17. John says:

    “Is that a little too boosterish?”

    Ha! Yeah, just a tad. ;)

    Man, sometimes it’s just so hard to wait a week. But if Brownie and Davis are in then that spells trouble for somebody. Most likely Russell.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  18. RHS says:

    “Keep in mind that Bothwell was sixth in the primary, meaning he rode to a win in the general on Gordon Smith’s coattails. It’s true.”

    Actually, Bothwell finished first in the 2009 primary and slipped to third in the general:

    http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NC/Buncombe/10744/17361/en/summary.html

    http://results.enr.clarityelections.com/NC/Buncombe/10963/19288/en/summary.html

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  19. Yeah, I came in first in the primary in 2009.

    Have no clue what that means about coattails, but that’s a fact.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  20. What happened, looking back, is that a couple of folks with close ties to incarcerated former sheriff Bobby Medford funded a smear campaign against me (yes, it’s on the books at the BOE), and I fell from first in the primary to third in the general.

    Whether my endorsement of Manheimer and Smith was a plus or a minus for them, the result remains. I and those I publicly endorsed won the election.

    So much for Sanuk’s astute analysis.

    Thumb up 6

  21. John says:

    Planning any endorsements this time around, Cecil?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  22. Tom Sullivan says:

    @ barry, TJ

    I closed my first official column for the AC-T with this Asheville anecdote:

    One morning I told colleagues at work I’d spent the evening before sitting on the tailgate of my pickup truck in north Asheville, in front of a teepee, drinking rum with a Russian, a Moroccan, an Okie, and a doctor of internal medicine.

    They waited for the punchline.

    There wasn’t any.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  23. D.Dial says:

    Cecil… that smear tactic got my attention and it was so disgusting that you got my vote…and my husbands. So you lost a few but you gained a few, too.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  24. Sanuk D says:

    My bad on the primary.

    The fact remains that the general is going to pull people more to the center in any election. That plus the incumbency makes Russell a formidable opponent. Some speculate that he will be the top vote getter this time around.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  25. Tom Buckner says:

    Reminder: Medford’s friends funded that smear campaign as revenge for Cecil doing the most effective muckraking reportage Buncombe County had seen in (who knows how many???) years.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2

  26. John says:

    “Some speculate that he will be the top vote getter this time around.”

    Weird. I was totally thinking about that scenario in the shower this morning. About how this time it would favor the centrists. Yes, that’s right. I thought about it in the shower.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  27. TJ Thomasson says:

    As a likely candidate, I was just wondering at what age does middle-age begin? I may be the first pre-middle-aged white guy to enter the fray. :)

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  28. D.Dial says:

    “Reminder: Medford’s friends funded that smear campaign as revenge for Cecil doing the most effective muckraking reportage Buncombe County had seen in (who knows how many???) years.”

    After which he was shortly & coldly removed….connection???

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  29. barry says:

    The fact remains that the general is going to pull people more to the center in any election. That plus the incumbency makes Russell a formidable opponent. Some speculate that he will be the top vote getter this time around.

    And some speculate that Elvis runs a taco stand on Venice Beach.

    (and yes, I made this snark mild enough in the event I have to eat it…)

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  30. Michael Muller says:

    Hey Barry,

    Wanna have some lunch sometime soon? I hear the peanut butter, banana and bacon tacos down at White Duck Taco are fabulous!

    MM

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  31. barry says:

    “Why, thank you. Thank you very much.”

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  32. TJ says:

    ” are as skilled at misdirection as close-up magicians at the Magic Castle”

    @ Tom:

    BTW, that is an AWESOME place. Are you a member? If only what the politicians were doing were for entertainment purposes, all their slight of hand would not be so aggravating. That it is only for THEIR entertainment purposes makes it just more obnoxious than a wanna-be magician trying their hand at the auditions, with no real intent to be a “part of.” They don’t have to be a “part of” the consequences their havoc reaps.

    “They waited for the punchline.

    There wasn’t any.”

    As it should be, it just is… ;-)

    (sorry, I pulled the posts into one spot, I didn’t want to comment multiple times tonight)

    “Have no clue what that means about coattails, but that’s a fact”

    @ Cecil:

    The general idea is that someone being chosen based upon association. I think that notion insults the general intelligence of voters, and if people are not capable of researching a potential candidate and just settle for name recognition, or association with another popular (or not) person, then I think they lose the right to complain about the outcome, or to take credit for it

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  33. TJ says:

    “And some speculate that Elvis runs a taco stand on Venice Beach.”

    Never saw him there, but I did spot Elton John a few times over the years.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  34. Deus Ex Machina says:

    Tim Peck is running? Is this a joke?

    Let the market decide whether Mr. Peck is a viable candidate.

    Thumb up 5

  35. barry says:

    Tim Peck is running? Is this a joke?

    Let the market decide whether Mr. Peck is a viable candidate.

    I can think of at least three people right off the bat who will probably vote for Mr. Peck: the three other ‘Tim Pecks’ who signed this online petition to Heath Shuler in 2009. (#’s: 2, 41, 83, 169)

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  36. John, per endorsements: If I choose to support any candidates in this year’s Council race, it will come after a primary (should one be required – that is if more than six candidates file).

    The candidate forums and media questionaires bring out the best and worst in candidates, and person-to-person contact makes a big difference too. I know I didn’t have a clear idea about who else I’d vote for in 2009 until well into the campaign.

    And Davyne, this will come off as boasting, but so be it. There was a pretty direct connection between my investigation of Medford and ensuing events. Some of my named sources told me that when the FBI showed up to question them, they were carrying copies of my MountainX stories, and asked for confirmation of the information I’d attributed to them. And after the trial, I bumped into one of the federal prosecutors at Home Depot who told me he’d given copies of my book on Medford to everyone in his extended family because it was the best explanation of the case and his work that he’d ever read. He added, “You had the whole case before we did.”

    The smear campaign against me was funded by a video game operator whose business was presumably damaged when Medford’s county-wide casino operation was shut down, and by Medford’s single biggest campaign donor and occasional gambling companion. The connection between my reporting and that smear job was pretty direct, as well.

    Thumb up 5

  37. Thunder Pig says:

    @Barry:

    Maybe he thought it was an online poll. The Ron Paul crowd seem to love to vote in those more than once. See http://is.gd/PollFraud for more.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4

  38. Tom Buckner says:

    Cecil: ALWAYS say “I told you so.” If you let people forget when you were right, they will. We’re not really that smart. Monkeys in clothes, basically.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  39. Michael Muller says:

    Remember folks, filing ends at noon on Friday. Cough up 75 clams, sign a few papers and you’re in — it really couldn’t be easier. More information here.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  40. TJ Thomasson says:

    I have the paperwork in hand.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  41. Gordon Smith says:

    Remember – If you’re a candidate for Asheville City Council, you can have your responses to our questionnaire posted unedited. Just answer the questions and email us at thenameofthisblog@yahoo.com

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  42. D.Dial says:

    Cecil…it’s not boasting in my book…it’s fact. And goodness did you take heat for getting the facts. Thank You!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  43. Management says:

    Unless, of course, that person has been banned for multiple violations of our comments policy. His initial ban was for comment flooding; in the time that has elapsed, I’ve had to deal with at least twenty instances where he tried to circumvent our spam filter by using fake e-mail addresses. “timpeck@gooooooooooooooooogle.com” was my favorite.

    A is A, so to speak. If you want to lift the ban, I will happily hand you the keys and wish you the best of luck with keeping ScruHoo running.

    Thumb up 6

  44. Gordon Smith says:

    Management is sovereign.

    Thumb up 5

  45. barry says:

    Management is sovereign.

    Meaning he’s a ‘Tenther’, and prints his own money?

    Off-topic: WWNC is reporting that King Moffitt is “going to introduce an amendment to the redistricting committee that will keep Buncombe intact and in the 11th district as it is now.”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1

  46. Michael Muller says:

    Word on the street is that Councilman Jan Davis will file for re-election today at 3pm. That brings the current field to seven:

    • Marc Hunt
    • Bill Russell
    • Saul Chase
    • Mark Cates
    • Tim Peck
    • Chris Pelly
    • Jan Davis

    Surely there must be someone else to round out this motley crew. 24 hours to go. 75 bucks is all it’ll cost ya. 75 bucks. Step right up.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  47. Gordon Smith says:

    There are at least two more getting into the race – one is TJ Thomasson, and the other asked that I not say anything until she files…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  48. barry says:

    Surely there must be someone else to round out this motley crew.

    Don’t call me Shirley. And BTW, MM – interesting campaign gambit, calling your own candidate ‘motley’.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  49. Michael Muller says:

    A little humor, my dear Zilkov — always with a little humor.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  50. barry says:

    These cigarettes taste funny…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0