Jan
30

Black Mountain Joins the Chorus

By

Rep. Tim Moffitt (R-Buncombe) waves his fingers slowly in front of voters’ eyes and says softly,

“You shouldn’t be concerned about owning water systems. These aren’t the revenues you’re looking for.” [snark]

The AC-T reports:

Black Mountain aldermen have condemned a state seizure of the Asheville water system, joining a growing chorus of towns and cities hoping to derail a forced merger.

The aldermen voted unanimously at a special called Friday meeting to condemn any merger mandated by the General Assembly of the water system with Buncombe County’s public sewerage organization.

Black Mountain joins over 40 North Carolina cities and towns from Murphy to Manteo in stating for the record that the state takeover of municipal water system and public utilities sets a “dangerous precedent.” Asked for comment, Moffitt told the paper municipalities shouldn’t be concerned about owning water systems.


Categories : Local, Tim Moffitt, Water

Comments

  1. shadmarsh says:

    Ah, this must be more of that small government the GOP is always talking about. Are we sure there isn’t a uterus hiding in the MSD? It would explain a lot.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3

  2. Mim Toffitt says:

    Keep on going. All you are doing is adding fuel to my carefully constructed story that says the cities are all in league and answering to the liberal elite.
    I have been given the playbook by my corporate sponsors, and you are falling into my trap.
    Here are some links that might help you. Or not. Moo-ha-ha.

    http://www.theatlanticcities.com/politics/2012/06/secret-conservative-war-zoning/2371/

    http://lonelyconservative.com/2012/08/watch-out-you-could-be-next-victim-of-obamas-war-on-the-suburbs/

    http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2010/11/tea-party-agenda-21-un-sustainable-development

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0

  3. As Chuck McGrady insists that the seizure of Asheville’s water does not set a precedent for other statewide grabs of municipal assets:

    “He says it has “no statewide implication” but adds that “somebody could decide it’s what they want anywhere.” That sounds like a statewide implication to us, but McGrady, a former Sierra Club president, emphasizes the bill applies to a “specific situation with a specific set of facts not duplicated anywhere else in the state.”

    http://www.indyweek.com/indyweek/the-environment-could-take-a-beating/Content?oid=3244841

    …Tim Moffitt, bless his heart, confirms the worst suspicions of municipalities everywhere:

    “Moffitt, also contacted after the meeting, said that municipalities shouldn’t be concerned about owning water systems.

    “That is because as public utilities, systems should be thought of as independent services for ratepayers. And any debt from building a system would be carried by ratepayers, not city taxpayers, the South Buncombe legislator said.”

    He clearly, explicitly believes he is setting a precedent here: No town or city in North Carolina actually owns any of their ratepayer-funded infrastructure. It all belongs to the State, to take without compensation and distribute as they see fit.

    I wonder how the municipal bond market will react to this?

    Thumb up 10

  4. Andrew Dahm says:

    Mr Moffitt believes that cities shouldn’t own parking garages either. After all, they’re really owned by the people who pay parking fees, and the city has no business claiming title to something like that.

    Of course, the parking garages played a big part in the growth of retail sales downtown, which has increased sales tax revenues that essentially subsidize Buncombe County residents who live outside the city limits.

    So the city built the reservoirs and transmission lines and the parking garages, but is not allowed to charge higher rates to supply water for non-city residents, and isn’t allowed to keep its fair share of sales tax revenues.

    The welfare state is alive and well.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5

  5. …And it gets weirder. Just when you think I’m a “conspiracy theorist”, the real story shows that I’m not paranoid enough. This from Henderson County:

    http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20130117/ARTICLES/130119759/1187/NEWS08

    “Under a 2011 law sponsored by McGrady, Henderson County would have two seats on a merged sewer board, while Buncombe County and Asheville would each get three.

    “The county has maintained it deserves at least five seats on a 10-person board, including one each for Mills River and Fletcher representatives.”

    I’ve confirmed that this is not a typo. Henderson County Commissioners are not happy with only getting two seats on Buncombe County’s MSD for their 3000 or so sewer customers (6% of MSD total). Nor are they mollified by McGrady suggesting he may give them 1 more seat in the next bill.

    Henderson County wants to control AT LEAST half the seats on Buncombe County’s water/sewer authority. (No explanation of which 7 current MSD Board members need to lose their seats to accomplish this…)

    Currently, roughly 70% of the combined revenue of water and sewer of Buncombe County is payed by residents and businesses inside the City of Asheville. In spite of that, Henderson County is openly saying that they should be put in charge. And their Representative Chuck McGrady is in a position to give them exactly that.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2