Archive for Buncombe County

Oct
15

Love Won’t Be Denied

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This just hit my inbox. With Attorney General Roy Cooper’s earlier announcement regarding his support for marriage equality, this is going to make for an interesting and historic opportunity.

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Willing to Issue Same-Sex Marriage Licenses; Requests Attorney General Review

 Asheville, North Carolina. Monday, October 14, 2013

Buncombe County Register of Deeds Drew Reisinger will be the first government official in the South to seek approval to grant same-sex marriage licenses since the U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Reisinger will accept and hold same-sex marriage applications and push the question of equal marriage rights to the state’s chief legal adviser, Attorney General Roy Cooper.

“I will let each couple know that it is my hope to grant them a license, but I need to seek the North Carolina Attorney General’s approval,” Reisinger said. “I have concerns about whether we are violating people’s civil rights based on this summer’s Supreme Court decision.

The Campaign for Southern Equality notified Reisinger that at least six same-sex couples would request marriage licenses Tuesday. Reisinger will allow the couples to complete and sign their applications. He will accept the applications but withhold his own signature.

“I will then let the Attorney General know that I would like to issue these couples licenses, but that I need his clarification on the laws of the state that seem to contradict the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution,” Reisinger said.

Tuesday will be the first time same-sex couples have requested marriage licenses from Reisinger since the June 26 Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

Aug
12

“We Took That Away From You”

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Transcript of exchange between Chris Pelly and Tim Moffitt – August 5, 2013. Taken from video shot at the event by another attendee. It’s my understanding that neither Councilman Pelly nor Representative Moffitt were aware they were being recorded.

Pelly: If we wanted to join the Culture and Recreation Authority, does the current legislation allow that to occur?

Moffitt: No, we took that away from you. When you filed your lawsuit, we… You did three things: First of all you filed your lawsuit, ok, so we’re not going to let you file the lawsuit on this side and sue the state and charge your taxpayers money but at the same time be the benefactor of this because it’s going to cost people outside the city some of their hard-earned money, so until the lawsuit is settled, we took the Authority away from the city.

Pelly: And does any other city in Buncombe County have the right to join the Authority?

Moffitt: Right now Buncombe County has asked for two years to not allow anybody to join. So they feel it’s going to take two years to kind of get the foundation set, for them to undertake that. So the limitations are going to be based on what the County is willing to do.

Pelly: And there’s a lot I could argue with you about about the issue of the water system, but this isn’t the place to do that…

Moffitt: Well, you know the history I’m talking about, Chris, you can find it. The history you’re talking about, I’m not sure.

Pelly: I have just one question for you.

Moffitt: Sure.

Pelly: Later on today there’s going to be a rally in downtown Asheville, your hometown…

Moffitt: Yup

Pelly: …and the newspapers are estimating thousands of people are going to be there.

Moffitt: Yup

Pelly: Does that give you pause that….

Moffitt: No

Pelly: decisions you’re making in the legislature are concerning people?

Moffitt: No

Pelly: Does it concern you that 86% of Asheville residents voted against the water referendum, for the water referendum that retains the water system?

Moffitt: What really concerns me is that you would actually put a referendum on the ballot that was not about the issue that was actually being discussed. As far as the folks that are participating in Moral Monday, we predicted this would happen in 2011 when it started in Wisconsin and Michigan. We predicted it would be 18 months before it hit North Carolina because North Carolina is considered a purple state. So North Carolina is seen by the unions as a state that they can flip, and if you go back and look at the chatter regarding Moral Mondays, it’s really a union driven event and doesn’t really…

Pelly: Does it affect the future of education and voter identification or any of those issues?

Moffitt: It affects people’s opinions on those things, but a lot of those opinions are not based on fact.

 

Aug
03

“This Is the Day!”

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[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7lRxuMe-9k[/youtube]

The American Prospect has a thoughtful analysis of where the Moral Mondays movement came from and where it’s going. A sample:

Barber’s approach inverts the religious-right rhetoric that has dominated, and warped, Southern politics in recent decades. Some liberals might be put off by Moral Mondays’ “good versus evil” approach. But not, for the most part, Southern liberals. Atheists, Jews, and Christians alike have long been accustomed to singing “This Little Light of Mine” while railing against right-wing politics; it comes straight from the civil-rights tradition of weaving together religion and advocacy.

“This is a kind of Jewish-Baptist-Episcopalian-Methodist-Catholic church,” says Tim Tyson, historian, author, and professor at the Duke Divinity School. “It’s not about dogma. It’s about having a core commitment to human rights and human values.”

Mtn #MoralMondays rally w/Rev. Barber Aug 5-Asheville NC. Forward Together. Not One Step Back #MoMoMo details at on.fb.me/1407gkK

Arizona, Here We Come!

Courtesy of Rep. Nathan Ramsey’s office. Joe Arpaio will be proud. Pink undies next, Nathan?

Buncombe GOP Facebook Page

 

From the Office of Rep. Nathan Ramsey providing information on HB786 :

 

Information on House Bill 786 up for a vote Monday, July 15th for the Second and Third Reading in the House.

 

RECLAIM NC is a law enforcement / public safety bill that has been carefully crafted to address hardened criminal activity in our state. The bill applies to citizens and non-citizens alike. The bill creates new statutes, enhances some existing statutes and imposes stiffer penalties on the activities that support various criminal activities.

 

HB786 addresses Identity Theft by making it a Class H Felony to “manufacture or sell” counterfeit documents. Currently, it is only a Class 1 misdemeanor.

 

HB 786 creates a “rebuttal presumption” against bail for certain crimes perpetrated by people in the State illegally, who may pose a threat to society or a flight risk if released on bail. It creates a tier of secured bail requirements for various other crimes, under the same conditions. This will help protect the citizens of NC by keeping the undesirable element off the street for longer periods of time.

 

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Jul
12

District One Community Meeting

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From the email inbox:

On Monday July 15th, 6-7 at Pack Library, your Buncombe County Board of Commissioners is coming to District One to hear directly from constituents.

This meeting will be an opportunity for citizens to share ideas, concerns and questions with their county elected officials. Commissioners will be there to listen and respond.

We hope you will find some time in your summer schedule to be a part.

Many thanks,

Vice Chair Holly Jones
District One

Commissioner Brownie Newman
District One

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Jul
12

After Examining the Facts

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I took it very seriously when allegations were made regarding the conduct of our public safety leadership, and I want to thank the citizens of Asheville for your patience through this process. The events and allegations that came forward since March have demanded a patient, deliberate examination of the facts. City Council, rather than getting swept up in assumptions and preconceived judgments, took its time and learned all of the facts available to us. I want to thank everyone who conducted and cooperated with the investigations. City Council has been attentive and engaged, and we reviewed the facts thoroughly as part of our oversight duty.

I was relieved when District Attorney Ron Moore determined that no criminal laws were violated in the course of APD’s investigation of the accident. The D.A., through his work with the State Bureau of Investigation, did not find Chief Anderson, Captain Gonce, Lieutenant Wilke, or anyone else to have done anything criminal in the handling of this situation. The criminal side of the investigation was in the D.A.’s hands.

Once the criminal investigation concluded, and upon receipt of Lt. Wilke’s formal complaint, City Staff undertook an administrative investigation. By waiting until the SBI concluded their efforts, Staff made sure that they would in no way interfere with the criminal investigation. Special thanks to Deputy City Manager Jeff Richardson, Human Resources Manager Derrick Swing, Human Resources Director Kelley Dickens, and Interim City Attorney Martha McGlohon for their hard work in gathering all of the facts as expeditiously as possible. Allegations that City Staff members were unresponsive at any point in this series of events are not borne out by the facts.

The facts are that Asheville City Staff applied administrative policies and procedures in an even-handed, professional, and timely manner. Based on the findings, steps were taken to address individual actions and APD organizational issues. I’m confident that the investigations were undertaken appropriately, well within the defined policies and procedures for such complaints. The organizational efforts are targeted to resolve long-standing issues within the department, and the individual actions will improve the department’s overall dynamic.

While many of the findings of this administrative process are confidential as indicated by NC General Statutes, I’m committed to as much transparency as possible, and this is why I supported the resolution allowing the City Manager to release as many details as legally allowed. I wish I could say more, but NCGS 160A-168 lets me know that it would be a misdemeanor to do so. Frustrating as that is, I’m grateful to those of you who understand the limitations of the law and who understand that City Council has made its decisions based on a comprehensive set of facts.

Click here to read the City Manager’s report, the resolution, and/or video of yesterday’s special meeting of City Council.

AC-T coverage here. Mtn. X coverage here.

Jul
11

Monday! Monday!! Monday!!!

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Buncombe County Democratic Party

** Moral Monday Bus Trip To Raleigh **

Monday, July 15 2013 

————————————————————

Will meet at Innsbruck  Mall 10:00 am – leave at 10:30

Back to Innsbruck Mall by Midnight

 Cost for bus/person $20

Reserve your seat online now.

 

PLEASE RSVP ASAP

Click On PayPal Link Below:

https://secure.actblue.com/page/bcdpmoralmonday or

Call Mark Newman at 828-768-7004

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Here’s some info about employment and housing from Mountain Housing Opportunities. For folks who aren’t aware, “45% of people who work in Buncombe County work within a 3-mile radius of the middle of downtown Asheville (49,690 workers). Of the 49,690 people who work in Asheville’s 3-mile downtown jobs center …

• Almost 23,000 travel over 10 miles to work.
• Over 12,000 travel over 25 miles to work.
• Over 19,000 live outside of Buncombe County.

An employee who commutes 10 miles each way to work and home spends over $2,500 per year in auto costs.”

Click the images to embiggen.

Screenshot 2013-05-29 at 11.10.54 PM

Screenshot 2013-05-29 at 11.11.15 PM

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May
20

NC Senate Budget Proposal

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Use this thread for all things budgety. The proposed Senate Budget does not include any tax reform details. Rumor has it that the poor and middle class will be paying more under the coming tax shift, while big corporations and the wealthiest pay less. Keep that context in mind as you read all of the spin. Also bear in mind that education and health care are two of the primary pathways out of poverty and for staying in the middle class. The Legislature will deal with raising taxes on the poor a little further down the road. Here are some bulleted budget points from various sources.

WRAL:
– Senate leaders released a $20.6 billion budget Sunday night

– overall education spending dropping when compared to the current year.

– paves the way for an effort to privatize [Medicaid], something the governor is already studying.

– Among the other proposed changes the Senate budget would make to Medicaid and health services are:
— cuts covered doctor visits on Medicaid from 22 per year to 10.
— raises co-pays for services.
— cuts private nursing services by $5 million.
— cuts mental health drugs by $5 million.
— cuts aids drug assistance by 25 percent, or $2 million. The budget also contains a provisions that would direct the state prisons to seek to use ADAP funding to pay for HIV drugs for those in the state prison system.
— closes the state’s three alcohol and drug abuse treatment centers, saving $37 million. In turn, the budget sets aside $10 million to pay for drug treatment services provided through regional mental health care agencies.

– includes a controversial provision that would require applicants for certain welfare programs to undergo drug testing.

– remove class-size caps for elementary school grades.

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