More of what’s going around:
–Rich Lee, a financial advisor who was runner-up in the 2015 City Council elections, has announced that he’s running again in Election ’17. There are four seats up for election this year, and they’re held by: Mayor Esther Manheimer and Council members Gwen Wisler, Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell. The elections are nonpartisan races. Candidates serve staggered four-year terms. Smith has announced that he would not seek a third term on City Council.
From Lee’s announcement:
In a letter on a new campaign website, Rich writes, “the city still struggles to be an affordable and sustaining home to many. The character of the community is more threatened than ever by traffic, a weak job market, adverse legislation and the impacts of being a highly-commodified tourism economy.”
“But I have hope. It’s clearer than ever that the root thing that makes this ‘Asheville’ to all of us is the feeling of a genuine, diverse, working, small town,” he writes, “a place that feels beautiful and authentic…
“I believe we can hold onto all that even if our population balloons past 100,000 (as expected in the next decade) or 200,000. The core character can be saved. But it’s going to take work: local government that’s daring, knowledgeable and committed, with the public always pushing it to try harder. I a few thoughts about how it can happen. I’m sure you have some I haven’t heard yet. If you have an idea or want to be part of this effort, please contact me using the link below and get involved. I’ll work with anyone, always have.”
-South Asheville resident Vijay Kapoor has announced his run for City Council this year, his first attempt at running for political office. Here’s more from his campaign announcement:
Vijay became involved in city issues when he organized South Asheville neighborhoods around a development proposed at a notoriously busy intersection. Through public town halls, meetings with City officials and the developer, and grass roots organizing, the neighbors and the developer reached a consensus that allowed the development to move forward, but effectively addressed traffic and infrastructure concerns.
Vijay also worked to secure additional funds for residents of a mobile home community, many of whom were poor immigrants, who were displaced when their community was sold for development and had to vacate. Currently, Vijay is working with a group of residents to highlight the human toll that repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) would have and taking that message to members of Congress.
Vijay owns a small business, which he founded, that provides economic analysis to governments across the country. He also mediated consensus agreements involving pension issues for public safety employees in Lexington, KY, Chattanooga, TN and New Orleans, LA. He began his career as an attorney, worked as a policy advisor for Governor Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and went to grade school in Asheville before moving back. Vijay is the child of immigrants, the married father of two wonderful children, and he recently adopted Chase, a dog rescued by Brother Wolf.
-Terra Marshall, a hair stylist who has owned and operated Beauty Parade Salon in West Asheville for 14 years, has decided she will not be running for City Council this year.
-Word on the street: Mayor Esther Manheimer will not seek re-election to another term.
-Word on the street: Both Council members Cecil Bothwell and Gwen Wisler are considering runs for mayor.
-Some 30 people have applied to be appointed to one of three open spots on the Asheville City Schools Board of Education, the Asheville Citizen-Times reports.