Another week, the cycle continues. Let’s dive in.
Register to vote
First things first—are you up to date? If you’re new to Buncombe County, today is the deadline for you to register to vote if you wanna have a say in the May 6 elections. Here’s the info on how to do it.
Water rates rising
It’s official! As expected, City Council members unanimously backed a 1.6 percent hike to the residential water rate this week. Commercial and industrial-scale customers will see their rates go up 3.4 percent—a move which is expected to bring $458,000 in added tax revenue to city coffers once it’s implemented this summer. But fear not—Councilman Gordon Smith told the Citizen-Times the average water customer can expect to see about $3 added to their bill next year—a paltry price to pay for what some say is the most pristine drinking water in the country.
Coggins gets the green light
After months of controversy and an eight-hour meeting, members of the Buncombe County Board of Adjustment gave the OK to the proposed Coggins Farm development in Riceville. The revised plan, which faced heavy opposition from community members, will bring about 140 residential units to the 169-acre site. It’s 100 less units than the initial plan proposed last year. Read more herein Mountain Xpress (which also happened to get a snazzy new redesign this week).
Got plans for Friday afternoon? Now you do. Candidates in the District Attorney’s race will square off in a debate at Buncombe County Judicial Complex. Buncombe County District Attorney Ron Moore and his Democratic challenger Todd Williams are clawing for a primary victory next month. The winner moves on to the general election unopposed.
Moffitt named Mr. Effective
Looking for an effective lawmaker? State Rep. Tim Moffitt gets things done more than almost anyone serving at the state level. At least that’s the line from a new study released by the North Carolina Center for Public Policy research, which ranked Moffitt 12th among 120 House lawmakers for effectiveness. The vote was based on surveys taken by lawmakers, lobbyists and reporters who regularly cover the House.
McCrory headlining Moogfest
Just when you thought the lineup couldn’t get any bigger, Moogfest drops another bomb. The latest surprise add is Gov. Pat McCrory, who will be in town later this month to kick off the festival. The governor will appear at an event to discuss “innovation through technology,” and Mayor Esther Manheimer will be there too. More on that here.
Speaking of McCrory, the governor was in Washington, D.C. this week for two days of meetings related to the military, education and the economy. Although the Hit List doesn’t have full details of the governor’s trip, we do know he made a speech at an event hosted by GE, toured Lockheed Martin’s fighter jet demonstration center, and visited veterans at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.
McHenry represents sprawl
What hath U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry do with urban sprawl? Not much, except be included in the opening lines of a report featured in Atlantic Cities this week. Turns out that the city of Hickory, which is located in McHenry’s 10th Congressional District, was named the “most sprawling” metro in the nation last week. And according to research done by the magazine, there’s a correlation between conservatives and cities in “sprawling America,” and liberals in places located in “compact America.” In case you ever wondered about this sort of thing.
Hagan in Asheville
Last week, U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan visited Asheville to present Mountain BizWorks with a $1 million check for small business support. The loan, offered by the Small Business Association, will go toward granting microloans for small businesses and entrepreneurs in Western North Carolina. The move comes one week after Buncombe County Commissioners voted 4-3 to award $50,000 to the organization.
Senate election roundup
First, let’s get the most important fact out of the way—only 25 days left until the May 6 primary. Now, for a grab-bag of the latest developments in the races. Hagan announced this week she expects a haul of nearly $2.8 million in the most recent fundraising quarter—a figure well ahead of any of the GOP candidates gunning for her seat. Still, Thom Tillis continues to rake in the dough from supporters, and the Raleigh News Observer took an in-depth look this week at just who’s giving. Tea Party candidate Greg Brannon has been hanging out with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, who says he has a “man-crush” on the candidate. And for the second week in a row, North Carolina leads the nation in political advertising. Have you stopped watching TV yet?
Last but not least, are you registered to vote? Better do it today.