Asheville City Council on Tuesday agreed to put a referendum on the Nov. 7 ballot asking voters whether or not they want district elections for City Council.

The action moves City Council further down a separate, parallel path to the one blazed by the N.C. General Assembly, which last month approved a new state law requiring district elections for Asheville City Council. State law requires City Council to have new districts drawn by Nov. 1.

City Council members have clearly expressed their dislike of the state legislation. Many observers believe it’s a clear attempt to get Republicans elected to City Council, which is dominated by Democrats.

Council’s move to put the district elections question to a referendum may bolster a future legal challenge if city residents vote against them.

According to the state law, the new 6-district system for Asheville City Council would go into effect in 2019. (The mayor would continue to be elected at-large.) Also, city officials are allowed to create an independent commission to draw those new district boundaries.



  1. I think it’s terrible to give equal representation to all parts of the city. Just awful. I want all the decisions for West Asheville to made by people who live in South Asheville. It just makes sense. We aren’t smart enough to elect somebody to represent us.

  2. “Council’s move to put the district elections question to a referendum may bolster a future legal challenge if city residents vote against them.”

    Bolster?! Dude. That is the sole reason for holding a special election. This ‘vote’ will be without force. District elections will take effect regardless of this political stunt.

    A ‘vote of the people’ is usually taken to elect a candidate to an office or enact some proposal. If a vote doesn’t cause anything to happen then what is it for?

    • From the very first page of Superior Court Judge Howard Manning’s ruling in the Asheville water lawsuit:

      “…contrary to the wishes of the citizens as expressed by referendum held in November, 2012, which overwhelmingly opposed any sale or lease of the system.”

      The referendum opposing the transfer of Asheville’s water was the very first reason cited by the judge in his decision to block the State takeover. Tim Moffitt tried to stop the City from holding it back then, to the point of threatening to revoke their charter. The City didn’t allow themselves to be bullied back then, and the referendum was a key part of them winning the lawsuit against the takeover. No wonder you’re opposed to the public having a say this time.

      • That kinda makes my point, dufus. You progressives are so simple. Never change.

        Yes. The city is going to take the law to court to protect the self-serving ‘status quo’ and is trying to manufacture evidence by using voters in a special election. Voters will probably disapprove of district elections at the polls because they won’t understand the issues and will rely on progressive opinion leaders to tell them how to vote, which is how they want them to vote. At least that’s the game plan.

        • Still trying to divine what your “point” was, other than “I’m often wrong.”

          Meanwhile, please do continue to loudly insult the intelligence of Asheville voters. That has worked out so well for you over the years.

          Fact is, the vote on the referendum may be very close. Despite what the Asheville-haters think, it’s not a sure thing by any means that the voters will blindly accept Council’s preference on anything.

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