1) We live in the pit of progressive socialism - the idea that in order to achieve whatever ideals set forth by this Council, it's okay to run over laws and private owner's rights. Whether you're a business owner, property owner or real estate owner, beware. This City Council has no trouble bending the rules and laws to take your rights or your property.
2) This City Council, like every other political group has made an example of cronyism and used their positions to pat themselves on the back and put their friends and associates in positions of power through committees and commissions or City projects.
Since the RADIP project is now under "eminent domain" phase, we've decided to change the focus of this website to these two things starting with a recap of 2015:
CITY LETTER #6
City Manager Gary Jackson has cost our City millions of dollars. His million dollar mistakes include French Broad River, Pack Square, Eagle Street Development, the Stormwater Tax and a city budget which is 7 million in the red. Not to mention the bad hires: the Former Police Chief and a planning director who lasted 2 months. Gary Jackson's budget is a ponzi scheme getting ready to fall. Taxes and fees will sky rocket in the next few years.
Esther Manheimer, Our Mayor, is a eminent domain (confiscation) lawyer. Not only has she inappropriately voted to condemn large tracts of property but she also recommends her own law firm to be used when your property gets confiscated.
Gordon Smith and Cecil Bothwell are two peas in a pod. They are both consumed with power and feathering their own nests. These two slick politicians recently cut a deal in which Cecil backed out of the Commissioner's race and in exchange, he gets to pick Gordon's successor. Gordon Smith gets extra mention for giving his brother-in-law a job in the Eagle Street Development fiasco. Gordon said this wasn't a conflict of interest because the City attorney okayed it. What he neglected to say was the former City Attorney's husband owned the property.
Flash! You can buy New Belgium for 1 billion dollars. Price tag includes a corrupt city government.
Did you know the project director in charge of the Riverfront project, Stephanie Monson Dahl's husband writes for New Belgium? Also, Gabe Quesinberry, who did the Traffic Report for the City showing the Riverside Drive as the worst truck alternative for New Belgium now works for New Belgium as chief in charge of the entire New Belgium construction project?
Also, Brownie Newman, career politician, sits on the AARRC committee and works for FLS Energy, the company which suddenly received $30 million in private investment just when they were laying off employees in early 2014. One of the investment companies is Vision Ridge Partners, an investment company based out of Boulder and also does a lot of work in Fort Collins, specifically, they are the financing partner for a project called "FortZed" of which New Belgium will benefit. Vision Ridge and New Belgium donate the same amounts to the same people and sit on the same boards. Guess it was lucky Brownie got introduced to them. Not to mention, New Belgium holds their leadership meetings at the offices of FLS.
Then we have our City Attorney, Janice Ashley, who was trying to get a job with New Belgium at the same time she has been handling all the contracts between the City and New Belgium and working on the eminent domain cases impacted by RADTIP which will allow New Belgium to send 18 wheeler trucks alongside the River.
We have a lot of environmental companies in town so it's no surprise that David Tuch's company, Equinox Environmental, should get hired to do some of that $50 million dollar work happening on the River. Are you surprised that his wife is Shannon Tuch, the Development Services Director for the City of Asheville?
With 155 million dollar budget, they just continue to spend and tax hard working business owners, while they prop themselves and their friends and family up. Next time you get your water bill, better known as your new mortgage, look at all the added taxes and there will soon be more.
We will continue to write these letters exposing these corrupt, deceitful politicians till they are voted out. Connect the Dots.
PS, you won't read this in the Asheville Citizen Times. Josh Awtry is too loyal to his former City, Fort Collins, home of New Belgium.