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While there are many issues facing our city, growth and development issues are far and away the most current and the most far-reaching. Over the last year we've seen a rapid rise in community activism as Ashevillians work feverishly to try to have a hand in shaping the future of their city. Developments are springing up like poke weed, and our city government, while doing its level best to manage the situation, finds itself drowning in development related issues: What do we want? What do we want to become? How do we enforce the laws already on the books? How do we balance maintaining our tourist economy, being inviting to transplants, and holding fast to the quality of life that we enjoy as citizens of this beautiful city?
The race for Asheville City Council is going to come down to just a few issues, with the most important being how best to guide growth as thousands of people move to our beautiful town. The debate over growth and development tends to get oversimplified into two mythical camps: Don't Build Anything Ever! vs. Build Anything, Anywhere, Anytime!
A more accurate way of framing the issue of growth and development is this: Those who believe that private interests ought to hold sway vs. those who believe that the public interest ought to hold sway.
The right way forward lies between the poles of these dichotomous frames. Elaine Lite, candidate for City Council best exemplifies the right attitude towards sane development practices.