King of Nothing

The Buncombe County Commissioners experienced drama as various members defended their own seats on the newly-created Culture & Recreation Authority. The powerful board, if ruling libraries and parks is indeed a lever for moving the world, is an odd little creature. Back home, it appeared to at first be intended to increase government efficiencies by merging redundant overhead in city and county park departments. But then, the General Assembly decided municipalities wouldn’t be allowed to participate, at least for the first year. Due to a proliferation of rules, the county commissioners decided to appoint themselves to the board to meet paperwork deadlines and resign once due process could be followed for regular appointments.

Now that it was time to resign, Commissioner Ellen Frost refused. This triggered flashbacks to comments she made about her opponent, Christina Kelly Gallegos Merrill, when Merrill challenged the vote after the initial canvass swapped it from her favor to Frost’s. Anyhoo, to avoid noticing requirements were a quorum of commissioners to serve on the board, at most one other commissioner could be appointed. Jones lost out to Joe Belcher. That led Brownie Newman to observe that the board now had no district representation from Asheville. In other words, new titles had been granted, and a 3.5-cent tax had been levied, for no apparent advantage to The Wee People.