by Leslee Kulba
Wild West blogger
Saith the local daily:
In 20 years this city will generate all of its own electricity, residents won’t need cars and buildings will be surrounded by edible landscapes and urban orchards.
That’s the vision at least of the current City Council which met Friday in the first of a two-day retreat downtown to hash out where Asheville should be going and how it should get there. The retreat is being facilitated by Tyler St. Clair from the Cooper Center for Public Service with the University of Virginia.
Were I present, I might have suggested commissioning a study to see if we could get these hand baskets to go the other way. I was well into three pages of diatribe, but I realized all the whining would go nowhere. Suffice it to say, the folks I know in Asheville count it lucky to work only 100 hours a week and think it rich to earn $25,000 pre-tax. When they have fewer than six hours to sleep a night, how are they to be convinced it is healthy to be walking four of those hours on meandering greenways just to get to their semi-warm beds? The municipal gardens and edible landscapes sound lovely, but what is to prevent the ne’er-do-wells who work so long they can’t volunteer from taking more than their fair share? What is to overcome NIMBYism and stigma in creating mixed-income Nirvanas? And how are we to overcome bigotry when government and the mass media are yelling at us all the time about how we must use extraneous factors to cast judgment? And as for the calls for strengthening government through debt and “using our . . . revenue base . . . in order to maintain and improve . . . human capital . . .” . . .