Update on Republican plans to take over Asheville's water system

Big Government Republicans in Raleigh are on a roll, having succeeded in passing legislation that would illegally seize Asheville's municipal water system. Now the city is in the sad position of counting on Pat "Duke Energy" McCrory as their last line of defense. Anybody want to bet on what hizzoner will do when the bill lands on his desk?

Details below, via email from PARC. PARC stands for People Advocating Real Conservancy.
web site: http://www.ashevilleparc.com

Help Save Our Water!

Despite the sincere appeals from many of you, and the principled arguments made by representatives of the City of Asheville, the NC General Assembly appears ready to pass House Bill 488, the "Regionalization of Public Utilities". The main intent of this bill is to forcibly remove control of the Asheville water system and pristine 22,000 acre watershed from Asheville's elected officials, and put it in the hands of an unelected Board controlled by the State.

The studies have all been finalized: there will be no economic benefit to ratepayers from transferring control of Asheville's water, there will be no "efficiencies" gained - this is about wrenching control of water from the people into the hands of the State.

The threat of privatization of this vital resource still exists, and the threat to make this the first of many such seizures across the State still exists. We need to take a stand now.

Our best hope to derail this ill-advised legislation lies with NC Governor Pat McCrory. As a former Mayor himself, he has to see that the State seizure of municipal assets is a terrible idea. What City or Town will make investments and improvements in their infrastructure (the kind that Asheville has recently made in their water system), once the precedent has been set that if one greedy neighbor wants your assets, the State may step in and take them? This is what is happening to Asheville.

Please take a few minutes to send an email to Governor Pat McCrory.

Or call his office at (919) 733-5811. As always, please be polite, don't attack the bill sponsors, but be persuasive. Mention "Asheville Water" or the "Regionalization of Public Utilities" bill. Should the bill reach his desk, ask him to please Veto!

Thanks for speaking up for safe, public-controlled drinking water!

Comments

We can do better.

If I were governor, I would have weighed in on this issue a long time ago.

To my colleagues in the General Assembly.

You all need to stop behaving like a bunch of arrogant assholes and remember whom you work for. The people of North Carolina. Not just your buddies and special interests.

Do not ... I repeat ... do not waste public resources passing a ridiculous bill to take over the water system of Asheville. If such a bill makes it to my desk, it will be dead on arrival. And if you override my veto, I will call out the National Guard to stop your takeover in its tracks.

I am sick of this kind of bullshit. And so are the citizens who pay our salaries.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

House Bill 488 Regionalization of Public Utilities.

I called the Governor's Office to ask for a veto of the bill. I suggest callers use the bill name and number to make it easy for those listening to the messages left on the bill.

Martha Brock

I called too.

Against 488. That's all you need to say. They don't want your name or city or anything. They're just taking down the pro's and con's. No explanation needed either. It's just a tally.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Question

Naive question: do the thugs in state legislature actually have the authority to sieze Asheville's lands like that, without so much as a "by your leave"? Is there anything in the State Constitution relevant to the situation?

They make the laws

and can make them to suit whatever insanity they want to pursue. Local governments are extremely subordinated under our constitution, even more so than states are subordinated to federal statutes.

It's going to take some serious civil disobedience, which I for one would very much like to see.

Just as legislators want to ignore federal law all the time, I think cities should ignore state law if necessary to protect the rights and freedoms of their citizens.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

Civil Disobedience

I vote to take the 7 million gallons of raw sewage that spilled into the French Broad River today and dump it on the steps of the Capitol in honor of Moffitt's bill---seize this!

Amen

That is a fabulous idea. Make the free-market fanatics drink the fruits of their labor.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

A million gallons of sewage

Now in the French Broad. Unless I'm mistaken this is the result of oversight by a non-elected agency, just like the one Republicans want to control Asheville's water system.

Sickening.

____________________________________

“Don't tell me what you value, show me your budget, and I'll tell you what you value.”
― Joe Biden

sewage spill near Asheville

The non-elected agency that spilled the sewage is exactly the same one Republicans want to control Asheville's water system, Metropolitan Sewer District. See story at http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20130430/NEWS/130430013/Sewage-spil...
What a perfect start!

Asheville water: It's official

NCCapitol #ncga House has given final ok to H488, taking Asheville's water system away from the city and giving it to reg'l board. Goes to gov. #AVL

--------------------------
Time for renewed efforts to contact Gov. McCrory's office. Call and say you oppose H488.

Governor Pat McCrory
Phone: 919-733-5811
Email: governor.office@nc.gov

-------------------------------------------------------------------

from WRAL.com:

Under the bill, which passed the House on a 76-40 vote, the city's water system would be managed by a regional authority.

"This has been a long and difficult issue for the people of Asheville," said Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe, appealing for he colleagues to reject the measure.

The bill creates a mechanism by which other utilities around the state could move from city control to a regional authority. However, in every other case, the bill requires the cooperation of all the municipalities involved. The bill requires the move for Asheville...

http://www.wral.com/asheville-water-bill-headed-to-the-governor/12400749/

Martha Brock