City of Asheville takes equity-focused approach to budget

Asheville budget illustration

Work sessions scheduled


It’s budget season for the City of Asheville. From March through June, City Council will work with City staff to review budget options, aligning Council and community priorities with available funding.


The City’s operating budget must be passed by July 1. 


The discussions leading up to the final budget happen during budget work sessions, meetings between City staff and the City Council.  During work sessions, City Council and staff discuss funding priorities. Staff then take the priorities identified by Council and incorporate them into the City Manager’s Proposed budget.


This year, City staff is approaching the development of the City Manager’s recommended budget differently. The goal is to recommend a budget that advances racial equity.


In collaboration with the consultants who led the Re-imagining Public Safety engagement last year and the City’s Office of Equity and Inclusion, City departments are exploring how City services impact social, economic and environmental justice. 


Using input heard through community engagements such as Re-imagining Public Safety, the Living Asheville Comprehensive Plan, neighborhood meetings and other master planning processes, staff is working to identify budget recommendations that begin the process of addressing injustices.


Ideas that could be funded in this year’s budget process will be brought back to the community for feedback before the recommended budget is presented to City Council for consideration.


As with other City meetings at this time, meetings will be conducted remotely, for safety reasons, due to the pandemic. The budget work sessions will be streamed live, and archived, on the City’s Virtual Engagement Hub and YouTube channel well as on Charter Cable channel 193 and on AT&T U-Verse channel 99 . No public comment is taken at the work sessions.


Here is the budget schedule: 

March 9, 1 p.m.: Budget work session #1

March 23: Budget Work session #2

April 13: Budget work session #3

May 25: City Manager’s Proposed Budget goes to City Council

June 8: Budget public hearing at City Council meeting

June 22: City Council to vote on budget adoption


Also new this year you can find budget information on the City’s Virtual Engagement Hub.

We encourage all residents to attend or watch the budget work sessions and keep up with the budget process. For any questions, contact Beth Bechel 828-259-5598 or