“Find out who you are and do it on purpose.” That quote, originally coined by by megastar Dolly Parton, was a cornerstone message from Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer at the City of Asheville 2014 State of the City address.
“I really think that fits well for Asheville,” Manheimer told a crowd gathered at the U.S Cellular Center’s banquet hall on October 1. The Mayor took the opportunity to spotlight the city’s sense of pride in culture, creativity and sense of place, but also to talk about the challenges the city faces as it grows.
Fiscal imbalances between growth and expenditures outlined in a 2012 white paper remain, and reduced funding opportunities present their own challenges, but Asheville is fortunate to have local and regional partners that form a network for moving forward.
“Addressing the long-term viability of our region requires an innovative approach to economic development, government services, and a full engagement of the network,” she said.
One option is the creation of Metropolitan Service Districts, or Innovation Districts, currently being considered for three areas of town: The River Arts District, South Slope and Charlotte Street. Investing in these areas in the form of street and sidewalk improvements, stormwater infrastructure and off street parking facilities has the ability to create an environment for economic development, multimodal transportation improvements, affordable housing options and revitalization.
The Mayor stressed the great role of important partners like Buncombe County, the Asheville Housing Authority, A-B Tech, Mountain Housing Opportunities and Green opportunity for forwarding the vision of the community.
“Asheville is not a complacent city,” she said. “ We all want to see the city thrive.”
Are you curious and want to know more? Watch the full video of the Mayor Manheimer’s State of the City address.