By Darrell Metcalf
Weaverville – The Weaverville Town Council met for its regular monthly meeting Monday evening (Aug. 19). Following the approval of an agenda adjustment and the previous meetings’ minutes, Mayor Al Root took several minutes to commend Chairman of the Planning and Zoning Board, Doug Theroux, for ten years of service.
“The fact of the matter is that this gentleman has done the town an extreme service,” the Mayor stated while addressing the council and general audience.
Root went on to say, “This is an extremely difficult job. It requires extreme detail. It requires a willingness to speak up when needed, and it requires a collegiality and leadership, at the same time, of the Board. Doug has done this with extreme excellence.” Theroux was presented with a plaque in recognition of his service as he now retires from his position as board chairman.
The floor was then opened for general public comments. Weaverville resident and land developer Lou Accornero took the opportunity to verbalize a grievance that he had due to a prior statement made by an individual toward a Council member, labeling the council member a “carpetbagger.” According to the Oxford Dictionary, a “carpetbagger” is “a political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections.” Historically and according to Oxford, this derogatory term is often a label for individuals from northern states who have sought positions of influence in the southern states, dating back to the Civil War.
Mr. Accornero expressed his displeasure with the individual, which he did not name, in addition to stating, “A good portion of the property owners on Main Street are not homegrown in Weaverville. It takes all of us to make Weaverville what it is.” Accornero was the only member of the public to speak during public comment.
A notable consent agenda was approved by council for August. The agenda items included: Tax Collector Charge and Order of Collection, Board Appointments, Annexation and Initial Zoning Request for a .3 acre strip on Monticello Road, US Cellular Tower Lease approval, Budget re-appropriations, Employee Incentive Award Recommendation, and preliminary plat approval at 108 Church Street. The annexation petition and initial zoning request were provided for the parcel located beside the already annexed 135 Monticello property.
The owner, listed as Crest Residential, LLC, requested and has been granted a zoning designation of R-12. Town Manager Selena Coffey then presented the consent agenda item for the employee incentive recommendation. The incentive pertained to the work of Planning Officer James Eller on the newly approved Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP). James will be provided $1,000 for his work. Mr. Eller collaborated with Town Attorney Jennifer Jackson on the project.
Following approval of the consent agenda, Coffey then presented her monthly report. The report provided noteworthy updates on: the design of the proposed new town seal, the concert Summer Series, the relocation of the Dry Ridge Museum, street paving and improvements, the proposed community center, the Community Leadership Council (CLC), recycling rate increase, September workshop on road/streets policies, 911 Observance at Lake Louise Park (see story page 2), and recognition of the North Buncombe High School student currently interning at town hall.
The following action items were approved: Greenway agreement with MSD and authorization for mayor and staff to execute the said agreement, adoption of a resolution authorizing the plans/specifications for the proposed waterline extension project, and “catch and keep” fishing at Lake Louise ordinance amendment. Additionally, a discussion was held among council members, along with public input, regarding the proposition of permanent preservation steps for the two major parks within the Town of Weaverville (Lake Louise Park and Main Street Nature Park).
Concerns were voiced over the long-term effects of permanent restrictions for conservancy, while support was also noted for those same restrictions. While no action was requested or voted on at this time, a possible town workshop event to further discuss the issue was recommended.
The council meeting concluded with a quarterly report by both the Police Chief and Fire Chief, respectively.
Summaries of all reports, agendas, and approvals can be viewed in detail at the Town of Weaverville website.