City of Asheville has experienced a number of troubling issues in the past couple of years. This announcement from a police officer is just the latest in a long long line of questionable management practices. Again the City employee went through proper channels to handle the issue internally, only to be ignored. Issues that have occurred are: the human resource scandal and what appears to be gross mismanagement, the sexual harassment lawsuit, that could have been nipped in the bud, when the young woman went through channels and then was forced to seek legal action. Amounting to $48,000 to settle a lawsuit that should have been effectively dealt with internally. The human resources dept convictions regarding falsifying medical claims. The Pack Place overruns, Momentum’s $8,000,000 mud hole on N. Broadway, missing evidence at the police department, and $175,000 to audit the evidence room at the Police Dept. Unanswered questions swirling around the operations of the AB Community Relations Council and the City paying $18,000 in back taxes for that organization. Last years troubling revelations with the City Appointed Board of ABC, revealing either complicit-ness or corruption. Former Mayor Worley, said in the Board & Commissions meeting that they had no way of knowing about the 145 pages of issues…so what is he and the other four City appointed ABC Board of Directors being paid $300. per meeting for? At the Boards and Commissions board meeting I attended where former Mayor Worley was called to answer questions, City Attorney sat with Worley and appeared to answer more of the legal questions asked of Worley by the three member B & C board. (Davis, Smith & Newman). Very softball questions were ask of Worley.
Then there was the total lack of oversight of the Public Access station, that closed in 2011. Mr. Jackson was alerted in 2009 of many outstanding issues of non-complance with the management agreement between the City of Asheville and the non-profit contracted to manage this important public asset. I wrote this letter after being ask by Bill Russell who was the liaison to URTV for the City, outlining many issues. Mr. Jackson informed me that there was nothing he could do regarding the non-compliance. So are all contracts the City has with public /private partnerships also handled so poorly? Well over $500,000. in equipment was removed from the offices after the station closed and numerous request for an accurate accounting of the cameras, switchers, motherboard, computers, software, servers has ever been forthcoming from Jackson’s office.
These costly or embarrassing examples are due to a lack of oversight by the City Managers office. We need to clean up our leadership, starting with the City Manager.