Asheville Mayor Says 'There is a Legal Strategy' on Districts Bill

BPR's Jeremy Loeb speaks with Asheville mayor Esther Manheimer about the recently passed Asheville districts bill.

Speaking to BPR a day after the legislature passed a bill forcing districts for Asheville city council members, mayor Esther Manheimer said there is a legal strategy in place to deal with them.  Manheimer said the issue would need to be discussed at the next council meeting on July 25th.

She says one of the troubling aspects about the law is that it requires them to draw districts by November 1, before their planned referendum for the voters on November 7th.  

Manheimer said that if the city is forced to draw districts, she is in favor of using an independent commission.  To her knowledge, that hasn't been done in North Carolina, and so she called that prospect exciting.  But Manheimer believes the voters of Asheville deserve to have their referendum, and took issue with sponsors alleging the city was "slow walking" the idea.  "I'm not sure how you could argue we're slow walking this.  I mean the fastest you could do this is the November election, so we're doing it as quickly as possible."

You can hear the full conversation at the audio link above.