Tensions run high over tackling Asheville’s graffiti
(Mountain XPress) Local business owners raised their voices and things got, by the moderator’s own admission, “a little out of hand” at this morning’s Council of Independent Business Owners meeting when it came to the issue of graffiti. With the district attorney, city leaders and a state representative on hand, opinions differed — sometimes sharply — on possible solutions and who should foot the bill. “It’s a disgrace, it’s costing people business,” CIBO’s Max Swicegood, who owns property downtown, said of the level of graffiti in his introduction of the issue. “There are some businesses downtown, looking to do developments, that have pulled out because they’re scared of it.” Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer handed out draft copies of an overhauled city ordinance, which calls graffiti “a threat to public safety” and would require perpetrators or property owners to clean it up.
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