The Asheville Police Department and the City of Asheville is proud to announce the promotion of five APD officers at a May 8 ceremony at City Hall.
Sgt. Janice Hawkins and Sgt. Curtis Jones were promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. Detective Keith Cloer, Senior Police Officer Mike McClanahan, and Senior Police Officer Brandon Moore were promoted to the rank of Sergeant.
The officers were joined by family and colleagues and sworn in by Asheville Mayor Terry Bellamy in the City Council Chamber.
“These individuals went through a very intense process for these promotions. They all worked extremely hard,” said APD Chief William Anderson. “They are outstanding and they have done great jobs to be here today.”
The Asheville Police Department maintains its commitment to public safety and promotions like the ones earned by these five officers further strengthens the department’s ability to serve the community. The department as a whole strives for excellence, and it is a pleasure to be able to recognize the achievements of these officers and see them move forward in their careers in law enforcement, Anderson said.
Click here for more about the Asheville Police Department.
Three City of Asheville Fleet Division technicians recently earned certification to inspect compressed natural gas vehicles, expanding the kinds of city vehicles the shop can service.
Darryl Rice, Rob Martin and Kevin Haughinberry all completed specialized training through Blue Ridge Community College and passed the national inspectors certification test administered by the CSA Group, the industry standards developer for alternative energy vehicles. Their achievement makes them three of only a handful of people in North Carolina certified to inspect the low-emission CNG vehicles.
Compressed natural gas is cheaper – about $1 less per gallon – than gasoline and emits roughly 23 percent less greenhouse gasses. But the tanks on CNG vehicles are under high pressure and inspecting them requires specialized training.
Rob Martin, Darryl Rice, and Kevin Haughinberry stand next to one of the City's CNG-powered pickups.
“There aren’t that many inspectors available, so it’s important that we can do this in our own shop,” said Haughinberry. “It’s also a cost-saving measure for us.”
The Fleet Division of the General Services Department inspects, repairs and maintains all City of Asheville vehicles, from Police cruisers to Water Services trucks to Street Services equipment. That keeps the garage on South Charlotte Street pretty busy. Adding CNG certification is a big step forward for the division, making it possible to inspect the city’s 35 CNG vehicles. Overall, eight city departments use CNG vehicles, from Public Works to the Asheville Fire Department. The City of Asheville also operates a CNG filling station at 45 McCormick Place that is open to the public seven days a week.
The CNG inspection certification is another step in support of the City of Asheville’s initiative to reduce its carbon footprint. Green and sustainable practices and fiscal responsibility are both goals identified by Asheville City Council in its strategic operating plan.
Click here to see more about the City of Asheville’s sustainability initiative.
The Asheville Fire Department is recruiting middle-school age kids for its summer camp to be held June 24 – 26. This a great way for kids to have fun and learn what it is like to be a City of Asheville firefighter. Click here for the 2013 Fire Escape Application. Apply by June 7.
Below is a 2012 post highlighting the summer camp:
Fire Camp a great escape for kids June 14, 2012
For 28 youths, this week was a chance to fill the boots of firefighters at the City of Asheville Fire Department’s Fire Escape camp.
For the third year in a row, AFD hosted the three-day camp for boys and girls in grades six through eight. Attendance at the camp, held at the Asheville Firefighters Association Camp off Clayton Road, has grown since it began in 2010.
“We got some repeat campers, and a few told their friends. Word is getting out and we filled up pretty quick this year,” said AFD Public Information Officer Kelley Klope.
The department’s interaction with students at Asheville Middle School through the In Real Life partnership also contributed to the turnout, Klope said.
Kids got to learn how to use turnout gear, the suit and equipment firefighters use when entering burning buildings, unroll and connect hoses and take a turn in the 100-foot-tall aerial bucket. They even got a taste of the obstacle course training that Asheville’s firefighters use to stay in top form.
“They get to learn the skills we use,” Klope said. “The kids just love it.”
The camp also serves as an introduction to other opportunities the AFD offers, including Asheville Fire Explorer Post 77, which trains young adults ages 14-21 firefighting skills. Several current firefighters with the department got their start in Post 77.
Fire Escape camp was provided free of charge, thanks to the participation of the Asheville Firefighters Association and Asheville firefighters who volunteered their time over the three days. The AFD also wants to thank Firehouse Subs and Asheville Pizza and Brewing for donating lunches.
The City of Asheville was proud to participate with Buncombe County and UNC Asheville to present the “Realizing the Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity” conference held April 25 in conjunction with the YWCA Stand Against Racism.
The conference focused on the challenges and opportunities for expanding diversity in the workplace and in management roles in light of a rapidly changing population.
Participants took part in 20 break-out discussions on topics from mentoring to stereotyping, all of which are important issues facing the marketplace. Keynote speaker Dr. Robert Livingston gave a presentation on the influence of physical appearance, race and gender on the conscious and non-conscious process of leader selection.
“The conference was an opportunity to support the YWCA’s campaign as well as to share the research of Dr. Livingston with a broader audience of local employers,” says City of Asheville’s Human Resources Manager Derrick Swing. “The conference received immediate positive feedback, and we hope to collect more formal feedback that will help us in designing future opportunities for events like this one.”
“Realizing the Benefits of Inclusion and Diversity” would not have been possible without the help of Buncombe County, UNC Asheville, the Center for Diversity Education, the YWCA, AB Tech, MAHEC, ABCRC, and others.
Streamlining services, innovative problem solving, even saving lives — some of the City of Asheville’s exemplary employees were recognized April 17 at the Asheville Way Awards ceremony. The annual event, held in the Banquet Hall of the U.S. Cellular Center, recognizes those employees who uphold the values of the Asheville Way: Continuous Improvement, Integrity, Diversity, Safety and Welfare, and Excellent Service.
Contenders for the awards, both individuals and teams, are nominated by their colleagues, supervisors and the people they work alongside, and a highlight of the ceremony is hearing the special accomplishments of each nominee.
“This is a great opportunity to hear examples of people who do excellent work across the city in a variety of ways, because that’s who you are,” said Kelley Dickens, the City of Asheville’s Director of Human Resources said at the ceremony.
Below are the nominees in each category, with the winners marked in blue. Congratulations and a big thanks to all nominees. See more pictures at the City of Asheville’s Flickr page.
Rich Rauschenbach – Asheville Fire Department
Robert Martin – General Services
John Presley – AFD
Mike Brookshire – Water Resources
Anna Pigman – AFD
Sonia Salgado – Water Resources
Safety and Welfare
Jeremy Godfrey – Water Resources Linette Sieben – Water Resources
Jamie Bryson – AFD
Hazard Device Team – Asheville Police Department
Jason Williams – IT Services Keith Mastin – Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts
Nick Harvey – Public Works
Sandra Travis – Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts
Holly Waltemyer – Human Resources
Special Victims Unit – APD
Drug Suppression Unit – APD
Battalion 3 C Shift – AFD
APD Day Shift Downtown Unit
Kevin Taylor – APD Ron Kerns – Water Resources
Robert “Rock” Jones – Public Works
Douglas Quinones – AFD
Open Data Catalog Team
Above and Beyond
Erik Hagen – General Services
Kathy Wilson – IT Services Josh Darty – Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts
Brenda Mills – Finance
Charity Constant-Morris – Finance
Diane Meek – Development Services
Dion Eskew – General Services
Avery Gibbs – AFD
Anthony Oliver – Public Works
Rafael Bango – AFD
Hayne Griffin – AFD
Public Housing Unit – APD
Transit Master Plan Team – Transportation
Flushing Team – Water Resources
City of Asheville Purchasing Manager Amy Patterson has earned the title of Certified Local Government Purchasing Officer through the North Carolina School of Government. The voluntary program, which requires a rigorous continuing education and examination process, designates Amy among the top in her field and reaffirms the city’s dedication to best business practices.
North Carolina local governments must abide by very specific procurement and contracting laws that provide transparency to citizens. CLGPO certification means that the Amy and the City’s Purchasing Division are recognized as providers of efficient, fair and transparent business practices. Amy has been the city’s purchasing manager since 2007, and has been pursuing CLGPO certification for much of that time in an effort consistent with the City of Asheville’s goal of continuous improvement.
“Amy helps ensure that taxpayers get the best value for goods and services, which is especially important during challenging budget times,” says Deputy Finance Director Eric Hardy.
The Purchasing Division is responsible for procurement of equipment, supplies and services. It issues and manages requests for bids for contracted services throughout the City of Asheville organization, and Amy’s certification ensures that Asheville is a leader in doing business in a fair and open way.
The division works to enhance bidding opportunities to contractors by working closely the City of Asheville’s Minority Business Program and by utilizing social media to spread the word about bid requests.
Click here for more information about the City of Asheville’s purchasing division.
There are nearly 4,000 fire hydrants in the City of Asheville and every couple of years they need a new coat of paint. Each year, the Asheville Fire Department repaints one half of Asheville’s fire hydrants in order to extend their life spans and to be more visible to firefighters. Covering that kind of ground takes a lot of hands holding a lot of paintbrushes. That’s where Asheville’s active and engaged volunteer community comes in. A volunteer group can cover 20 to 30 hydrants in a day, and that, says Asheville Fire Department Division Chief of Safety and Training Barry Hendren, adds up to a big contribution.
“This is a great service project for our local organizations and it’s a huge help to us,” Hendren says. “Each fire company is assigned the upkeep of hydrants in a certain part of the city, and having volunteers help out frees up our firefighters and allows them to take care of other tasks.”
Its not just busywork, Hendren says. A bright coat of paint helps firefighters quickly find hydrants when responding to a fire and the colors tell them what water pressure the hydrant has and what kind of coupling to use. Red, orange, green and blue all denote different water flow. That information is critical when seconds can mean saved lives or property.
Repainting takes place between April and October and all kinds of groups, including schools, youth groups, scouting troops or civic organizations are invited to volunteer. The AFD provides all the materials and Hendren leads a short training session before volunteers head out with maps of the area they will cover. Hydrants assigned to volunteers are chosen so that volunteers don’t work on major traffic corridors.
For more information or to sign up to volunteer, contact the city’s Volunteer Coordinator Marsha Stickford at (828) 259-5506 or email: email@example.com..
Click below to see a video about volunteer fire hydrant painting made in collaboration with the Girl Scouts of Buncombe County:
In an ongoing effort to communicate fiscal realities and identify community priorities in the upcoming budget year, Asheville City Council will hold a community budget meeting Thursday, April 18, 2013, at 6:00 p.m. The meeting will take place in the gymnasium of Charles T. Koontz Intermediate School, located at 305 Overlook Road, Asheville.
The community budget meeting is another step in engaging residents in the ongoing budget process.
At a March 12 work session, city staff presented City Council with preliminary balancing strategies to close a $2 million budgetary gap.
On April 3, the public was invited to a town hall meeting at the U.S. Cellular Center where a deeper level of budget balancing strategies were introduced based on forecasted revenue impacts of recently proposed state legislation.
At the April 18 meeting, staff will once again update Council and the community on new developments, following which, members of the public will be asked to participate in small group budget discussions to help prioritize and weigh impacts of budget balancing options.
Background, staff reports and updates on the 2013-2014 budget discussion can be found at: ashevillenc.gov/budget.
Koontz Intermediate School is located shares an entrance with Valley Springs Middle School. The entrance is located on Overlook Road just north of the intersection with Long Shoals Road and south of the South Asheville Library.
Contractors are nearing completion of a new bridge on Wild Cherry Road. The project began last fall, after an engineering firm determined that replacement of the bridge would cost less over its life span than rehabilitating the existing structure would. The project employed a temporary bridge during demolition and construction to reduce traffic interruptions and the new bridge includes sidewalks, increasing walkability along the corridor.
The slideshow below shows step-by-step how it was done. Click in the lower right corner to enlarge the images and then click in the upper right to enable descriptions of the photos.