Eleventh-hour action by the General Assembly has squelched hopes for a November referendum on changing the way Buncombe voters elect county commissioners.
A little-noticed restriction tacked to the bottom of legislation governing commissioner elections in Guilford and Mecklenburg counties also forbids any change in the way Buncombe's Board of Commissioners is structured before 2020.
Board Chairman David Gantt on Tuesday said he was caught off-guard by the move, done at the request of Rep. Tim Moffitt, R-Buncombe, and shepherded through the state Senate by Sen. Tom Apodaca, R-Henderson. ...
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