Some mayors use assertive tactics in pursuit of civic success; others use charm. Asheville, N.C., Mayor Terry Bellamy is trying a good old-fashioned hunger strike.
With the city facing a $6 million budget gap, Bellamy has taken to fasting (and prayer) to bring attention to the financial crisis. She has even asked her friends on Facebook to join her in 24 days of fasting and praying.
The money woes are being blamed on Republican legislation that is eliminating certain fees and revenue streams. City leaders say they may be forced to close beloved amenities including city pools and athletic programs.
Among the raft of legislation affecting the coffers are a loss of $3 million in utility franchise taxes, a $1.9 million deficit if a regional authority comes in, and a $1 million loss with changes to privilege licenses.
The mayor said she has activists lobbying state lawmakers and writing letters and city staff working on getting the message out about what the cuts will mean to residents, the Citizen-Times reports.
Adding prayer, she noted, can’t hurt. “We are using all the tactics,” she said.
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