Government Accountability Project Asheville

There are no meetings of either the Asheville City Council or the Buncombe County Commission until January, 2023.


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  • City Council Approves Contract with Cole Pro Media


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Use our prepared email template to take action on this week’s item.



Things that seem problematic

Follow Up: Asheville City Council Agenda – Consent J. Resolution authorizing the City Manager to execute a contract with PR firm Cole Pro Media LLC

We expressed grave concerns about this request from the Asheville Police Department (APD) in last week’s report. It passed 5-2 (Roney and Smith opposing). In the discussion that preceded the vote, Council Member Sage Turner made two suggestions: first, that this contract be revisited in a year, rather than three years; and second, that public-safety-related issues like this not be placed on future consent agendas, but instead on the regular agenda, since they engender strong feelings in the community.

We are disappointed that City Council chose to approve this contract for the reasons we spelled out in our earlier report. We do see merit in both of Council Member Turner’s suggestions, and are curious to see how she and City Manager Debra Campbell will follow them up.

Things to do

We encourage you to reach out to City Council Member Sage Turner and City Manager Debra Campbell and ask them what steps they plan to take in relation to Turner’s suggestions for future action. You can use our template link to open up an email to adapt, copy and paste the content below, or write your own message to and


You can open this email in your own email program by clicking here. To proceed manually, you can copy and paste the text below into an email and then address it to and

To: and

Subject: Follow up on suggestions made at City Council meeting

Dear Council Member Turner and City Manager Campbell,

I’m disappointed that City Council chose to approve the contract with the notorious PR firm Cole Pro Media, but wanted to lift up two suggestions that you (Council Member Turner) made in the conversation that preceded the vote. You suggested that City Council revisit this contract in one year, instead of three. You also suggested that public-safety-related items like this, which bring up strong feelings in the community, should not be placed on future consent agendas, but rather go onto the regular agenda for a more complete discussion. I’m writing to ask how you both plan to follow up on these suggestions. How will you ensure that the Cole Pro Media contract is revisited next year, and that future public safety issues get the community discussion they require?

Thanks for your leadership,