A message from BRCA Chair Jean Kitchin:
April 20, 2023
When the Town Council meeting was held on April 11, 2023, several members of the BRCA Board were in attendance. We try to do this every month to stay abreast of actions taken and to have the opportunity to engage in person on behalf of our members with Council members and the Town staff. For the April 11 meeting, we also attended to respond to questions posed to BRCA by a Council member at the Council’s March meeting regarding the post cards about the proposed underground utilities project that our organization sent on four occasions in January and February to registered voters, as well as a number of business owners and homeowners, in Blowing Rock. The addressees included all members of Council and their spouses, if any.
We were able to provide positive information that let the Council members know that BRCA was careful to put on the post cards only information obtained from the town website or provided by town officials in public settings. The post cards contained mostly information about the potential cost of the project, both in total and potentially to taxpayers, that had not been widely shared at that time.
We also explained to Council on April 11 the way we calculated the 81% opposition to the underground burial of utilities that we had informed Council members about in March. We compiled on four single-spaced pages a list of respondents who chose to share their opinions on the subject with BRCA after reading our postcards and then determined the percentage of those respondents who voted each way. While the names of respondents will not be shared, we were pleased that they appeared to us to represent a good sample of voters who wanted a method to express their opinions, and not just a small group of BRCA members. Accuracy and information availability is always BRCA’s commitment. Our spokespersons at the Council meeting reiterated that BRCA does not have position on the issue of undergrounding the utilities on Main Street. BRCA does believe that both the decision makers (that is, the Council) and those who advise or seek to influence the decision makers should do so in possession of full information regarding the pros and cons, benefits and costs, of such a significant decision.