Honorable Mayor-Elect, Mayor Pro Tem, Distinguished Council Members:
Congratulations to those who were elected in our election earlier this month. Thanks to all of you for your service and commitment to Blowing Rock. One of the major issues in the recent election was the concern about inadequate transparency in the operation of town government. After closely observing town operations for the past several years we certainly agree that transparency and communication with citizens on key issues need substantial improvement. We think that holding the subject retreat in Watauga County will be an important positive response to those voters who expect greater government transparency. In recent years significant council decisions have been made at retreats in Asheville. It is difficult if not impossible for Blowing Rock citizens and media to observe the council actions that take place in a remote location like Asheville. We would all agree that Blowing Rock faces significant challenges moving forward and citizen involvement and support will be critical to meeting these challenges successfully. In addition to increased transparency having the retreat closer to home would demonstrate a dedication to controlling town spending. Additionally retreat money would be spent locally during a challenging time of year for local businesses.
We would appreciate your prompt response by email to our request to hold the retreat in Watauga Co. Your responses along with this email will be posted on our website brcivic.org and distributed by email to a number of Blowing Rock citizens and the local media. Making citizens aware of the retreat location decision-making process is a good example of improved transparency.
Blowing Rock Civic Association