Our new Mayor Charlie Sellers started last night’s meeting by stating his commitment to improving transparency of town government, making much needed improvements to town infrastructure and focusing the Sunset Drive Gateway project on basic infrastructure improvements. Mayor Sellers then presided over a refreshingly open meeting during which he gave citizens the opportunity to ask questions and make comments on important topics brought before the meeting. He was supported by council members in this very useful process. The following were major matters addressed:1. 12 large trees in Memorial Park will be removed this winter. We support this decision. The Blowing Rock Appearance Advisory Commission ably represented by Curtis Andrews, recommended their removal because of their diseased and deteriorating state as expertly identified by N.C. Forestry Service professionals and town staff. An extensive plan was presented for improvements to the park to assure park beauty in the future. The first phase, removal of the twelve trees and their stumps, at a cost not to exceed $ 27,000 was approved unanimously by the council. Twelve new trees of a variety of sizes will be planted in the spring to replace the removed trees. Valid concern about safety hazards created by rotting tree limbs and sections moved council to expedite tree removal. Park sections around the distressed trees may be closed until tree removal.
2. The Inn on Cornish 21 unit hotel planned for property on Main St. and West Cornish Road across from Chetola was unanimously approved. Construction will start on this very good project of the Winkler family from Boone in spring of 2018.
3. After an extensive discussion in which Mayor Sellers, Council Member Sue Sweeting and new Council Member Virginia Powell proposed holding the annual January Council “retreat” in Blowing Rock to give citizens and media an opportunity to attend this meeting the council voted three to two to hold the meeting in Asheville. A reading of minutes of these recent “retreats” clearly reveals a number of council actions were taken on major issues during these recent meetings with no citizens or media in attendance. We supported holding this meeting in Watauga Co. to provide needed transparency to any government actions taken by the council at this meeting. This open discussion of the location of this meeting is itself a new step in the direction of greater government transparency.
Blowing Rock Civic Association