By Charlie Sellers. October 4, 2017. BLOWING ROCK, NC — When I moved to Blowing Rock as a child, we moved into my grandparents’ home place, now the Chamber of Commerce Building, I attended Blowing Rock Elementary School, Watauga High and Appalachian State.
After school, we enjoyed Storie’s soda shop, Sonny’s Grill, walking to Craig’s Grocery, dinner at the Sunshine Inn, playing with my friends at Chetola Estate, and the Yonahlossee Theater.
Back then we all looked forward to the biggest event of the year – the Blowing Rock Horse Show in August, linked with the history of the Mayview Manor, and visiting my uncle’s new business, Tweetsie Railroad.
During the summers after school I worked for my family at The Blowing Rock attraction, Hound Ears and Tweetsie Railroad, and will always remember the hard work that my friends and family did through the years.
When October came, we rolled up the sidewalks and the town slowed for the winter. No more do we see this because now our town is busy year ’round for locals, weekenders, and tourists alike.
We have lost many nostalgic businesses, but gained new ones that need to be supported because they will assist in our town’s and its citizens’ prosperity.
I have decided to run for Mayor of Blowing Rock because I have attended town council meetings over the course of the past many years and am concerned about our current direction.
As Your Mayor:
- I will be a voice for our citizens’ concerns during Town Council meetings
- I will strive for more transparency between town government and citizens
- I will work with the citizens and special interest groups to promote what is in the best interest of our community
- I will attend all functions pertaining to our town’s future celebrating our towns rich heritage
- I will be a strong supporter of our Chamber of Commerce and TDA
- I will be visible and accessible to businesses and citizens
- I will be a responsible leader for our town
Roughly 85% of Blowing Rock’s town government income comes directly from homeowner property taxes. This income fact points to a looming problem: We are simply running out of “product” (sites) for both residential and commercial development.
Town services continue to face higher capital outlays and related demand. But town income remains fairly stagnant. A collision appears on the horizon. Will this bring on higher property taxes, or fewer town services? Will it force residents to move to another community?
We, as citizens and business leaders, need to start thinking outside of the box and meet this situation head on.
I invite all Blowing Rock citizens to come over to our state’s oldest tourist attraction, The Blowing Rock, where I have been proprietor for the past several years. Come and see what we have accomplished in the past few years at The Blowing Rock. More than 90,000 paying visitors now visit The Blowing Rock each year. We have transformed The Blowing Rock from a sleepy, tired attraction into a wonderful place to view the Pisgah Forest and Linville Gorge — and a place to reacquaint oneself with the unrivaled views of nature from within our town’s namesake.
Most visitors leave with a new sense of awareness. I think we need this in the Blowing Rock Mayor’s office, too.
I am Charlie Sellers. I am running for Mayor of Blowing Rock, and I ask for your vote November 7, 2017.