As someone who has lived in Woodfin since 2014, I have been trying to become informed about our local government, meet some of our elected officials and get better acquainted with my neighbors. I have attended many of the meetings of the various boards and participated in expressing my opinion at a few public forums, but I must admit that I have come away with the perception that Woodfin’s elected officials do not much care what the community has to say. Again and again, instead of welcoming new voices and fresh opinions from concerned citizens, the current commissioners seem to resent any form of constructive criticism.
I believe that Woodfin should embrace transparency and develop strategies to listen and learn about the needs and concerns of the people who live and work in this town. We’ll never have good government unless elected leaders can build a foundation of trust concerning the issues of vital interest, such as public safety, smart/sustainable development, affordable housing and concern for preserving our forests and environmental assets.
I’d like to think that our leaders would want to develop a vision going forward that would take into account the enormous forces that are bearing down on us in Western North Carolina as our population soars and as pressures mount to sell the remaining open spaces, bringing the inevitable problems of construction, traffic and the added burden of thousands of cars.
I had planned to run for a seat on the Woodfin Board of Commissioners, and my name may still appear on the ballot. Unfortunately, I have had to withdraw because of unexpected personal hardships. I would respectfully encourage everyone to cast your votes for Hazel Thornton, Jim McAllister and Eric Edgerton. Each of them seems to share my philosophy of good government.
— Ellen Brown