By Chris Braund
This is my last message as the Lake Lure Town Manager, so I bid you all a fond farewell as I go in search of new adventures.
Karen and I have closed a wonderful chapter of 16 years in Lake Lure with indelible memories: we started as rock-climbing visitors, bought a lot, built a vacation home, moved here full time, helped to resurrect the water ski club, competed in our first Olympiad Triathlons and taught nieces and nephews how to ski.
I joined the lake advisory board and later accepted the chairmanship when Bob Washburn stepped down after years of public service.
In 2009, I took a break from management consulting and accepted the Town Council’s request to provide interim town leadership.
A two-month commitment turned to two years and now it’s been seven. Along the way, Karen has been incredibly supportive as her career and life became rooted in Charlotte and I was fully engaged endeavoring to make Lake Lure an even better place.
For most of the last year, I knew that it was time to shift my professional life back to Charlotte, but it’s been so hard to let go of Lake Lure. And it wasn’t just Town Hall. I’d become immersed in the Lake Lure Classical Academy, the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy, the Chamber of Commerce, the Lake Lure Community Education Foundation – all organizations that continue to improve the quality of life in the gorge.
While our community has made many accomplishments over the past seven years, I’m proudest of the relationships I’ve had with so many great staff, citizens and community leaders in Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village. I’ve learned so much from all of you and have grown so as a professional and as a person that I will be forever grateful to this community, for your trust, for your support and for your criticisms and occasional complaints that drove us to work harder and achieve more.
We are in the midst of a search for the next Town Manager and expect to have someone identified in May. Over 100 applications have been received and the council is getting support from a search firm with an excellent track record of town and city manager placements.
Lake Lure’s future is bright and the challenges are well understood. As I begin a new chapter and new challenges, I will continue to watch the progress of Lake Lure. I look forward to visits as a tourist again and I will forever be a friend and supporter of this special community.
Take care of it and each other.