By Bob Keith
Mayor of Lake Lure, NC
As I am writing this article, the trees on the mountains are starting to change color and probably will be in full brilliance by the time the November Breeze hits the newsstands. Such a beautiful time of the year as we migrate toward winter. Change is all around us and brings with it exciting new opportunities and challenges.
Let’s look at some of the changes in the Town this past year. First, the addition of two new advisory committees, Asset Management and Utilities – one to better manage the Town’s 50 or so properties and the other to focus on water, sewer and high-speed communications. Second, the resignation of the multi-talented Chris Braund and the hiring of a new Town Manager, Ron Nalley, who brings with him a whole new set of management and leadership skills. Third, the loss to retirement of Public Works Manager, Tony Hennessee, and Zoning Administrator, Sheila Spicer. Both were outstanding in their respective roles and will be sorely missed. We are heavily involved in a search process to fill the positions of these two highly capable employees and perhaps we will have found replacements by the time you are reading this article. Let’s hope. Fourth, our Town Attorney of 31 years, Chris Callahan, and our Land Use Attorney of 10 years, Michael Egan, have
informed us of their retirement plans (see photos). We are fortunate to have found a new attorney, William Morgan, who comes to us with over 20 years of town support experience in three other communities (also see photo). Fifth, we lost Julie Scherer and her financial and community governmental skills to a better job opportunity in Marion. And lastly, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the fine addition to our team of Commissioner Stephen Webber who is hitting his first year anniversary on Town Council. Stephen brings a ton of knowledge and experience of town regulations and ordinances having served so many years on the Board of Adjustment, both as a member and as Chairman.
Change can be unsettling especially considering all that we have gone through over the past year. Town employees have handled it well and adjusted to each and every new situation. As we hire and fill critical positions, I am hopeful and excited about building a new organization and even stronger Town team to handle the challenges and possibilities that lie ahead. I am so proud of our Town staff and all that they collectively do to make Lake Lure such a special place.