By Bob Keith

Mayor of Lake Lure, NC

As we enter November, the month of giving thanks, followed by the season of Christmas joy, then transitioning to the promise of hope for the new year, it’s a time of reflection on what has transpired and what the future holds. That said, “Why are you stepping down as Mayor?” has been the most frequently asked question of me over the last several months.

This has been an extremely difficult question to answer, so, in most cases, I ducked the issue with a half-hearted response. It is and was a very complicated decision. I waivered and vacillated as the time to make the decision approached. There was not a single determining factor. You see, I love the excitement and challenge of public service and problem solving. I admire and love the people I work with at Town Hall as well as the many folks and acquaintances across the county. I relish the feeling of accomplishment, working as a team, on the many projects over my eight years in office. I reached a point in which I felt that the job of Mayor, or any governmental position, needs new blood, a new set of eyes, a new set of management skills and a new perspective. Change can be healthy and energizing.

I am leaving the Mayor’s position but I am not leaving community service. It’s in my genes. I’ll continue my activities with the Olympiad, HNG Foundation, County Economic Development, Fairfield Mountains Chapel, Hospice and my new association with the HNG Chamber. I might even get in a round of golf or two. Just can’t sit still.

Many objectives and plans have been accomplished in my eight years as Mayor, but I think the biggest contribution, with the assistance of many, has been in improving relationships with Chimney Rock and building new relationships across Rutherford County. I will miss going to Town Hall each day but look forward to many new and exciting challenges in the future.

Thanks to everyone who supported me during my terms in office. I pass the baton to Kevin Cooley with the upmost best wishes for his personal success and the success of the community.

Editor’s note: Congratulations, Bob, for a job well done. Your eight years of service have underscored the integrity and strong character of your public office as you have accomplished so many positive and significant goals for this community. Thank you for representing us so well.