When Nancy Pitts Collins filed late last week as a candidate for a seat on the Blowing Rock board of commissioners, it meant that we had four candidates for the three open seats. Collins joined incumbent commissioner Doug Matheson, as well as early filers Pete Gherini, chairman of the planning board, and Melissa Pickett, chairperson of the Blowing Rock Appearance Advisory Commission as candidates.

Kudos to all four of them for their willingness to step up and serve. We welcome the opportunity to hear more from each of them in the coming weeks as to their priorities and what they feel they bring to the positions.

One of the most important things for each to understand is that their primary job is to establish policy, not to micro-manage the professionals hired to implement those policies. In the past several years, Blowing Rock’s town council has gotten “too far in the weeds” of governance. As a result, those professionals hired to do their jobs have endured far too many distractions and town council meetings have gone, unnecessarily, far into the night.

As with almost all elections, change in the composition of town council is welcome because it brings fresh ideas, new skillsets, and renewed energy. As voters, let’s make sure we are properly vetting each candidate vs. our personal values, as well as the capabilities of each person vying for the elected office. Representative government demands of our officials a certain amount of statesmanship and a willingness to listen and potentially compromise, where warranted, for the greater good.

Elected office is neither a soapbox for political grandstanding nor a platform for a personal agenda. In short, it is not about ego, nor about advancing the individual’s visibility in their chosen business arena. Let’s make sure the officials we elect understand how to spell s-e-r-v-i-c-e in the execution of their public service duties and responsibilities.

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By David Rogers, editor of The Blowing Rocket.

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