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Avery Economic Director Bret Gardella Pens Six-Page Letter Addressing Commissioner Reo Griffith’s Accusations About Banner Elk Business Incubator

By Jesse Wood


May 9, 2013. Avery County Economic Development Director Bret Gardella sent a six-page letter to the Avery County Board of Commissioners and the County Manager, confronting statements made by Commissioner Reo Griffith during recent open meetings.

Recently, A.C.P.R.I.D.E., the business incubator, located at the old Banner Elk School and spearheaded by Gardella, has been a hot topic with Griffith leading the way as the main dissenter of A.C.P.R.I.D.E, which stands for Avery County Professional and Retail Incubator Development Enterprise.

In March, Griffith made a motion in a monthly commissioner meeting to abandon the entire incubator project. That motion died for lack of a second and came after the commissioners voted against allowing Flat Top Brewing Company to operate inside the old Banner Elk School.


But information in Gardella’s letter goes back much further than March.

In Gardella’s letter dated May 6, he said “At the outset I want to say how saddening it is to me that our local politics have devolved into another example of the politics of personal destruction … I have no personal attacks against those who have chosen to defame me and instead will tell ou the truth and the actual facts of the work that we’ve been doing in the Economic Development Office for Avery County.”

Read the entire letter below. 



letter avery