By Jesse Wood
Four people applied for Rennie Brantz’s seat on the Boone Town Council by Friday’s deadline. Brantz was elected as mayor of the town in November.
Jim Buchanan, Jeannine Underdown Collins, Eric Plaag and David Welsh applied for the seat on the Boone Town Council. Collins and Welsh previously applied for Jennifer Pena’s seat. Pena resigned over the summer, and the Boone Town Council selected Loretta Clawson, former mayor and councilwoman, to fill her seat.
Buchanan, who was a professor of chemistry at App State from 1977-96, currently serves on the Water Use Committee and the Community Appearance Commission. He previously served one year on the Boone Board of Adjustment.
For the application question – “Why are you interested in serving on the Boone Town Council? – Buchanan wrote: “I believe I have the qualifications to help guide the town in making the very important decisions, re: water supply, traffic management, development, etc.”
Collins, owner of Underdown and Associates, has a been a business owner and real estate appraiser in the town for three decades. She first moved to Boone in 1975 to attend Appalachian State University. She served on the Boone Tourism Development Authority for about six years.
Asked why she wanted to serve, Collins wrote, “To serve the citizens of Boone in keeping with the historic and small town atmosphere while at the same time realizing that Boone needs to be progressive, sustainable, and smart with its growth. Boone needs to continue to embrace the amenities of tourism, education and health that set us apart from other communities.”
Plaag as only lived in Boone or its ETJ since 2011, but he already serves as the chair of the Boone Historic Preservation Commission, board member of the Downtown Boone Development Association, trustee of the Appalachian Theatre of the High Country and chairperson for the Digital Watauga Project. He also operates Carolina Historical Consulting, LLC, in town.
“I have been involved in a number of community initiatives, organizations, and town boards since moving to Boone, and I am eager to work with the Town Council and Town Manager to further improve our community and represent our community’s needs and interests. I see the next five or 10 years as an especially critical period of transition for our community, and I want to help our residents navigate the challenges that lie ahead while also accomplishing many of the unachieved goals outlined in the Boone 2030 plan,” Plaag wrote.
Welsh is a real estate broker at Coldwell Banker Blair & Associates in Boone. He is vice chair on the Boone Board of Adjustments and said he would like to start serving on Community Appearance Committee and the Downtown Boone Development Association.
“I’m interested in serving on the Boone Town Council to prompt Boone’s growth in a smart way while preserving the past. I also want to improve governmental communication both on the council and with residents,” Welsh wrote in his application.
The Boone Town Council will likely select Brantz’ successor on the Boone Town Council at its upcoming December meeting during the third week of the month.