Compiled by Jesse Wood
Oct. 21, 2013. High Country Press asked candidates in the Blowing Rock Town Council and mayoral races four questions. As the candidates respond, answers from those running for Blowing Rock Town Council will be posted here and those running for mayor will be posted here.
Doug Matheson is an incumbent running for Blowing Rock Town Council.
Doug Matheson Bio
Employer-Appalachian State University
My wife’s name is Barbara and I have 3 stepchildren and 7 grandchildren. Born in 1956, I attended Blowing Rock Elementary and graduated from Watauga High in 1975. Past president of the PTO, past president of Blowing Rock Parks and Recreation. Former Blowing Rock Fire Chief. Current board member – Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue, Blowing Rock Tourism Development Authority, and the Central Government Committee for NC League of Municipalities.
- HCP: Considering Blowing Rock’s lackluster population growth in the past decade, as an elected official, what would you do to attract new residents – both full-time and seasonal – to Blowing Rock in terms of being an attractive place to live, work and play?
Doug Matheson: Blowing Rock has always naturally been an attractive place to be. Working together to maintain, enhance, and improve upon what people come here for is a group job. Beyond improvements to services like an ambulance base in town I will listen to ideas from visitors, all residents, and staff to determine the most important ways to spend our money and efforts to stimulate growth.
- HCP: What ideas do you have to address infrastructure needs of Blowing Rock in an aesthetically pleasing manner?
Doug Matheson: Some ways to address infrastructure needs in an aesthetically pleasing manner are to continue with the Streetscape project that was started, burying the powerlines, and the Valley Boulevard improvements.
- HCP: While maintaining the charm of Blowing Rock, how would you support economic development and tourism in terms of getting new businesses to fill empty storefronts and keep current businesses operating in town?
Doug Matheson: All we can do is make sure that doing business in general is as inviting as possible in Blowing Rock and continue to try and streamline our processes as fairly as we can. A certain amount of the onus is on the business owner to sell the right product or service at the right price. Incentives or supplementing businesses can be questionable territory but we can listen to currently successful business people in town and continue to improve the perception of being welcoming and supportive of local businesses.
- HCP: Generally speaking, how do you see the Town of Blowing Rock evolving years from now? Do you see this evolution in a positive or negative light for both tourists and/or locals?
Doug Matheson: I see the evolution of the town in a positive light for tourists, seasonal residents, year-round residents, vacationers, day-trippers, weekenders, and multi-generational locals. If you go back a ways we all came from somewhere else and the same things attract tourists and full-time citizens. Those indescribable characteristics and the simple things like cool summer weather and beautiful views were here before any of us and they will be here when we are gone. So yes, I see the future of Blowing Rock as positive for everyone. We just have to keep listening and try not to mess it up.