Compiled by Jesse Wood
Oct. 20, 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.
Sue Sweeting is running for Blowing Rock Town Council.
Sue Sweeting Bio/Statement
As a resident of Blowing Rock for over 30 years, I have come to love the beautiful mountains views, lush parks and seasonal weather. I enjoy the small, village character of the Town of Blowing Rock, with its history, visual and performing arts, and outdoor activities. The most redeeming quality of Blowing Rock, however, is the warm, loyal, caring and giving people who live here. The character of this town is as important to me now, as it was to me and my family, when my girls were growing up and attending Blowing Rock School.
I am running for Blowing Rock Town Council, in order to give back to my community. My goals include promoting unity and harmony on the Board, returning pride and respect back to the Board, citizens of Blowing Rock, and the Town Staff. I will attend Board meetings and be accountable to the citizens of Blowing Rock. I will also work to protect the small village character of the Town of Blowing Rock, as we embark on the widening and completion of 321 Bypass.
As an experience thinker and active listener, I have proven myself as a Nurse Practitioner, Member of the Blowing Rock Planning Board, Member of the Watauga County Commission, Coordinator for Appalachian Advanced Healthcare Providers and Chair of the North Carolina Nurses Association Council of Nurse Practitioners.
I would be honored to serve the citizens of Blowing Rock on Town Council.
- 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?
Sue Sweeting: The current economy and the trend across the United States, has more to do with the lack of population growth in Blowing Rock, than our Town. Blowing Rock is a wonderful place to live with beautiful mountain views, lush parks and one of the best school systems in North Carolina.
We need to continue to preserve our green spaces, historical buildings, visual and performing arts, and outdoor activities to attract full-time and seasonal residents. Protecting our village character will continue to support our tourism and residential growth.
As a Town, we must address the demand for affordable housing for young families, employed people, older adults and people with special needs.
- HCP: What ideas do you have to address infrastructure needs of Blowing Rock in an aesthetically pleasing manner?
Sue Sweeting: There is a need in the town to replace 30% of our older water lines with ductal iron. In addition, 30% of our sewer lines need be fixed. There are several residential areas such as Laurel Park that should be considered for sewer instillation.
The town needs to plan for these projects and others, including sidewalks, improving street and road conditions and storm water runoff. As a Council, we must seek Grant money to help reach these goals that will benefit town residents.
- 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?
Sue Sweeting: As a member of the Town Council, I will support the TDA and Chamber in their recommendations to bring new businesses to town and sustain the businesses we already have.
The Town Council can assist businesses, developers and economic development by reducing the parking fees for new business, providing proper directional signage and streamlining the planning and inspection process.
- 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?
Sue Sweeting: The Town vision must include, how we as a community, will maintain the Village character and charm as we are faced with the completion of 321Bypass, economic issues and population growth.
This vision should address the need for protecting our green space, increasing our recycling methods and promoting Greenway trails and areas. The tourist of the future will want more recreational activities that use our natural environment.
We must continue to maintain and protect our historic buildings and to promote visual and performing arts.