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Blowing Rock Candidate Overview PDF Print
Tuesday, 30 October 2007 06:23

The following information was provided to attendees of Monday night’s Blowing Rock Candidates Forum, sponsored by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce Leadership Group Alumni and Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation.

Candidates for Council:


Rita Wiseman (Incumbent)

Rita brought her three children, Keith, Kate and Lynne to the charming village of Blowing Rock in 1983 from Statesville, NC, where she was born and reared. She spent her first ten years as a business owner, first as a successful restaurateur and later as a retail clothier. In 1993, she began working at Kohler Enterprises as a Realtor, a career path she enjoys still. As a Realtor, Rita is affiliated with the National Association of Realtors and the Avery-Watauga Association of Realtors. Having been honored as the Realtor of the Year in 1998, Rita continues a leadership role in the real estate arena by serving on the Professional Standards Committee.


A long time community leader, Rita has previously served as an officer of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, the Blowing Rock Kiwanis Club and the Blowing Rock Women’s Club and is currently a member of the Blowing Rock Historical Society and the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum. Additionally, she was appointed to serve on the Town of Blowing Rock’s Architectural Review Committee, the Appearance Advisory Commission and the Council of Government’s Rural Transportation Advisory Committee. Her present leadership positions are as Treasurer of the Blowing Rock Town Council. Seeking re-election for her fourth term on Town Council, Rita’s primary concern continues to be to preserve Blowing Rock’s quaint village atmosphere.


Albert Yount

Blowing Rock resident since 1995, Albert Yount is a native of Newton and a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne College with a degree in History/Government. In his early years, Albert was actively enlisted in the US Navy. In addition to serving his country, he has also served his community as the Chair and a member of the Catawba County Board of Elections and the Hickory Regional Planning Commission. He currently serves as Vice Chairman on the Blowing Rock Planning Board where has become acquainted with the unique issues facing our small town.


Albert is a retired Newton, NC Fire Fighter and a certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser. He has owned and operated multiple businesses since 1976. Albert has been happily married to his wife Martha for 36 years.


Phillip Pickett

Phillip has lived and worked in Blowing Rock since September 1985. He and his wife, with the help of their son, have owned and operated both the Boxwood Lodge and the Blowing Rock Inn. Prior to moving to Blowing Rock, Phillip was employed with the National Cash Register Company where he worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst for 8 years. Phillip has also worked for private companies as a Dada Processing Manager.


Phillip has served the Blowing Rock community as a board member for the Chamber of Commerce and the Merchants’ Association. Currently, he is serving as a board member with the Tourism Development Authority.


Patsy Fountain

Born and raised in Georgetown, South Carolina, Patsy and her husband of 33 years moved to Blowing Rock following her retirement as a flight attendant for Pan Am. They have a son, 27, who is a lawyer in Palm Beach County, Florida. Patsy is a member of St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church and a life-long community volunteer. She has served as the co-chairwoman of the Tour of Homes in Blowing Rock and is currently serving as the secretary for the Community Club, which supports the local library.


Patsy has served on the Board of Directors for the Dick Weber School for Abused Children and has volunteered as an adult literacy mentor. She has a passion for the town of Blowing Rock and has the objective of “Keeping our small town small.”


Mayor J.B. Lawrence: Running unopposed


Over the last two years the city council has continued its course of working to keep our small town small. Steps were also taken to ensure our Town Code supported the direction of the town and there were many code amendments during this time. Repairs and additions were made to Memorial Park making it even more attractive as the centerpiece of our town. There have been thirteen Conditional Use Permits issued. Significant upgrades have been made at the water treatment plant and the wastewater treatment facility. The town has received a $40,000 grant for a storm water study and grants of over $600,000 for the renovation swimming pool. Numerous drainage improvement projects have been completed and the storm water master plan is in hand.


The new emergency service building project is on schedule and should be completed soon. There have been many proclamations and resolutions recognizing and supporting the accomplishments and projects of worthwhile organizations in our area. This is just some of the highlights of the last two years.


Going forward, water supply will be at the forefront. Although drought is a cyclical event, our current on is having more of an impact than the last one. As our population grows and demand for water increases we must be ready for the next water crisis.


The town must continue to increase available parking in the downtown area before more damage is done to the business community. It may be possible for “locals” to always find parking but visitors and tourists aren’t going to drive around for an hour to find a space or park in front of the First Baptist Church and walk to Southmarke to shop.


I look forward to serving two more years as your Mayor and thank you for your continued support.


J.B. Lawrence.

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