Burleson appointed to EDC board
BAKERSVILLE – The Mitchell County Economic Development Commission Board of Directors met this past Friday and announced the addition of Mitchell County Commissioner Danny Burleson as a nonvoting member.
Burleson’s appointment comes after a unanimous vote earlier this month to add a commissioner to the EDC board as a nonvoting member to learn more about, and be more directly involved with, the EDC.
“There needs to be someone in line learning what’s going on,” said Keith Holtsclaw, county commissioner and chair of the EDC board. “Danny will adjust his agenda from now on so he can be here. He has run an insurance company, Sears and furniture stores and he has made a good living all of his life.”
Holtsclaw announced also Bill Blackmore, who was appointed to the EDC board this past June, has announced his resignation. Blackmore replaced Bud Young, who stepped down.
“Bill had every intention of doing this for a very long time,” Holtsclaw said. “He has gotten an offer he can’t refuse from another location and this will be his first and last meeting.”
Holtsclaw said the process of finding Blackmore’s replacement begins immediately.
“We will go back to the drawing board,” he said. “We do need someone from the mining industry.”
Interim EDC Director Oscar Weinmeister gave the board an update on the new EDC website and some other marketing efforts.
“I’m really excited about how the website is progressing,” Weinmeister said. “I’ve got most of the content written. We’ve got good content on the website now but it’s a little hard to navigate and a little outdated.”
Weinmeister is scheduling photography times with Spruce Pine resident Halley Burleson. The pictures will be used on the website and in promotional materials.
Earlier this week, Weinmeister and a video crew from Rutherfordton-based Isaac Aaron Media shot material for a two-minute promotional video about Mitchell County this past week.
“We shot all day on Wednesday,” Weinmeister said. “I had about nine or 10 locations on the schedule and we managed to get more like 14. It was a long day. The video will be a mix of industry and recreation that explains why you should work here, live here or start a business here.”
Holtsclaw said the search for a full-time EDC director has been put on hold until several projects Weinmeister has in the works are complete – such as website design and implementation of the county’s marketing plan.
“(Weinmeister) has a complete understanding of the needs and things to be done to complete those efforts and has been working on them,” Holtsclaw said. “I, and the board, think it would be counter-productive to introduce another person into that learning process and taking the time necessary to educate them in those processes. We are fortunate to have his expertise during this time.”
Holtsclaw will fill the EDC Director role until those efforts are completed in a pro bono capacity. Advertising for a full-time director should begin by the first of the year, Holtsclaw said.
“We need someone with experience or potential to fill the position with the requisite background,” he said. “I want to be sure that objective is filled before I step aside.”