Montreat Minute 03/10/23

Mayor’s Summary of the March 9, 2023 Town Council Meeting

Hello Montreaters,

The Council, staff, and approximately 11 guests convened for the Public Forum and Council meeting. My summary follows below. The complete official meeting minutes will be in next month’s agenda packet. You can view the meeting recording by CLICKING HERE.

Public Forum

  • Ed Kramer announced that he is the new chair of the Democratic Party for Precinct 36.1, the precinct that covers Montreat and Black Mountain. He stated there are 525 registered voters in Montreat. He had the opportunity to meet with some of our legislative delegation, who offered to support the Town in our endeavors. We thank Ed for his public service.

CLICK HERE to continue reading the meeting summary

Montreat Earns BearWise Designation!

Thanks to the hard work of Landcare Committee Chair, Arrington Cox, Montreat has become the second town in the country to be named a BearWise community. BearWise is a national program that shares ways to prevent conflicts with black bears, provides resources to resolve problems with black bears, and encourages community initiatives to keep black bears wild.

There are five steps that must be met before becoming a BearWise community, including appointing a BearWise liaison. Arrington was appointed the Montreat BearWise liaison last summer and has been working diligently with the NC Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) to qualify Montreat for the designation. Other criteria had to be met, including:

  1. Educate current and new community members on how to prevent and respond to human-bear interactions.
  2. Develop a system to alert community members to non-compliance issues and maintain BearWise-recognized practices.
  3. Establish protocols for when and how to report bear activity to neighbors and the NCWRC.

The Town Council revised certain of the sanitation/trash ordinances to comply with BearWise standards. The Town has been divided into “neighborhoods”, with 26 individuals responsible for alerting their neighborhood of BearWise information and collecting information about bear activity.

We are grateful to the Landcare Committee, Arrington Cox, and others involved in this important effort to become more “bear wise”.

 Town Clerk Angie Murphy Earns Special Designation

Interim Town Manager, Ben Blackburn, recently announced that our Town Clerk, Angie Murphy, earned the prestigious designation of Master Municipal Clerk. A program of the International Institute of Municipal Clerks, the designation acknowledges proficiency in the position of Town Clerk and demonstration of mastery of administrative skills critical to effective government.

Angie became Town Clerk in November 2015. We have benefitted from her experience and expertise during these seven years and look forward to many more productive years with her MMC designation. Congratulations, Angie. We are proud of you and your achievement.

Town Council Hires New Town Manager

At yesterday evening’s Town Council meeting, the Council unanimously agreed to hire Jason Burrell as the new Town Manager. Jason comes to Montreat with extensive municipal government experience. Most recently, he was both Assistant Town Manager and then Town Manager of Canton. We will benefit from his experience and knowledge of town government and affairs.

Jason will begin his duties on March 27th. There will be a brief overlap with Interim Town Manager, Ben Blackburn, to ensure a smooth transition. More information to come when Jason begins his new duties.

Town Develops New Facebook Page

Thanks to the work of Town Clerk Angie Murphy and AV Specialist Josh Greene, the Town has a new Facebook Page. You can access it from your own Facebook account or by CLICKING HERE. Please go out and “Like” us. We will be keeping it updated on a regular basis in addition to the Town website.

Updates and Reminders

  • The Planning & Zoning Subcommittee on Hillside Development will meet on Thursday, March 16th, at 2:00pm in the Town Hall Community Room. All are welcome to attend. The meeting will be live streamed. CLICK HERE for streaming instructions.
  • The Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee will meet Friday, March 17th, at 2:00pm in the Town Hall Community Room. All are welcome to attend. The meeting will be live streamed. CLICK HERE for streaming instructions.

Questions or Comments?

Do you have Town-related questions or comments to offer? If so, please send them to Angela Murphy at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Have a great weekend!