Mayor’s Meeting Summary of October 12, 2023 Town Council Meeting


We were grateful for the residents and friends who joined the Council and staff for our October meeting.

My summary follows below. The official minutes will be in next month’s agenda packet. Please remember you can view tonight’s meeting recording by CLICKING HERE.

Public Forum

  • For the first time in my recollection, no one had any questions or comments during the Forum. But immediately upon my adjournment of the Public Forum, Tom Frist spoke up saying “This is a wonderful thing, whether anyone uses it or not, to have this 30 minute period for anyone to say anything they want.” As an historical anecdote, the Public Forum is eight years old. It was a campaign promise of Commissioner Fouche in 2015. We are all glad it is a part of our monthly agenda.

Council Meeting

  • After opening the meeting, I commented that it was a beautiful day today in Montreat with great fall weather. We do need to be conscious of how dry everything is, bringing on fire risk. Pay attention to Firewise standards, keeping debris and highly flammable trees away from your homes.
  • During Administrative Reports, Finance Director Rachel Eddings, announced that the 2022- 2023 audit will be delivered to the State on time, by October 31.
  • There were no Public Comments in either of the two comment opportunities.
  • Under New Business:
    • Grant Dasher was nominated and unanimously elected to fill the recently vacated Town Commissioner seat.     

      I administered the Oath of Office to Grant, then asked him to tell a bit about himself. He and his family, including three young children, moved to Montreat three years ago after Grant established a dental practice in Asheville. Upon thinking about the Commissioner opportunity, he said Montreat is such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. He is completely committed and honored to be a part of the Council and working to keep Montreat a special place.
    • After Town Manager, Savannah Parrish, explained proposed changes to Town personnel policies, the Council tabled the discussion until the November meeting to give them adequate time to review the extensive proposed changes.
    • The Council adopted a proclamation designating October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
    • The Council adopted a resolution for the disposal of surplus property including a police vehicle, chipper, and misc. equipment.
    • After hearing from Zoning Administrator Kayla DiChristina and MRA representative Lynn Gilliland, the Council approved proposed plans to upgrade and expand the existing pathway in the Montreat Memorial Garden.
    • The Council agreed to name Daniel Hewitt as an Alternate member of the Planning and Zoning Commission.
  • Under Commissioners’ Communications:
    • Commissioner Alexander expressed appreciation to MRA for their plans in making accessibility and expansion improvements to the Memorial Garden. It means so much to Montreat families.
    • Commissioner Widmer:
      • Reminded everyone about the State Legislative Update next Thursday at 4:30 in the Town Hall Community Room
      • Announced that bear hunting season begins on Monday, October 16. Montreaters and visitors need to be aware during hikes and walks. See the Montreat Minute for details.
    • Commissioner Fouche reminded everyone about Made in Montreat Craft Show and Sale this Saturday from 9:00am to 2:30pm in Lower Moore Center.

After a very active agenda, we adjourned. It may sound trite, but I’m sincere in thanking you for your encouragement in the Council’s work. It means a lot to all of us. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, please write me at [email protected] or call me at 828/669-3852.

Mayor Tim Helms on behalf of the Town Council