Front Porch Blog

Well, sometimes when you speak your heart, people actually listen.

This is from an email I got from Brent Summerville. One of the biggest challenges about bringing new people into this movement is convincing them that they can actually make a difference. Brent has been doing great work for the high country and recruiting people to this movement for a long time, and he will continue doing so for a long time. He is currently the director of the Appalachian Regional Initiative for Sustainable Energy (ARISE.) Congrats and best luck Brent! – j-dub

The Blowing Rock (BR) planning board started with an interesting discussion about the various types of non-functional or decorative windmills that would be allowed in BR with a reference to the windmill next to the BP. They finally decided that if the windmill was producing energy – electricity or pumping water – it would be prohibited. It was almost comical.

The floor was then opened to public discussion. Dennis Scanlin, Scott Suddreth, Brent Summerville, and Karen from Homes & Land spoke in an attempt to open the minds of the board members. The discussion was open, realistic and the board listened, asked questions, and discussed the matter amongst themselves for a while.

They ultimately realized, thanks to our input, that banning wind energy in BR would be sending the wrong message and if they have concerns about wind installations, they should restrict and not prohibit. They agreed to table the issue and extend the current moratorium on wind energy another 90 days while a subcommittee reconvenes and studies the issue. This time, they invited Dennis and Scott to join the committee. By the way, we were the only five people there from the public and Scott was the lone BR resident.

So, it worked. If we weren’t there, I think they would have passed the ban for sure. They were zoomed in way too far and were just discussing semantics instead of realizing the larger implications of their actions.

Cheers, Brent





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