Monday, September 16, 2013

Six Months of Silence

The mission of this blog from its beginning has been to protect and enhance the lifestyle of a small rural community on the northernmost tip of the great Blue Ridge Plateau. Bent Mountain is a geographically unique area, steeped with a rich history predating European settlement in the 18th century. Geographic uniqueness has provided the area with rich soils with plentiful water resources. The surrounding terrain has uniquely isolated the area from surrounding regions in the garden of the Southern Appalachian Mountain chain.

Although this blog has focused upon environmental protection and enhancement, I have avoided direct involvement with current local politics. Currently, however, our Windsor Hills Magisterial District Supervisor, Ed Elswick, is running for re-election to his post on November 5, 2013. Mr. Elswick has represented the interest of his constituency very well over the past 3-1/2 years of his term, quite often, contrary to interests of elements outside of his district.

Supervisor Elswick is basing his campaign for re-election on the concept of "Principles Above Politics." This slogan has become a challenge to every other Supervisor representing the other four magisterial districts in Roanoke County. Sadly, the other Supervisors, with the sometimes exception of "Butch" Church have failed to even comprehend Elswick's intent. Mr. Elswick won his election four years ago over the incumbent opponent, Joe McNamara, based upon his commitment to respond directly to his constituency.

In fact, he has repeatedly called for a process during his tenure as Supervisor to clearly assess the opinion of his constituency on all issues.

Mr. McNamara lost his bid for re-election four years ago because it became clear to his entire constituency that his interests were limited to himself and his party and not those of his constituency.  Mr. Elswick declared independence from his party, shortly after becoming elected, because the same party did not want to relinquish power to his constituency.

Ed Elswick is and continues to challenge the status quo of local politics.

His opponents quickly attempt to identify him as "Tea Party affiliated" though such a tag is maliciously applied to a man who has no axe to bear other than the welfare of his constituency. Mr Elswick has declined the health insurance benefits offered to his colleagues on the Board of Supervisors because he does not need the "perk."