What has Brian Caskey done to create a better Mills River?
One of the biggest accomplishments of Brian’s time on the Town Council has been the first thing he suggested, which was to create a Comprehensive Land Use Plan as well a Comprehensive Parks Plan.
The community was extensively involved the creation of both of these documents – through constant public engagement, town halls, electronic surveys, and paper questionnaires. These tools will allow future Councils, for the first time, to have the ability to control the town’s growth and to implement the parts of the plans that the public rates most highly.
For instance, the public was heavily in favor of the town’s plans to develop new park programs, new greenways and to protect green spaces, like our mountains and farms.
Brian has also worked hard to take advantage of grants that have allowed the Town to invest in electric vehicle chargers and solar panels – those panels have now been installed on every town building and save the taxpayers 77% on the town’s electric bills.
Brian is a fiscal conservative who has worked to lower taxes (by one cent per $100 valuation), and has helped the town implement best fiscal practices (for instance, a fund balance policy which guarantees that Mills River won’t hoard taxpayer money as it’s done in years past).
What will Brian Caskey do to create an even better future for Mills River?
Brian’s focus has been on protecting Mills River from unwanted development, but he’s a strong advocate of smart development. For instance, when Amazon and Gaia Herbs wanted to come to Mills River, Brian worked hard to make sure that those businesses (and the good jobs that they would bring to the area) ended up here.
Brian will make sure that the focus on good jobs in Mills River continues. The future will be a balancing act of encouraging agricultural enterprise, allowing certain kinds of economic development, and working hard to make sure that the next wave of entrepreneurs (many of whom will be working to develop tourism or agritourism-based businesses) will have the foundations to be successful.
The challenge will be to make sure that people who have a vision for the future, and the courage to speak up about that better future – people who have experience in government and know how to get things done – continue to be elected to the Town Council in Mills River.