As Mayor of Marlinton, I am routinely selling Marlinton – and Pocahontas County. Selling who we are as a Town and as a County, where we are with abundant opportunity as a Town and as a County, and what we have to offer as a Town and as a County.
More than three years ago, I was invited to a NFS (National Forest Service) meeting in Summersville. When you want to know what is going on, you must go where the meeting is.
A lot of things have changed since then. Some things have taken longer than expected. Several projects have been completed. Others are works in progress.
I do have a vision for Marlinton, and it fits with other regional initiatives. If we marry our local plan with regional initiatives, Marlinton and Pocahontas County will benefit. Both will prosper from the added value of new inroads to a recreation-based economy. Both Town and County are on track to capitalize on other efforts within the County and State.
The present service-businesses will experience grow-th and opportunities for new businesses will follow. Success is cresting the hill. Watch for it. Let’s see that nothing gets in the way of the momentum that is bound to happen.
In the meantime, we must keep selling what we have – a destination location, and a place where visitors will want to return. Many will decide to retire here.
We can’t quit now.
Until we learn to create opportunity here, our young graduates will be forced to leave and look for work elsewhere.
Successful revitalization requires communicating with a cross section of organizations. For instance, The Tamarack Foundation for the Arts is expanding its mission. I was invited to a presentation in Elkins last week. It was the second of six regional meetings the Foundation has scheduled across the State.
Creative place-making is a tool that has been missing from many communities. This is yet another step to build relationships on the local level. County artisans are very familiar with The Tamarack Foundation. Joining forces with them can only strengthen Marlinton and Pocahontas County.