Sunday, March 30, 2014

A View From My Window

I don’t like to campaign, but it is a means to the end come April 8.  I do enjoy being mayor of West Fork because this is the way I can help make a difference in the town.  As mayor, I have worked to build trust and confidence within and among city departments. Since November, I have 
  • been present at city hall almost every day, in daily contact with the city business manager and the city treasurer, and with the city clerk as necessary. 
  •  met with nearly every city employee.
  •  kept the website updated and will be adding additional pages, including a historical page.
  •  helped facilitate the cleaning and repair of the Community Center and City Hall.
I have had the privilege to work with the
  • Chief of Police, police officers, and their Commissioners.
  • Fire Chief, Assistant Fire Chief, the city and rural firefighters, and to attend their board meetings. 
  • Parks and Recreation Director and Commission Chairman and to attend commission meetings.
  • Planning Commissioners, the Water and Sewer Commissioners, the library board members, the Friends of the Library, and the RRC board members.

Within the region, I have tried to be a positive ambassador for the city of West Fork by 
  • meeting with regional planning commission and Alta Greenway for the bike and pedestrian trails.
  • working with the Mayor of Greenland to lead a group of citizens from our communities as we  discuss the impact of the bike and pedestrian trails on our communities.
  • helping facilitate the work of the Ozark Regional Transit project.  (In June we will have bus service to all points in NWA on ORT.)
  • meeting with the West Fork Schools Superintendent to pursue avenues of cooperation between the school and the city.
  • jumping into the frigid waters of the White River in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics.

All of this has been possible because of open communication and the cooperation of all the players who have offered help, suggestions, and hard work.  We need to continue to unify our efforts.  I will
  • support the efforts of the Creating Community Group.
  • join those who are working as the city website committee. 
  • get involved in the Senior Center activities at the community Center.  A committee is forming. 
  • join those who are volunteering to establish a Veteran's Memorial. There are already preliminary plans. 
  • establish additional committees as needed: Community Development, Economic Development, Beautification, Arts, and others. 
If elected April 8,  I will continue to do my part for West Fork and encourage input and involvement from all who are willing to participate. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Counting the Days 'til April 8

We're counting the days 'til the April 8, 2014, special election.  And we're also counting the ways that you can help the Charlie Rossetti for Mayor campaign.  Early voting takes place from April 1 to April 7 at the courthouse.  Voting on the day of the election is at the community center from 7:30-7:30.  This election belongs to everyone. If you are willing to help in any way, please call us at 479-466-3496 or 479-466-4496.  We have been out and about putting up signs, knocking on doors, making calls, and we want you to join us.  It's a great town!  

1. Go door-to-door Saturday, April 5, from 10-12 to hand out brochures - or at a convenient time for you. We have addresses of registered voters. 

2. Make phone calls Sunday and/or Monday before the election.  We have lists with numbers and a written script.

3. Contact my Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and face-to-face friends, reminding them to vote for Charlie Rossetti for Mayor.  

4. Use my plane to skywrite "Charlie for Mayor." 

5. Hold a sign at the community center on the day of the election (10 minutes or 10 hours). 

6. Drive people to the polls. If you need a ride or know of someone who does, please call! 

Thanks, Charlie and Kay and the members of the campaign committee

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Buffalo Wings

I’m not a politician; I’m a public servant. This race and certainly the office of Mayor of West Fork have little room for deception or for politicking around. What is required is someone who cares about people. The office of Mayor represents all the residents in West Fork: the registered voters and the unregistered voters; those who believe in everything you do and those who oppose everything you believe in; the young, the old, the business people, the skilled workers; the movers, the shakers. This is about community. This is about using all the resources we have available in our employees, elected officials, residents, schools, organizations and businesses, the institutions, the right wing, the left wing; I don’t care about wings, except for the occasional Buffalo hot wings.

Bank of Fayetteville solo cups
Greenland Mayor Bill Groom and
West Fork Mayor Charlie Rossetti
I participated Saturday in a wonderful event attended by over 100 area residents where mayors from West Fork and Greenland joined hands for the Polar Bear Plunge, where young and old entered the White River to support the Special Olympics. People joined together for a common cause, for unselfish reasons, for the good of the community. Laughter, applause, handshaking, and brave Grannies dominated the crowd. This kind of unselfish activity is not uncommon in West Fork. There are church food banks available for those who need help, men gather together to cut and split firewood for those who are too old or not healthy enough to supply their own for heat, people supply winter coats for children in need, and it is never an us-against-them attitude. It’s just people working together and offering what they have to make a community. It’s always been this way; it’s West Fork. I can tell you that I will continue to respect all the people, their ideas, wants, and needs...

                                 ... of all ages ... Young and old. 

Granny Dippers
with Fireman Mark Myers and
the rescue team 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bringing Business to West Fork

Photo courtesy of Mary Smith in WFFOL calendar

Bringing business into West Fork is necessary, and supporting controlled growth will make this effort successful. We’re in an ideal location: a beautiful valley in the mountains, close to all the activities and opportunities provided by the areas to the north and south without the congestion. We have a transit system and bike and pedestrian trails bringing added economic growth and interest.  

My vision for growth is low impact and  “green” businesses, not only green in the sense that they have low impact on energy and the environment but green in that they promote new trends in jobs and business opportunities. These would include opportunities for environmental skills and products, and education to meet community needs such as medical, transportation, retail, entertainment, and recreation. One idea might be to have a small convention center/hotel with perhaps 25 rooms.  This center would specialize in hosting conferences and providing educational opportunities that focus on alternative energy sources, education in new building techniques for energy efficiency, certifying contractors and building officials in new technology and emerging alternatives for energy efficiency, rain water run-off, reducing, reusing, and recycling. 

We have a community in a location that is prime for growth in unique and appealing businesses and services.  We have several empty buildings in our commercial and industrial zones that afford great opportunity for retail establishments and light commercial businesses. Commerce, retail stores, service businesses will come to West Fork because investors are ready to invest in their business and in this community.

We are facing a time that will require all of our resources in planning, and the cooperative efforts of all of our citizens. I recently visited with a group of high school students, members of Business Leaders of America, who said their first priority for West Fork was a fast food place.  This is an example of input that should come from a wide range of ideas from a large group of people so that we can pick and choose the ideas that are viable for our community.  We need to welcome community ideas and volunteer help; we need to recognize and utilize people’s expertise, experiences, contacts, and willingness to share their time and efforts in this growth process. 

I have the desire to work with all of our elected officials, city employees, department heads, and the community.  I have the ability to seek expert resources, investment opportunities, and funding.  I have the skills necessary to help bring all of this together so that we can move forward to preserve our heritage and enhance the future of West Fork and our citizens. I have no other agenda but to serve this community. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Signs, Signs, Everywhere Signs

I recently attended a Resource Recovery Center (aka Recycle Center) board meeting at the library.  The RRC Board would like permanent information signs for the location of the Recycle Center.  Those signs are now designed, will be colorful, and will also be the general design for other information signs around West Fork for the Library, Community Center, and other points of interest.  In itself these signs are not a big deal. They require a small investment, and everyone in town will see them. The board had a vision, and with a few hours of work on my drafting board and several contacts with the sign shop, this vision will soon be a reality.

The thing about visions is that they need to start somewhere, and often those starts are with the simplest ideas and least expensive responses.  I see needs in West Fork for beautification projects.  Others besides me have similar visions: the Rain Gardens at the library and RRC are examples.  Our city crew continues to clean out drainage areas for both better water flow and better appearance.  We have started cleaning up the area around the cemetery although weather has caused some delay in completing that task.  All these things help.  More can be accomplished through cooperative efforts between the city, the schools, patron organizations, and individuals.  Working together to improve the appearance and beauty of our town should be a goal of all of us.

In the next few weeks, I'll address general ideas for businesses, low impact ideas for housing and subdivisions, cooperation between schools and community, controlled growth.   

 Your ideas are necessary.  Post them here or stop by City Hall.  

Sunday, March 2, 2014

A Bridge to Communication, Cooperation, and Compromise


Photo courtesy of Mary Smith (WFFOL Calendar) 
Looks like the original "Good Ol' Boys" just after the turn of the century and a small group of young
"wanna be's" standing in front of what is now the Lil O' Opry.

But, all levity aside, this old building has served West Fork for a century or more.  If you look on the cast iron corners on each side, you'll see the date 1886 and that the cornerirons were cast in Neosho, MO.  It has served as a hotel, a bank, lumber yard, hardware store and more.  It has protected women's house plants in its windows during the winter.  And now it is the home of great music and family entertainment every Saturday night, featuring great talent from all around our area near and far.

Young people, it would be worth your time and effort to ask your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents about their memories and experiences of this building and other buildings along Campbell, McKnight, and Main Streets.  This is all part of your heritage and your family's heritage and for those who have moved here, like myself, it is part of the history of the town we now call home.  Good stuff, great stuff! Kay and I live in a house that is on the location of the old Hardin Hotel and framed out of the lumber from that old building.  We remodeled a house on Cedar Street that was built in the 1890's. The upgrades will make the house useful to Kay's mom and maybe other families for years to come. Around the corner on McKnight Street, we remodeled an 1890's house that was once occupied by Clyde Helsby, who operated the blacksmith's shop next to it to the south. It is now home to a young couple.

Photo courtesy of Henri McCorkle

The point is this.  Whether you're talking about buildings or people, they all have worth, strength, experience, history that cannot be replaced.  I've been questioned about a bridge of communication, cooperation, and compromise.  Lesley, that's exactly what I've been doing for nearly four months now as West Fork's Mayor. All of those people that my opponent wants to discard, I want to work with.  People who want to contribute are welcomed, listened to, and included.  Facebook is not a forum or a driving force for city government.  Common sense and hard work are what are moving our community forward, not bickering, closed conversations and groups, and constant, unsubstantiated criticism of everything.  You want to criticize? It serves no purpose. You want to contribute? Then contribute.

(George, sorry it took a while to get to the point.)