Mayor’s Dear Santa…
CITY OF BUCKHANNON – MAYOR’S HOLIDAY STATEMENT– December 19, 2019
First, we’re all very pleased to continue Buckhannon’s sister city relationship with the North Pole. We look forward to our next delegation of talented Sunnybuckers soon heading north to your frozen tundra to install some more really nifty benches & murals there in exchange for you sending an elfin committee to our place- to scope out the possibility of establishing a satellite workshop & distribution center for your worldwide operations here. We have a very talented labor pool here. If we can’t find you a suitable place downtown, NEWS FLASH – we’re about to construct sewer & water utilities along Route 33 West, so perhaps a location along Corridor H would serve your purposes. We feature many nifty sites for a toy plant or perhaps a candy cane & stocking factory.
Your elves will soon discover several superb cafes & bistros downtown to satisfy their hot chocolate, eggnog, & cookie yearnings, & for those who may be more “java” oriented, we invite them to try Stone Tower Brews’ coffees. Perhaps in 2020, your elves could even enjoy some hot, hard cider during a Sunday brunch. You can park your sleigh for free anywhere downtown on-street for two hours & 21 hours in our many lots. We have 500 parking spaces in our downtown. Our Animal Care & Control Commission promises to do everything imaginable to look after your reindeer, as we’re a very pro-animal place! If you locate here, we’ll create a reindeer park for Rudolph & his pals to frolic in! We’d be happy to put in a plug for a seat for you on our Development Authority.
Second, we’ve been a very good community again this year. We know you must hear that from all towns that write to you, but those other places really don’t have all that we have. We still sport the coolest downtown in all of West Virginia. Our architecture is fabulous including the new Innovation Center & a number of other spiffy additions including Citizens Bank, Community Care, Orion Strategies, Mama Romas, CrossFit gym, Pita My Heart, & others. Our music in Jawbone Park is more terrific than ever especially with that spiffy new sound system you brought us last year, & the many special events we have throughout the year are like none other in all of Almost Heaven. In May it’s our Strawberry Festival, followed by Festival Fridays, our Fourth of July celebration, RiverFest, Fallfest, Halloween done like no other town around including our new Zombie Walks, Veterans’ Day, & about a dozen parades a year. Our history from Buckongalelas & the Pringle Brothers to Steve Coonts, Ted Cassidy (check out all things Lurch!), Gray Barker, Jean Lee Latham, Jimmy Pankow, Pare Lorentz, Ace Mumford, & a bunch of other colorful, talented folks from our past- just makes us a “must visit” venue. We’re now 250 years old!
Third, as for our actual “Santa wish list”- we’ve thought about 12 things symbolic of the 12 days of Christmas, that we’d love to realize during 2020. Please carefully consider our requests. In no particular order, here’s what Buckhannon hopes to find in its “community stocking” during the next year:
1) our Stockert multi-use building- please help us break ground as we celebrate 25+ years of SYCC in 2020. It’s all about our kids here & they deserve our best;
2) our Colonial Theatre- we’d love to wrap up Phases 2 & 3 & by Fall & have Buckhannon Community Theatre performing Clue, the play, there- next October!;
3) our constantly improving Trader’s Alley & Milkman Lane project in the newly dubbed “Buckhannon Arts District”- will feature a summer dedication with our new arches, even more public art, & installation of the Men in Black car!;
4) a March groundbreaking on the Gateway West project, & creation of our “Amazing Mile” featuring new totally ADA compliant sidewalks, period lighting, & seasonal banners from the first Buckhannon exit all the way to our beautiful Wesleyan campus! The more sidewalks we can realize, the healthier our citizens will be;
5) our welcoming of even more new eateries, pubs, cafes, & bistros to our amazing downtown. Simply stated, Buckhannon is more than ever a point of destination;
6) a successful Abandoned Mines Land grant award permitting us to expend $3.8 on our Stockert facility as well as miles of new trails from Pringle Tree to our north to Sago to our south;
7) continued advancement of full, professional accreditation for both our police & fire departments. We’re on target to become only the second accredited police department, & the very first accredited fire department in all of West Virginia!;
8) a brand new pumper truck for our fire department;
9) completion of the new sidewalk in front of our City Seal mural & continuing along Route 20 north along with installation of new flower beds, landscape bays, period lighting, & colorful banners right on the front doorstep of our City;
10) realization of our Veterans’ loop on Kanawha Street around our American Legion & VFW buildings featuring flags, patriotic murals, sidewalk upgrades, & period lighting as we continue to honor our wonderful veterans while helping to make their facilities more accessible & attractive;
11) passage of a successful library levy next May supportive of our Charles W. Gibson Memorial Library; &
12) continued support for & collaboration with our school system, WV Wesleyan College, the Child Development Center, the Parish House, most of our public service districts who we truly regard as our utility partners, & any other local governmental entity desiring to genuinely work together for the growth & development of our community that just might someday finally come to realize that when Buckhannon grows & does well, so too does all of Upshur County.
In closing Santa, we hope that you are ever-mindful that we’re all in this together. We wish the merriest Christmas & the happiest Hanukkah to everyone- btw- we’re lighting our menorah tomorrow evening at 6 in Jawbone Park! May all of us in our Buckhannon-Upshur community enjoy a very Happy, healthy, prosperous, & most importantly, fun-filled New Year in 2020. Please resolve to be kind to & love one another. Check in on your neighbors. Please support our Parish House & Salvation Army this holiday season. Drop off some canned goods, or a jar or two of peanut butter, or a coat you’re not wearing any more. Kindness & generosity make all the difference. We will see everyone back on January 2 as we continue to work together to move our wonderful community forward! Don’t shoot your eye out! Santa- you really are coming to town! God bless us… every one!