My name is Ben Erlandson, and I am running as an independent write-in candidate for Alleghany County Commissioner in the 2018 general election. I believe we can build a reasonable future for Alleghany County and its citizens as part of the Appalachian Mountains and the New River Basin.
Let’s Respect the Past and Consider the Future.
As the first step in this process, I need to gather signatures to submit to the Alleghany County Board of Elections to ensure that my write-in candidacy is officially recognized—so all votes cast for me in the general election will be officially counted.
But first, let me introduce myself and tell you a little bit about why I want to be an Alleghany County Commissioner.
I was born in 1979 and grew up in Elkin, NC, just down the road from Sparta. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years walking and camping in the forests and mountains of Alleghany County, from Stone Mountain to Doughton Park. We are so lucky to have these wilderness areas in our backyard.
In the mid-1990s, my father and I finished out a modular home at the base of Bullhead Mountain, in Glade Valley, NC, where I now live.
I am quite proud to be a product of the North Carolina public school system: Elkin Primary School, North Elkin Middle School, and Elkin High School. Even for college, I went to a public university: UNC-Asheville.
I am a photographer, a brewer, a gardener, a naturalist, a writer, and a professional educator living in this beautiful land we all call home. Over the course of my life experiences, I have come to realize that I am passionate about supporting the following issues in my local and regional communities:
Education and Lifelong Learning
Arts, Craftsmanship, and Creativity
I will write more about each of these things in future posts.
SO! You may be wondering…
Why am I running for a seat on the Board of Commissioners?
Well, as an Alleghany County Commissioner, I would like to achieve three major goals with our communities during and beyond a four-year term:
Evidence-based problem solutions
Open communication and participation
For each major issue the county faces, I believe we can work together for reasoned progress by establishing measurable outcomes to define and track the successes and failures of any program funded by the county. If we don’t have data to know how well a program is working over time, then how do we know if it is working or not—and if that county money was well spent?
If we use measurable outcomes, we can begin to implement evidence-based problem solutions for all of the critical issues facing our communities. We can evaluate and assess these outcomes over time to know which direction to take with the solutions we establish.
Do we keep funding the solution from one year to the next? Do we change the solution? Do we throw it out altogether? Do we work with the organization implementing the solution to help them find additional sources of funding?
Finally, as an educator and technology systems designer, I firmly believe in communication and participation. Open communication and collaborative participation across our communities is a requirement if we are to have any chance of building and maintaining a reasonable future for the current and future citizens of Alleghany County.
Can any one of us predict or define what that reasonable future looks like?
Absolutely not. We’ve got to work together to build it, and we’ve got to continue working together to keep it.
Should I be elected, here is what I will bring to the table of the Alleghany County Board of Commissioners:
Local effort and elbow grease
Critical thinking and common sense
A “big picture” perspective
Global experience and expertise
A passion for life and simplicity
Concern for all of our communities
As I mentioned, the first step is to collect enough signatures from registered Alleghany County voters and submit them to the Alleghany County Board of Elections before the deadline. As we get down to the wire, I’ll keep you posted.
Please connect with me via email or send me a message through the Erlandson for Alleghany Facebook page, and I will find a way to ensure that you can sign the official petition form. We can meet at the Blue Ridge Business Development Center (next to the Alleghany County Library) or I can meet you in a place that is convenient for you.
Also, petition forms are available to sign at two other locations in downtown Sparta:
Becca’s Backwoods Bean – 21 N Main St, Sparta, NC 28675 (map)
Journey Wellness Studio – 81 W Doughton Street, Sparta, NC 28675 (web)
Thank you for taking the time to read my introduction to my platform for reasoned progress in Alleghany County.
I look forward to the opportunity to serve you as a public official!
Please feel free to get in touch with me if you have any questions or concerns.
Let’s work together to build a reasoned future for Alleghany County!
Stay tuned for updates. 🙂