Not surprisingly, Lake Lure's new town manager didn't stay tucked away in his office too much this week. As the new guy on the block, Ron Nalley spent his first week sitting in on several meetings, listening and learning.
"That's the most important thing I think I can do is listen, learn and ask questions," he said.
As the longtime town administrator for the town of Montreat, Ron was selected in June as our community's new town manager. Prior to joining the Town of Lake Lure, he spent eleven years overseeing the administration of the town of Montreat.
"For a small town, Lake Lure has so much going on. I'm looking forward to getting to know the staff, the commissioners, and all the boards, and just learning about their goals and objectives as well as their current projects and plans," he said.A graduate of the town, city and county management program at Appalachian State University, Ron comes to Lake Lure with a 24 year background in local government. He served three years as assistant town manager in Black Mountain.
It was at the age of 16, he got his first taste in local government, working for Montreat's public works department after school and during the summer. At the suggestion of his supervisor, he looked into the government management program at Appalachian State.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
"I love local government, anyway, and so I'm just excited to jump in and continue the good work that has already begun here," he said.
In thinking about the similarities between Montreat and Lake Lure, Ron observed recently that both towns regularly experience seasonal population growth, which can easily challenge infrastructure, manpower and available services.
"Lake Lure is similar to Montreat in the sense that the population explodes during the summer," he said. "That also makes it a nice fit, because it's also a seasonal-type community and I have a lot of experience with managing systems that are designed for populations that expand outside of the winter months."
Lake Lure and Chimney Rock Village is no stranger to Ron. As a visitor, he has enjoyed the lake, our parks and our restaurants.
Ron remains in Black Mountain and will commute until he can relocate to the Gorge.
To prepare for his transition, Ron spent the last several weeks going over emails and many of the town's planning documents to better understand all the various projects that have been adopted or are in progress.
"It truly is a lot for a small town. It's very impressive."
Stop by, introduce yourself, and be sure to welcome Ron to our community.