Letter of gratitude and encouragement to AVL City Council regarding new City Manager

The Asheville City Council is discerning the best candidates for the next City Manager.  The CCA Director wrote a letter of gratitude and encouragement to the Council.

September 25, 2018

Dear Council Members,  As you seek to hire a gifted and qualified City Manager, I am writing to offer gratitude and encouragement – gratitude for your leadership in working toward a hospitable, equitable, and vibrant city, and encouragement to hire someone whose values aligns with your expressed commitment to a resilient and sustainable future. 

First, the gratitude.

In reading the strategic leadership opportunities for the City Manager candidate I see a particular concern for children, people of color, and those facing chronic and acute economic challenges. Thank you. I share those values as well. As a clergy person within the Christian tradition, I lean into a practice of loving God and my neighbor as myself.

The encouragement.

Beyond the social, economic and community opportunities expressed in the brochure, the City has a history of investing in sustainability and caring for creation including a 31% reduction in the city carbon footprint since 2008. My hope is that your finalists for the City Manager position will all align with your priorities of sustainability, as well as your economic and social aspirations. 

Specifically, may you seek a candidate who will elevate and integrate the Office of Sustainability in order for Asheville to be a more hospitable place for the both anticipated new neighbors to Asheville while ensuring that none of our current neighbors are left behind.

May you seek someone who has experience in climate resiliency, who has a clear understanding of sustainability and who will help end our dependence on fossil fuels while moving us toward a future of clean energy innovation and collaboration.

As the Director of the Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina, I have the privilege of listening to faith communities share what they deeply care about. I hear them speak not only about their own faith community, their neighborhood or their city; they seek to create a beautiful world for future generations and for all of creation.

As you hear the stories and qualifications of the candidates, may your heart quicken when you hear visions of creative leadership around sustainability. May you lean in more closely to listen to the candidates who are both brilliant and tenaciously compassionate.

It will be a difficult discernment. I can imagine you will get many well-qualified candidates to help lead this wonderful city. May the best shine in you as you seek the best in others.   

Thank you,

Rev. Scott Hardin-Nieri

Director, Creation Care Alliance of Western North Carolina