Monday, February 8, 2010

A Hearty Welcome to Gwen Mason

The selection today of popular Roanoke City Council member Gwen Mason as director of the Clean Valley Council is an inspired choice and one that will serve the region in a way that her predecessor, the beloved Ann Masters, did for years.

Gwen is an enthusiastic environmentalist and has unapologetically pursued that philosophy for years. During a lot of that time, the very term was not always endearing--especially to the business community. Ann helped turn that dynamic around in the Roanoke Valley and the kind of pragmatic approach she used to lure businesses to her side ("It's about the bottom line, stupid!") will likely be Gwen's approach, as well, if I know her--and I think I do.

Gwen is enough of a seasoned politician (she's been on council for a while now and just this past fall lost a hard-fought election for a seat in the Virginia General Assembly) to be tough, thick-skinned and determined to do what she thinks is right. All of that is good for the Roanoke Valley in her new position.

I welcome her and her keen mind, enthusiasm, sense of humor (something she shares with Ann) and her creativity to an important position. Ann Masters would have approved and I don't think you can get a much higher endorsement than that for this job.

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