Resident Thankful to Senator Chuck Edwards and Mark Pless - TribPapers

Resident Thankful to Senator Chuck Edwards and Mark Pless

Sen. Chuck Edwards, R-Henderson, listens to legislative testimony. Image from

Barnardsville – Most of the time, a politician is not mentioned in a positive way.

This time I want to let the people of North Carolina, especially Buncombe County, know that State Senators Chuck Edwards and Mark Pless are working for this little community in Barnardsville. Mark Pless is the State Representative from Haywood County. Yes, I even reached out beyond the borders of Buncombe County!!

This started four years ago when I and others noticed issues caused by flooding of a rather large creek. The Big Ivy Creek At times, flooding has been so bad that concern was voiced to officials (anyone that would listen to me from here to Raleigh) regarding the safety of our elementary school buses and the traffic at the Ohio Electric Plant.

The water has washed away one house and other buildings, not counting the amount of garbage, metal, and filth that has polluted our beautiful creek, destroyed the banks, and weakened the bridge that has to hold local traffic, buses, and semi-trucks servicing Ohio Electric.

The state Department of Transportation, under the direction of Senator Edwards, had attempted to repair and reinforce the bridge. This was not enough! I have the documentation of hundreds of emails I’ve sent to elected officials and basically to anyone in Buncombe and Raleigh who would listen.

After no response, I consulted a professional, who then submitted an extensive report regarding the hazards. Before help arrived, I sent only two emails to Senator Chuck Edwards. He and Mark Pless came out and looked at the situation. After his evaluation and advice from different agencies, he was brought to consult. Edwards got to work in Raleigh and got the attention of officials to make things happen. The latest state budget in Raleigh, that Roy Cooper just signed, has nearly $3 million for Buncombe County, specifically, to correct the flooding issues in Barnardsville.

Thanks to the people that supported me. Thanks to the people that helped me communicate these issues. And especially thanks to Senators Chuck Edwards and Mark Pless for speaking up for us in little Barnardsville when they didn’t have to help this little wide spot in the road called Barnardsville.

There was no monetary gain, no endorsements promised. They did it because they truly believed in representing the people of Buncombe County and North Carolina.

Kudos also to Sentor Pless from Haywood County. Barnardsville isn’t even in his district, and he worked with Chuck to try and help us. We really appreciate that.

I didn’t publicly endorse any candidate during the recent primary. But folks, this is what you want in a representative—someone who is concerned about what’s going on in their community, who listens, and then works hard to get that community what it needs.

Western North Carolina is always ignored in favor of Charlotte, Raleigh, or Greensboro. Chuck Edwards made sure that didn’t happen and that tiny little Barnardsville and our needs weren’t forgotten.

Y’all know, I don’t have a problem telling it like it is when somebody does something bad. But I also think we need to praise people when they do something good. So I want to thank Chuck for listening, caring, and helping in Barnardsville. Given what he did for us, I have faith that he will do the same for all of WNC in Washington.

Y’all can get all worked up about political candidates who say outrageous things to try and raise money, but those people never do anything to help anyone but themselves. This is what real representation is about. It’s not about trying to be a star. It’s about working for people to help meet the needs in their communities.

Now it’s all of our jobs to keep an eye on Buncombe County to make sure they spend this money on what it’s supposed to be spent on in Barnardsville. I feel certain the Buncombe County commissioners will make sure to use this money the way it is earmarked for Barnardsville and fix our flooding problems.

This problem was created by a weekend warrior who rented a piece of equipment and did not know how to use it. He no longer lives in Barnardsville… Thank God he left!

Editor’s Note: Eddie Harwood is a local businessman and resident of Barnardsville NC.