By Matt Young
The end of a year brings with it, as it always does, the profound reminder that better days are yet to come. And for residents of the Greenbrier Valley there is much to look forward to in 2023.
This week, The Mountain Messenger spoke with several prominent Greenbrier Valleyians to ask what they hope to see within the community during the year ahead.
“I have a feeling this upcoming year is going to be one to remember for all West Virginians, especially those living in the Greenbrier Valley,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “Our roads are getting fixed and innovative businesses are coming in from all over the world. Finally, people are recognizing we’re the diamond in the rough they missed time and time again. I’m confident this trend will continue in the new year, and I’m thankful for all of you. I want to wish everyone great happiness and health as we head into what should be an exciting year in our amazing state.”
Greenbrier County Commissioner Tammy Tincher echoed the governor’s sentiment, while adding some specific milestones she hopes will be reached.
“I hope to see construction begin on our broadband project throughout the county,” Tincher told The Mountain Messenger. “I’m also hopeful that opioid-settlement funds will be received and can begin being utilized to make a positive difference in the Greenbrier Valley.”
Tincher also noted her excitement at the continuation of the waterline project which is expected to provide clean and reliable drinking water for thousands of residents.
Greenbrier County Schools Superintendent Jeff Bryant hopes that the fog of the pandemic will finally be lifted, saying, “I would like to see – and I pray for – an end to the firm grip that COVID and other viruses have had on our students and faculty. These illnesses have impeded their ability to attend school regularly, and that impacts the learning and teaching experience for all involved.”
Bryant went on to express his excitement for what he believes will be, “great accomplishments that will take place in 2023,” adding, “Our students, families and educators are all so thankful for this amazing community we call home.”
“The Greenbrier Valley loves our children, and values the importance of an excellent education,” Bryant concluded.
One of Bryant’s former students, Academy of Country Music’s 2021 nominee for Bass Player of the Year Steve Mackey, hopes that, “the Greenbrier Valley continues to be a place where neighbors will help when there is need, and where people feel connected to the community. I hope young people who call it their home will be welcomed into local business, and raise happy and healthy families.”
“And I hope somebody calls me for a gig there so I can come home and hug everybody’s neck,” Mackey added with a laugh.
Local entrepreneur and philanthropist Clay Elkins hopes to see the Greenbrier Valley continue to focus on developing outdoor recreation in 2023.
“It increases the quality of life for residents, and it will drive tourism,” Elkins said, “for the Greenbrier Valley, and for West Virginia as a whole.”
And lastly, Lewisburg Mayor Beverly White has a very modest wish for 2023…
“What I’d like to see, not just here but everywhere, is more kindness, more respect, more hope, and more love.”
The Mountain Messenger would like to wish everyone a safe, happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!