An Open Letter To The People of Mount Airy

My name is Ivy Sheppard and I’m a record collector, radio producer, old-time musician, student of Southern history and political science with a degree from Guilford College. I’m running for Mayor of Mount Airy to bring a fresh perspective to old issues. “Forward Together” is my motto because I’m committed to working together to plan for our future by building on our past and ensuring that Mount Airy stays a special place to live.

I grew up on a farm in Rockingham County and met my husband David in Charleston, SC.  Four years ago we moved to Mount Airy.  We came to be closer to family and the music we love, and stayed because of the warm way folks welcomed us into this wonderful community. There’s nothing better than going to Snappy Lunch on Saturday morning for a biscuit and staying for two hours cracking jokes, talking with whoever walks in about family and town news, and then going onto the street and hearing folks playing old-time and bluegrass music. Where else can you find that?

As a small business owner managing an old-time string band and producing radio shows, I’m a self-starter with lots of determination. I’m passionate about preserving the past and sharing it with future generations. The music I love is found on 78rpm records, the ones people used to play on the old wind-ups.  I use modern techniques to keep this music from getting lost and to maximize my listening audience.

Similarly, Mount Airy needs to develop new strategies to bring our fine traditions and values to a 21st century community. Granite, tobacco, furniture, and textiles built this town, but in changing times, how we will sustain it?  We need to preserve all the wonderful things we have: old-time and bluegrass music, Andy Griffith tourism, proximity to the Blue Ridge, a great arts council, walking trails, a quaint downtown, and small town values.  Mount Airy is truly a great place to live!  We need to think hard about building a future that reflects our shared traditions and values and moves us forward together. Parents and grandparents want their children to stay here and raise their families.  Let’s give them the jobs and opportunities they need to stay right here at home. We need to encourage new businesses that have a strong commitment to our community.  Running my small business requires creative and adaptive thinking to be successful. I want to put these skills to work for you.

Vote Ivy for Mayor and I will work hard to build a great future for Mount Airy. Let’s start a dialogue; I want to work with you, hear your ideas, and together ensure that our wonderful town is a place people want to live in and visit for years to come. As mayor, I’ll give you everything I’ve got.  Let’s build on Mount Airy’s past as we move forward together.

Ivy Sheppard