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Appalachian State alumni run for Boone Town Council in upcoming election, promise to work on relationship between town, university

Appalachian State alumni James Milner (left) and Matthew Long (right) are running for Boone’s Town Council in the upcoming election in November. Photos courtesy of James Milner and Matthew Long.

Appalachian State alumni James Milner (left) and Matthew Long (right) are running for Boone’s Town Council in the upcoming election in November. Photos courtesy of James Milner and Matthew Long.
Editor’s Note: The following is the first in a three-part series profiling Appalachian alumni running for office in the upcoming municipal elections.

Appalachian State University alumni are in the running for seats in Boone’s Town Council election this November.

Among them are James Milner, a 2004 graduate, and Matthew Long, a 2000 graduate, who are two of six candidates running for the three open seats on Town Council.

Milner, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration in finance and banking, and Long, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in construction technology, agree with one another on many issues, including rekindling the relationship the Town of Boone has with Appalachian State University.

The two candidates said that there is room for improvement within the relationship and that the town should be utilizing all that the university has to offer.

“We recognize the importance of the relationship between the town and the university,” Milner said. “Students, faculty, staff, parents of students and fans are all investing in Boone. Why not take care of that relationship?”

Milner said there is no reason why students cannot be encouraged to run for town boards and committees.

Long said that there are many opportunities for the students and faculty of Appalachian to help with town issues.

“We should not be paying thousands of dollars for consulting firms’ opinions when we can use Appalachian and tackle projects together,” Long said. “It would be a great experience for students as well as for the town.”

Milner and Long said they agreed that smart development, economics and relationships were the three most important pieces of their platforms.

“Relationships are very important to me,” Milner said. “I want a Boone that was similar to when I first moved here, where people were neighborly, helpful and kind.”
Long, a partner with the general contractor Capehart and Washburn, LLC, said his experience in sustainable building could help him be an asset to green building and sustainable development in Boone.

Milner and Long said that another issue they both want to address is that bringing businesses to Boone would help students have better opportunities to find jobs and careers.

“I am pro-business,” Milner said. “I want there to be more options for students to work and to spend money.”

Speaking on the recent voting changes in the county, both candidates encourage students to make the effort to place their vote.

“What is most important is that we all make our votes heard,” Long said. “The students of Appalachian have and will continue to make a major impact on our local town elections. I want to strongly encourage them to vote.”

Long said that as an alumnus he views the university as something that brings culture to the town.

“I see the university as a complete positive for Boone and want the relationship to be as strong as it can be,” Long said.

Milner said that being an alumnus makes him want to work harder.

“I know the most important relationship to the Town of Boone is that with Appalachian,” Milner said. “I want to do everything I can to assist the university and have a working relationship with it.”

Story: GERRIT VAN GENDEREN, Intern News Reporter
Photos courtesy of James Milner and Matthew Long

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