Virginia Roseman takes Boone Town Council seat left by longtime member

Virginia Roseman will hold the seat on the council until November elections. She hopes to improve pedestrian travel  and protect green spaces in Boone.

Courtesy of Virginia Roseman for Watauga

Virginia Roseman will hold the seat on the council until November elections. She hopes to improve pedestrian travel and protect green spaces in Boone.

Ethan Hunt, Associate News Editor

The Boone town council filled the vacant seat of a long-time council member and former mayor Tuesday night.

Mayor Rennie Brantz cast the tiebreaking vote to appoint Virginia Roseman to hold the seat Loretta Clawson previously held. Roseman was one of three candidates nominated for the council member position. 

Roseman, pictured second from the left, was one of three candidates nominated for the council position. (Courtesy of Virginia Roseman for Watauga)

The council also appointed council member Connie Ulmer to fill the vacant position of mayor pro tempore, which Clawson left after her Jan. 31 retirement. 

Roseman will serve on the council until November elections, when Boone residents will elect a candidate to hold the council seat for the duration of the term, which will last until 2023. 

Brantz began the meeting by thanking Clawson on behalf of the council and Boone residents for her more than 20 years of service. He noted her reception of the Order of the Long Life Pine in 2012, North Carolina’s highest civilian award, and enumerated her contributions to the community, such as her work with the Historical Preservation Commission and the Downtown Boone Development Association. 

“I’m sorry. I’m just all choked up,” said Clawson. “But I love you all. Thank you all so very much. Thank you council, I love you all.”  

Roseman, 49, moved to the area in 1997. She moved within Boone town limits in 2007 where she now lives with her husband, cousin, mother-in-law and youngest daughter. 

Mayor Loretta Clawson reads the town council statement. Chelsey Fisher | The Appalachian
Clawson reads a town council statement in 2013 during her time as mayor. (Chelsey Fisher)

Roseman said Clawson inspired her activism in the community after the two met while Roseman worked for the Southern Appalachian Historical Association. 

“I met Loretta and Velma (Burnley) and I found out how to become active, how to be a person who has a voice and to be heard,” said Roseman.

Roseman served on the Tourism Development Authority from 2011 to 2015 and the Board of Adjustments from 2011 to 2016. She served on the Board of Adjustments again from December 2020 until Tuesday night’s appointment. 

Roseman said she hopes to improve pedestrian travel in Boone by making sure bike lanes and sidewalks connect, as well as improving crosswalk function. She also wants more free nighttime travel options, such as a bus that runs 24/7. Roseman believes that improving pedestrian travel will help resident safety as well as promoting sustainability. 

Roseman also supports protecting green spaces in the Boone area, one of Clawson’s former initiatives. 

Though she will see just nine months of work before her seat is up for grabs, Roseman isn’t ruling out running for the seat in November. 

“It’s on the radar for sure, definitely on the radar,” she said. 

After Roseman’s appointment, the town council voted on a resolution to ban the presence of anti-homeless architecture, like handrails on benches. The resolution was proposed by  Dalton George, the founder of the Boone Fair Housing Task Force. Council member Sam Furgiuele motioned for the resolution which passed 4-1, including a vote from Roseman. Ulmer voted against the resolution.