James Samuel Accardi II (Jimmie)
Previous Places You Called Home:
None—I was born and raised here on Beech Mountain
Valle Crucis Elementary School
Watauga High School
Appalachian State University: Interned with the Boone Police Department, and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice
I have worked in the family-run restaurant business on Beech Mountain, alongside my parents and siblings, all my life. My brother and I are now the Owner/Managers of the Famous Brick Oven Pizzeria, and have recently opened another business, the Accardi Brothers Food Truck.
Beech Mountain Affiliations (Club, Ski Patrol, Fire Department, etc.):
Chairman of the Beech Mountain Tourism Development Authority
Vice-Chairman of the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce
Have actively attended Beech Mountain Town Council meetings for over three years
Why do you live on Beech Mountain? What are your favorite places/aspects?
I was born and raised here and benefited from the great quality of life that can be found on Beech Mountain. As I’ve traveled and seen more of the world, my love grows even stronger for Beech Mountain and for the friendly, non-commercial small-town feel of this place. When I have a family of my own, I plan to raise my children here as well. The town has done a great job in promoting outdoor activities both summer and winter, while respecting nature and our environment.
What is your vision for Beech Mountain?
I believe that we can plan for controlled growth, with new residents moving in, more visitors coming and more businesses thriving on the mountain, while preserving the environment and peaceful nature of the town.
We need to continue to expand our tourism economy and our outdoor recreational opportunities, and we need to attract young families to invest in and live on the mountain in order to remain a strong and sustainable community.
We also need to ensure that we continue to invest in public safety, and that we continue to seek ways to improve the infrastructure for providing water to the town; these components will be critical to both sustainability and growth.
Why should voters elect you to Town Council?
I have a genuine desire to be of service to my community and will be available and open to hear the concerns and ideas of all my constituents. I work well with others and understand the art of compromise, as well as the responsibility of leadership. I can balance the authority and the responsibility, and believe that my election will place me, not above you, but in your service.
What top three significant issues do you see Beech Mountain facing and what is your solution to those issues?
Inadequate water supply for future needs or growth—we need to continue to seek all possible water sources, including a water intake on the Watauga River, other potential well sites within the town, and replacement of leaking pipes.
Budgeting and budget management—all spending should be carefully weighed, and improvement of infrastructure should be top priority
Paving of roads—a plan needs to be developed for paving, with more-traveled roads and connectors (including Buckeye Creek Road) being first, with consideration being given to the timing of waterline improvements—roads shouldn’t have to be torn up after paving to install new waterlines—the two projects should be integrated with each other.
What thoughts do you have, if any, to improve the appearance of the Town (e.g. roads, clubhouse, public areas, entrance to Town, etc.)?
I strongly encourage all businesses along the commercial corridor to invest money into their appearance, to maintain a high standard for the business district. This will help the town, and help the business, as customers are more attracted to a well-maintained building. The TDA has been offering grants yearly, and some businesses, like Fred’s, the Accommodations Center, Top of the Beech and Beech Mountain Chalet Rentals, have used them to improve their appeal. I think that the look and feel of the town is important to our economy, as it brings more visitors and more potential new residents. Susie Knepka’s work with landscaping, scarecrows, and holiday lighting, needs to be supported, and the town should expand her position if possible.
If you received a $1 million grant to use for the city any way you wanted, what would you do with it and why?
Going back to my top significant issue, I would put the entire amount into solving the water issue, accelerating the replacing of old water lines and the search for new sources.
How will you be responsive to citizens and to support and improve citizen involvement in city government?
I will make myself available to my constituents via email, phone or in person when possible, and will listen to their concerns and act upon them whenever possible. I would like to encourage citizens to attend Town Council and Committee meetings (TDA, Parks and Rec, Planning Board, etc.) to get the most current, accurate information about what’s going on in town.
Additional comments or concerns: