Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

October 24, 2013

Business & Professional Association considers folding

by BILL ARCHER
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

BLUEFIELD, Va. — As part of his closing remarks Tuesday evening at the annual Fall Membership meeting of the Bluefield, Va., Business & Professional Association Inc., Jack Asbury, president of the B&P said that the failure to have a quorum for meetings in recent years has prompted serious conversations about folding the organization.

“Our problem is a general lack of interest,” Asbury said on Wednesday afternoon. “We try to hold regular meetings, but we only have four to six people show up. If we plan a project, there are only a few members who will show up. We wonder if it may be time to fold the club.”

Several business owners in Bluefield, Va., established the B&P in April 1979, “to promote the economic, social, cultural, educational and community life of our town and surrounding area.” Among other things, leaders including the late Clyde Bowling and the late Don Neal who worked tirelessly for the removal of the railroad tunnel on North College Avenue that contributed to flooding downtown. The B& P also coordinated the annual Christmas parades, organized business ribbon-cutting events and worked with the Greater Bluefield Chamber of Commerce to serve lemonade on days when the temperature exceeded 90 degrees.

“The town had limited resources in those days so the B&P took a leadership role in doing things that the town does now,” Asbury said. “It’s good that the town is doing these things. It’s also good that the Chamber of Commerce is also active in our community. Things have changed. People are still active in the community, but they’re active in the Kiwanis Club, the Lions Club the Band Boosters and other organizations.”

The fall meeting on Tuesday night was well-attended, and included informative presentations on state and national issues by State Senator Phillip P. Puckett, D-Russell; on county issues by Tazewell County Commissioner of the Revenue David Anderson; and on town matters by Bluefield, Va., Treasurer James Hampton and Councilman Steve Danko.

“It’s not final,” Asbury said. “We’re going to send out letters to members explaining the situation prior to the board meeting in November. If there are strong feelings from members that they want to keep it going, we’ll look at that. We could have another meeting in January, and we still plan to have our annual spring meeting.

“The main thing will depend on the letter we send out and the response we get from it,” Asbury said. “We just do the very best we can. We’ve got the best interests of the town in mind and the love of the people in our hearts.”

— Contact Bill Archer at barcher@bdtonline.com