Buice column: The Village has some big shoes to fill after Ledbetter leaves

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 9, 2019

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It’s hard to imagine the Village of Clemmons without planner Megan Ledbetter.

We got a “tip” at the Courier office a few weeks back that Ledbetter, who has guided Clemmons through a period of explosive growth over the past 12 years, was no longer working for the Village.

That didn’t sound like her to being leaving abruptly without sufficient notice, so I put in a call to Village Hall to learn that she was still employed by Clemmons but had indeed turned in her resignation, effective sometime later in May to accept a “new challenge” with Meridian, a commercial real estate firm in Winston-Salem.

Ledbetter readily admitted that her two young daughters, ages 9 and 4, are growing up really fast, and with her hectic schedule at the Village and all the long hours and night meetings, that’s time she will never get back with them.

Yes, family comes first, and it should be that way.

But, wow, Clemmons, there’s going to be a huge hole to fill with the departure of Ledbetter, who helped develop the Village’s first comprehensive and transportation plans.

She was the point person for pursuing countless grant opportunities for greenways, bike lanes, sidewalks and road improvements, along with dealing with all kinds of other initiatives, zoning matters, ordinances, etc. She also helped establish the farmer’s market and community garden in Clemmons. The list goes on and on.

I remember someone — I can’t recall who — saying at one of the council meetings that they didn’t know how much the Village was paying Ledbetter, but it wasn’t enough.

And she’ll be mad at me for writing this. The ultimate professional and team player, she always prefers to be “under the radar” and out of the headlines. She couldn’t understand why a story announcing that she was leaving could be worthy of being on the front page of last week’s paper.

I’ve been covering the Clemmons Village Council meetings, which regularly includes the manager, planner and some other staffers, since 2009 — a couple of years after Ledbetter took over as planner.

And upon her departure in May, I’ll be the last one remaining from that time. But I don’t really count.

I will miss Megan for all the good work she did as planner and for “dumbing down” some pretty technical issues for me upon request.

I’m sure the Village will miss her even more.

• • • • •

After walking in the footsteps of the pioneers as part of the Shallow Ford Walk in early March and learning about that crossing of the Yadkin River and the historical significance as a link in the Great Wagon Road and the site of the Battle of Shallow Ford, I saw another opportunity just down the road for another history lesson on the calendar.

It actually came last Saturday at the Daniel Boone Family Festival when Mocksville celebrated Davie County’s most famous son.

So we made the short trip down U.S. 158 to check out the artisan festival along the square and to go on one of the tours offered by the Davie Historical and Genealogical Society.

Just beside the booth to sign up was a man dressed in the proper attire from back in the day cooking Johnny Cakes (fried corn meal) in a fired pot along with some pinto beans flavored with a big hambone simmering in a huge pot. All for free. Yum.

We signed up for Tour A, which included a tour of Joppa Cemetery (the burial place of Daniel Boone’s parents and his brother, Israel), the Bear Creek Boone site, the Boone Trial marker in Farmington and Pudding Ridge.

I never realized playing golf would mean I might be out there smacking a 3-iron where Daniel Boone once might have stood.

Anyway, it was a most enjoyable tour. Our guide was Mark Hager, a Lenoir-Rhyne history instructor, and president of Forks of the Yadkin and Davie County History Museum.

As you can imagine, he was a walking encyclopedia of history, providing us with a couple of hours worth of facts and figures about the Boone family and much, much more.

For example, I never knew a Davie County connection ultimately ended World War II by dropping the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, but we learned that when our van drove past the homesite of Col. Thomas Ferebee and were told the story.

We look forward to checking out another tour there next time.