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Flat Rock appoints Backlund to tourism board

FLAT ROCK — The Flat Rock Village Council appointed Carl Sandburg National Historic Site superintendent Connie Backlund to the new Henderson County Tourism Development Authority, leaving just one unfilled seat on the nine-member body.

Backlund, who retires Oct. 3 after 18 years at the Flat Rock site and 38 years with the National Park Service, fills a slot that must be held by someone involved in tourism promotion.
Mayor Bob Staton said he first became acquainted with Backlund in 2000 when both served on the Flat Rock Planning Board. He praised her for her service not only at the park but in the community at large.
"I think you've been a good citizen for all of us," he said. "You're not leaving. You're going to remain a resident and you're going to remain affiliated with the Carl Sandburg home. We're so glad you're going to stay in the community."
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners and the Hendersonville City Council made three appointments each to the tourism authority and the Chamber of Commerce made a nomination that commissioners ratified. That left appointments by the towns of Flat Rock and Fletcher. Fletcher Town Council members say they're having trouble finding to fill their slot. The seat must be filled by a Henderson County resident who is employed in lodging. Most of the managers of motels around the Asheville Regional Airport live in Buncombe County, they said.