Growing downtown business a top platform for Weaver

Carl Weaver and his wife Angie. | Photo contributed 

This is one of eight candidates running for the Williamsburg City Council. Candidate stories for this race will be in the Times-Tribune today and Thursday.

WILLIAMSBURG — Carl Weaver, 52, has lived in Williamsburg for roughly 10 years and says he is running for Williamsburg City Council to help continue to grow the community.

The former business owner whose family business, Weaver’s Hotdogs, is still a staple in the London community, has used the business acumen to help start up the Why Whitley program. Weaver says Why Whitley is a group of concerned citizens that was started to help provide resources and bring events to downtown Williamsburg. Something he says is a focal point of his campaign for city council.

“Continued growth of downtown business,” Weaver responded on what his platform was.

He also added, “Cultivate the connections for entrepreneurs and people looking to set up businesses in the region so that they’ll look at Williamsburg. Our Main Street business area is growing. We’re working on developing a lot of activity downtown through our Why Whitley program, along with a lot of other important organizations,” he continued. “The mayor has been an integral support and he’s been working on this growth for several years as well.”

Weaver’s goal with the Why Whitley program is to show the versatility of downtown Williamsburg through collaboration.

“I just want to keep it business friendly for our community and help invite more entrepreneurs to the community. Grow it through ‘Appalachian Entrepreneurship’ is what I call it,” he said. “For so many years all of the focus in all of these towns has been, ‘let’s draw businesses to our I-75 exits.’ We’re trying to have them go a step beyond that and go deeper into town. Come across the tracks, so to speak.”

Weaver said that the crown jewel of the Why Whitley program has been the River Fog music festival. He says he’s most proud that the program was able to bring the festival to Williamsburg without harming any of its other events and services.

“One of the proudest things about the River Fog Festival I can tell people is, say Old Fashion Days did not have to go away or was not negatively impacted by River Fog Festival,” he said. “It’s an addition rather than a subtraction. I don’t believe in addition through subtraction as far as services and events. We cannot have enough things. I’ve seen too many towns basically abandon good programs in order to deal with the here and now, the more popular thing, and I think that’s a huge mistake.”

Weaver said he would also focus on the city’s infrastructure and trying to improve it, if he were elected.

“Meeting the needs of the citizens, that we address our water issues, and we continue to resolve those water issues,” Weaver said when asked on what his goals would be if elected. “I guess overall, workable infrastructure and to address infrastructure problems in a timely manner.”

Weaver says that his business background and being an active member of the Williamsburg community are part of the reason why he is qualified to run for city council.

The 3rd Street resident also works with drug addicts that are incarcerated and says that he tries to help them through rehabilitation so that they can return to their communities and be active members themselves. He has a degree in sociology and a master's degree in community counseling.

“I’m invested in the social ills, the things that are plaguing our communities and I think are far too long used as an excuse not to create development,” noted Weaver. “Everybody says, ‘well we can’t get jobs because people won’t work.’ I don’t believe that’s necessarily true.”

Inspiring and encouraging people is part of the reason Weaver says he’s decided to run for city council.

“Whether I win or not, I feel like I’ve made others work hard and appreciate the position that they’ll get,” he said. “Whoever gets the position, I think will do a good job and work hard because when you have to compete for something, you’ve had to put forth some kind of effort. Something earned is worth more than something given.”

“I’m not doing this out of ousting anybody,” Weaver said. “There’s no ‘I’m trying to get somebody pushed out of the way.’ This is truly to show interest and support, and get people excited, whoever it is. A lot of times people run for things to defeat somebody. I’m not out for any particular person. I’m for Williamsburg.”

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