Macon County Commission Chairman Kevin Corbin announced his plans Monday night to run next year for the North Carolina House of Representatives.
The ballot for Haywood County commissioner could be a sparse one based on rumblings of who’s running — and more notably who’s not running.
Haywood County Commission Chairman Mark Swanger publicly announced this week that he plans to retire from elected office next year and won’t be on the ballot when his seat comes up for election in fall of 2016.
The three Democratic challengers in the Jackson County commissioners race took the sitting commissioners to task for their inaction on fracking at a candidate forum last week.
Three challengers for Jackson County commissioner opened with a strong offensive charge at a candidate debate last week, rarely letting up from their hard-driving line as the night wore on.
Come November, voters will be selecting candidates to fill all four seats on the Swain County Board of Commissioners. They will choose from a slate of six candidates — four Democrats and two Republicans.
Whether a grassroots movement to spark planning in Cullowhee dies or moves forward will rests with the next Jackson County board of commissioners.
A group of Cullowhee residents have called for development guidelines. Without standards, Cullowhee is vulnerable to unattractive development according to proponents. But, they need the county’s blessing to put them in place.
Despite having three Macon County commissioner seats on the ballot this fall, only one has any competition.
In the conservative leaning county, two sitting Republican commissioners will stroll back on the board after no Democratic candidates stepped up to run against them. While Commissioners Jim Tate and Kevin Corbin had to fend off challenges from other Republicans in the May primary, both won and are now enjoying a leisurely campaign season given the lack of Democratic opposition.
Haywood voters must pick two county commissioners from a field of four candidates. Both the sitting commissioners are running to keep their seats. Whoever wins come Nov. 6 will serve four years on the county’s highest decision-making board.
Commissioners Mark Swanger and Kevin Ensley hope to defend their seats against challengers Denny King and Mike Treadway.
Jackson County has a new county commissioner.
Vicki Greene, a longtime community planner and retired assistant director of the Southwestern Development Commission, clinched the Democratic nomination, which makes her a shoe-in for the Board of Commissioners as there is no Republican opposition running for the seat in November’s general election.
Greene will take the seat on the board currently held by Commissioner Joe Cowan, who decided not to seek re-election.
Stacy Buchanan, a former Jackson County commissioner, ran against Greene in the primary, but Greene walked away from the race with 60 percent of the vote.
“I look forward to working with all the folks of Jackson County to make this the best possible Jackson,” Greene said.
For three decades, Greene has worked as a resource for local governments and community leaders in the seven western counties. She is skilled in the art of consensus building and translating brainstorming sessions into tangible results
“Good communication is more about listening than talking,” Greene said. “For somebody to win, somebody else doesn’t have to lose.”
Another “Greene-ism” she tries to live by — “Do I want to be right or do I want to do right?” — is one she didn’t learn until she was about 50.
Greene’s top priority as a commissioner and biggest challenge facing the county is economic development. To say that Jackson County has not been proactive on the economic development stage is an understatement.
“When the unemployment rate was only 4 or 5 percent seven years ago, it was not as obvious that Jackson County needed a strong economic development strategy,” Greene said.
But, unemployment is now at 11 percent.
Greene said she wants to ensure that Jackson County continues progressive approach to managing growth and development, which includes strong subdivision and steep slope ordinances to protect the quality of life in Jackson County. She does not believe development regulations hamper growth and development.
“It is about seeking balance between the two,” Greene said.
There is a chance an unaffiliated candidate will try to get on the ballot for the November election, but to do so, a candidate would have to gather approximately 1,400 signatures.