Recently elected Jackson County Commissioner Mickey Luker has dropped a lawsuit he filed in June contesting a permit denial handed down from the Jackson County Department of Public Health.
As the drought of 2016 progressed, flows of streams and rivers dwindled region-wide — and the Tuckasegee River, water source for most of Jackson County, was no exception.
The tidal wave of negative political news in 2016 was staggering in its magnitude and emotionally overwhelming. Thankfully all that is behind us. But we can’t say adios to the year’s local news until our writers and editors sift through those events and mold them into our annual tongue-in-cheek spoof awards. With apologies in advance to those who can’t take a joke, here’s our tribute to the people and events that left an indelible mark on 2016.
Jackson County is hoping to save $2.3 million on the cost of completing critical repairs in Jackson County Public Schools through a loan program that would lend the $9 million needed at 0 percent interest.
Harry S. Truman’s Secretary of State Dean Acheson said upon his return to private life, “I will undoubtedly have to seek what is happily known as gainful employment, which I am glad to say does not describe holding public office.”
• To serve, Haywood Commissioners leave money on the table
• Carrying commissioner duties a juggling act in Jackson
• Macon commissioners not there for money
• Swain commissioners give little thought to salary
• Cherokee council makes more than state reps, less than congressmen
While holding public office in the United States isn’t usually all pain, it is usually no gain. American culture has long held disdain for those who enrich themselves by suckling at the public teat, and a Smoky Mountain News investigation proves that — at least locally — the salary and benefits offered to county commissioners in Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties aren’t making any of them rich.
When Mark Jones first ran for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in 2006, he was the general manager of High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, a demanding and well-paid position. But when he won the election, Jones knew he wouldn’t be able to keep the job while also fulfilling his newly acquired civic responsibilities.
Approval of a 38-home subdivision in Cullowhee has served as a catalyst for the Jackson County Planning Board to revisit the county’s steep slope ordinance, a controversial piece of legislation that passed in 2015 after nearly three years of heartfelt debate. If the last few planning board meetings are any indication, the next round of steep slope discussions will also be a lengthy and complex conversation.
Making their way around a room studded with tables, informational posters and documents for review, Jackson County residents took advantage of their first opportunity — Tuesday, Nov. 29 — to see where county leaders envisioned steering the county over the next 25 years.
Cold temperatures have arrived, but efforts to ensure the future of Jackson Neighbors in Need are heating up.
As the saying goes, change is life’s only constant — so Jackson County is looking for input to guide its approach to the changes that the next 25 years are likely to bring.