Sylva getting pretty good at filling empty town board seats

The Sylva town board will appoint a new leader to an empty seat on the board in coming weeks — the fourth time the town board has gone through this in as many years.


Chris Matheson, who sat on the town board, was elected mayor in the town election earlier this month. She still has two years left to go in her town board seat; however, she will be leaving that seat vacant when she moves up.

The job of picking someone to fill it is up to the board. The board has had an uncanny number of these appointments to make lately — this will be the fourth since 2009. 

Danny Allen, who lost his seat on the town board by just four votes in the recent election, said he would like the appointment.

“If they would consider me, I definitely would like to continue,” Allen said, who had served on the board for 10 years. “I have benefited the town in more ways than people know. Sylva is my hometown, and Sylva is my life.”

Allen pointed out that he backed both Matheson’s and board member Harold Hensley when they were initially appointed to their seats.

While Allen was the next highest vote getter in the election, that doesn’t automatically mean he’ll get the empty seat, according to Matheson and Hensley.

Matheson would like to see a unanimous vote among town board members about to give the newcomer “a feeling of confidence.” Hensley said he will go with the flow, sharing Matheson’s goal of it being a unanimous vote.

Matheson said the board probably won’t have a formal application process for people interested in the seat. In the past, the process was largely carried out behind the scenes by board members.



An article in last week’s paper incorrectly stated that the Sylva town board election was in flux due to absentee ballots yet to be counted. Danny Allen narrowly, but definitely, lost his seat by four votes.

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