In Waynesville, it’s time again for a town board election, marking the end of four-year terms for both the mayor and all four aldermen.
The election will be particularly critical with the impending retirement of longtime Town Manager Lee Galloway next year. His replacement will be chosen by the town board after the fall election.
The board already had one early shakeup, after the death of Alderman Kenneth Moore in 2009. Wells Greeley, owner of Wells Funeral Home, was tapped to fill the vacant seat and has said that he intends to run for it this year.
“I did make the commitment when I accepted the appointment to run again, so I’m following through with my word,” said Greeley. Though he was appointed to his current seat, this won’t be his first try at a political race.
Greeley ran for and was elected to an alderman post twice in Canton.
Elsewhere on the board, first-term incumbent Dr. Leroy Roberson said that he’s also considering a run for re-election, citing the success of the board in passing the town’s new land-use standards and the ease with which the current board runs.
“Basically, I enjoy doing it,” said Roberson, an optometrist with an office on Main Street. “Considering the financial difficulties that have presented themselves [with the economy], we’ve been able to maintain the services and the town, I think, is being run quite well.”
Alderman Gary Caldwell, who has now seen four terms on the board, will be going back for another shot. If he’s successful, this term would give him two decades on the board.
Not all of the longer-term board members, however, will be back for another round. Libba Feichter, who is closing out her third term on the board, won’t be returning in the fall. Feichter was out of state on family business and could not be reached for comment.
In the mayor’s chair, Mayor Gavin Brown is now wrapping up his first term as mayor, but 12th year on the board.
Brown moved up to the job of mayor in 2007 after ousting long-time incumbent Henry Foy. This year, said Brown, he’s ready to settle in for another four years.
“I don’t personally believe in term limits, I believe in limiting yourself,” said Brown, who added that his expertise and long record of service allows him to bring experience to the equation that others won’t have.
“I’ve been very pleased with the things that have happened here over the last four, eight, 12 years that I’ve been on this board. I think Waynesville is one of the best towns in the state.”
While the names of challengers have been circulating, none would confirm intentions to run yet, but there will be at least one new face on the board this fall when Feichter’s successor is chosen by voters in November.