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Commissioners perplexed by white paint samples

Jackson County Commissioners pondered paint samples at their meeting this week in an attempt to pick an exterior color for the new library beside the historic courthouse.

“I like white,” said Chairman Brian McMahan. “It’s historically been known as a white building and should be kept that way.”

Fellow commissioners seemed to agree that the new library should be white in keeping with the historic icon perched on the hillside over Sylva, but the decision didn’t end there.

“There are different types of white. There’s an eggshell white and a bright white,” McMahan said.

McMahan recently got a lesson in the myriad hues of white when he tried to buy a can of the stuff to repaint the hallway in his house.

“They said, ‘What color white do you want?’ I didn’t realize there were so many shades of white,” McMahan said.

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He ultimately made what he called the right choice: deferring to his wife.

When McMahan turned to the other commissioners and asked them to weigh in, they shifted uncomfortably in their chairs.

“I don’t know. I will have to ask my wife,” Commissioner Tom Massie replied. “I am smart enough to know to get any good woman’s opinion on this.”

Commissioner Mark Jones explained that he was colorblind, recusing himself from the discussion.

Commissioner William Shelton said his wife has ample experience when it comes to paint colors.

“You would be shocked to know how many times my wife has changed colors in our house,” Shelton said.

Shelton said the color on a tiny swatch never seems to look the same once it gets on the wall.

“I think it would be a good idea to slap some on there to see what it looks like,” Shelton said.

The architect for the library, Donnie Love, said that approach could certainly be arranged, perhaps by painting a few choices on a wall or two.

“We could let anyone who wanted to go have a look at it,” Love said.

Shelton suggested eliciting feedback from the Friends of the Library group, which is raising money for the new library.

“We’d be happy to,” responded Mary Otto Selzer, co-chair of the library capital campaign committee, who was sitting in the audience.

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