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Applicants wanted for Maggie board vacancy

haywoodDespite the recent election, the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen still has an empty seat to fill.

Alderman Saralyn Price won her write-in campaign for mayor earlier this month, which means a fourth board member is needed to complete the two years remaining on her term as alderman. 

The board could have choosen a number of methods to fill the vacant seat. They could take the next highest vote-getter from the Nov. 3 election or they could advertise for the seat and conduct interviews before making an appointment. The board chose to do the latter. 

Town Manager Nathan Clark said the board would begin accepting candidate applications following its organizational meeting, which will be held at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1, in the Town Hall boardroom. Newly re-elected aldermen Janet Banks and Phillip Wight and mayor-elect Price will be sworn into office before the board sets a meeting time and appoints the mayor pro-tem. 

Clark said applications would be accepted until Jan. 15, and then the board would begin interviews. Living in the 28751 zip code is the only requirement to run for the position. He hopes a new board member will be appointed sometime in February. 

Billy Case and Nikki McCauley, two candidates that ran for aldermen this year but didn’t make the cut — said they both plan to apply for the position. In his third attempt to serve on the Maggie board, Case received the third highest number of votes in the election — 29 votes behind incumbent Phillip Wight. McCauley received only 46 votes.  

Mayoral candidate Jasay Ketchum, who received only 27 votes compared to Saralyn Price’s 233 votes, said he would also apply for the board position after giving it a lot of thought. 

Mayoral candidate Justin Phillips, who received 84 votes, said he had no desire to apply for the alderman position or to be involved in local politics at all now. 

Making an appointment to the board has proved difficult for Maggie Valley in the past. When former alderman Phil Aldridge resigned from his post in August 2012, the board went through the same process of taking applications and interviewing candidates. However, the remaining aldermen and the mayor couldn’t agree on an appointment. The stalemate continued for more than a year until Janet Banks was elected to fill the unexpired two-year term during the 2013 election.

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