Republican candidate files for Jackson commissioner
The race for county commissioner in District 3 of Jackson County will no longer be an uncontested one following Ron Mau’s decision to file as a Republican candidate.
“I’m just trying to give back to the community and help out in the ways I think I’m most suited to do,” said Mau, who’s currently a councilmember for the Village of Forest Hills, a small community on the opposite side of N.C. 107 from Western Carolina University.
A professor and department chair for Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s online campus, Mau, 51, holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering — he worked in that field for more than a decade — as well as an MBA and a Ph.D. in finance. He’s lived in Jackson County for 10 years and was just sworn in for his second elected term on the Forest Hills town council, though he originally got on when appointed to fill an unexpired term.
If elected, Mau said, he’d just like to see things run “more efficiently” and apply his knowledge from the finance field to tightening up the county government. In particular, he mentioned the Jackson County Green Energy Park, saying the county should have a plan in place as to what kind of financial performance should be expected of it and how that performance should be measured.
“When any government starts doing things to support a particular business, there needs to be some sort of strategy to exit that if things are not going well,” he said.
Environmental health would also be a priority, he said, but with recognition that every regulation brings with it unintended consequences. He’d want to be sure to carefully analyze what those consequences might be before making a decision.
So far, Mau is the only Republican who has filed for the seat, though potential commissioners have through noon Dec. 21 to sign up. Incumbent Commissioner Vicki Greene, a Democrat, signed up to run for a second term on the first day of candidate sign-ups, along with Commissioner Mark Jones, a Democrat who’s gunning for another term representing Cashiers as the District 4 commissioner. He’s been on the board since 2006.
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