The seat was left vacant in December after alderwoman Saralyn Price was elected as mayor. That left her seat vacant. The board hopes to fill the seat sometime in February.
As of Tuesday morning, two candidates — Billy Case and Brad Pendley — had submitted their applications to town hall. Case, a local real estate broker, has sought a seat on the board during the past three elections but hasn’t been able to garner enough votes. He currently serves as chairman of the town’s planning board.
Pendley is part owner of Maggie Mountaineer Crafts and is an active member of the Maggie Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Anyone interested in applying to serve on the board has until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 15, to submit an application. Applicants must be registered voters living within the town limits of Maggie Valley. After the deadline for applications, the board will review them and set up interviews with the candidates.
Maggie Valley has had plenty of experience with filling vacant board seats in the past. The process hasn’t always been successful, which is why applicants will find much more detailed questions on the candidate application this time around. Applicants are asked to provide information about prior service on civic boards, how they’ve contributed to improve quality of life in the valley, their goals for the board and any criminal or professional misconduct.
The last time the board of aldermen had a vacancy was in 2012 when Alderman Phil Aldridge resigned. The board took applications and conducted interviews, but the remaining three aldermen and the mayor couldn’t agree on an appointment. The seat sat empty until the 2013 November election when Alderwoman Janet Banks was elected.
Former alderman Mike Matthews was quickly appointed to the board in September 2011 to fill the unexpired term of Scott Pauley, who moved away and resigned in August.
Just a few months before that, Danya Vanhook was appointed to the Maggie board to fill the unexpired term of alderman Colin Edwards after his resignation in February 2011.
These years were also plagued with internal bickering amongst aldermen, mayor, town staff and even the public during board meetings. The frequent vacancies and appointments made it difficult for the town to operate with continuity. Board members often took sides and a majority of important votes were split between factions.
With two new aldermen elected in 2013 and a new town manager hired shortly after that, the town has been on a more productive path and they want to keep it that way.