Mayor Tom Sutton claimed a third term in office with only 69 votes. Incumbent Alderman Heidi Ramsey-Woodard ran unopposed for a second term and received 67 votes and newcomer Chad Smith will join the board with 68 votes. Smith will take over former Alderman Jim Gribble’s seat after he decided not to run for re-election this year.
Voter turnout was pretty abysmal at 7.6 percent with no contested races, but that hasn’t always been the case in Bryson City. Voter turnout during the 2017 election was 23 percent with five candidates running for two seats on the board. In 2015, turnout was at 22 percent with six candidates running for two seats on the board.
While there were a few controversial issues facing downtown businesses during those election years, the board and the community have made a lot of progress — the local tourism economy has been booming and the town board has been focused on improving its streets and water and sewer infrastructure.