Eveland, both Wights win in Maggie Valley
Although the race between two incumbent alderman for the Maggie Valley mayor’s gavel was an important one, the bigger story on Election Day was the performance of Tammy Wight.
“I was surprised,” said Wight, who ran for alderman. “I was not expecting to lead the ticket.”
Wight won both the Ivy Hill and Jonathan Creek precincts, outpacing fellow candidates Allen Alsbrooks and her husband, longtime incumbent Alderman Phillip Wight.
“We were both surprised and we were both excited that the voters chose to go with both of us,” she said. “We really didn’t know what to expect. There were a few people who questioned having a husband and wife on the team, but for the most part, the people responded to us well and we appreciate them and the trust that they’ve bestowed in us.”
Voters also put their trust in Alderman Mike Eveland, who defeated fellow alderman and Mayor Pro Tem Janet Banks.
“We had both endorsed Mike and I’m personally looking forward to working with Mike,” Tammy said of her and her husband’s preference for Eveland. “I’ve worked with Mike on the Tourism Development Authority board, so, we have a good rapport and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
She credits Eveland’s accessibility as one of the major reasons he was elected.
“I think Mike is just very well perceived,” she said. “He talks to a lot of people in the community. I know it was a good race between the two of them, and I think he’ll do a great job.”
Eveland’s victory means he won’t be able to finish his aldermanic term, so the board will soon begin accepting applications and eventually appoint someone to fill the last two years of his term.
“That is something that I think that as a board we need to discuss, but I definitely want someone who loves Maggie Valley as much as we do and and wants the best for the Valley and looks out for the residents and the businesses alike,” said Wight.
Banks told The Smoky Mountain News Oct. 30 that if she lost, she wouldn’t apply for the vacant board seat, and instead hoped to head up the 50th birthday party for the town, which was incorporated in 1974.
Once that’s settled, Wight said she’s eager to get to work on what was not only a major campaign issue but a longstanding community debate over traffic calming measures proposed for Maggie Valley’s main thoroughfare.
“Probably the first thing I would like to tackle and see something get done would be Highway 19,” she said. “The pedestrian crossings are a huge issue for our community and I would like to see that taken care of.”
The new mayor and board will be sworn in on Monday, Dec. 2 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall, but before that happens, Wight wants voters to know that she appreciates their trust.
“I would like to just say that it has been a great honor to be trusted to serve the public,” said Wight. “Going into this, I know there were a few people who had some concerns and I just want them to know that I am mindful of the trust that has been bestowed upon me and I just really want the public to know that I’m gonna strive to make Maggie Valley the best place that I can to live, work, visit and raise a family. I’d like to say thank you to the voters for the opportunity to serve and I look forward to serving along with our new mayor and the other board members.”