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Waynesville changes name of governing board

Waynesville changes name of governing board

The Town of Waynesville’s Board of Aldermen will now be known as the Town Council, after an April 25 vote made it official.


At a planning retreat in February, elected officials discussed the possibility of changing the archaic term “aldermen” to something more modern and gender neutral after one alderman called the term “misogynist” and the board’s lone woman, Julia Boyd Freeman, called it “antiquated.”

Aldermen will now be known as Council Members.

Waynesville joins other Western North Carolina municipal governments that have abandoned gendered language in recent years, including the Town of Franklin, which did the same thing back in 2007.

Many other towns in the region retain the “alderman” title despite the presence of women on their governing boards, including Bryson City, Clyde and Maggie Valley. In Canton, elected officials are called “alderman” or “alderwomen.” Fontana Dam, Hayesville, Lake Santeetlah, Murphy and Sylva all have councilors or commissioners.

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