Weller joins Highlands Board of Commissioners
With unofficial results in, Highlands has elected one newcomer, Jeff Weller, to its Board of Commissioners.
Three seats were up for election on the board this election season with one incumbent, Marc Hehn, choosing not to run for reelection. Two other incumbents, John Dotson and Brian Stiehler, ran to regain their seats and beat out challengers Kay Craig and Rachel Wilson.
Brian Stiehler won the most votes with 285 from Macon County voters and two from Jackson County Voters. That comes out to about 26% of the Macon County vote. Jeff Weller came in second place with 255 votes or about 23% of the vote. In third was Jon Dotson with 235 votes in Macon County, or about 21% of the vote, and two votes in Jackson County.
Turnout appears to be down this year in Macon County, with 518 votes cast in county municipal elections compared to 879 in 2019 and 891 in 2021. However, the only other election taking place in Macon County this cycle was in the Town of Franklin and was an uncontested election.
Weller has lived in Highlands for 30 years and currently serves on the Macon County Recreation Commission, the planning board, playground committee and scholarship committee, and has previously served on the parking/ street committee as well as the Unified Development Ordinance Advisory Committee. This is Weller’s first time running for an elected office.
After graduating from Clemson with a degree in Design-Architecture, Weller has had a career in architecture, planning and construction.
“My professional career and my community service has allowed me to work closely with both the town of Highlands government and administration, as well as the Macon County Commissioners and county sub-committees,” said Weller. “In my professional career as a project manager for both residential and commercial projects, I spend significant time managing the design process as well as representing the owners during the duration of construction. At all times that involves problem solving and coordinating between [multiple parties].”
Weller has seen several divisive issues come through the Highlands Commission in recent years and said he felt the time was right to get fresh ideas and views on the board. Additionally, Weller wants to see more community engagement in town decisions and believes he is the candidate to make that happen.
“My professional experience and community service have prepared me to have a positive impact if elected to the Town of Highlands Board of Commissioners,” said Weller.
John Dotson has been living in Highlands since 1986 and has served on the board of commissioners since 2007. He has also served on both the zoning board and planning board for the town of Highlands.
Brian Stiehler moved to Highlands in 2000 for a position at Highlands Country Club and was first elected to the Highlands Commission in 2011. He has served on multiple community boards including Rotary Club of Highlands, Literacy Council, Leadership Highlands and the Chamber of Commerce, among others.