Town of Montreat elects three commissioners

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

Voters in the town of Montreat selected three candidates to fill openings on the board of commissioners in the Nov. 7 general election. 

Kento Otto, Alice Boggs Lentz and Tom Widmer, who campaigned together before the election, edged out Grace Nichols, according to the unofficial results. 

Otto received the most votes with 216, with Lentz and Widmer receiving 204 and 198, respectively. Nichols earned 110 votes. 

Kent Otto, far right, greets voters near the polling place in Montreat while campaigning for Tom Widmer and Alice Lentz on Nov. 7,

Otto was appointed to his seat on the board in 2015 when Tim Helms became mayor after running uncontested. The results of the 2017 election were "humbling," Otto said. 

"I'm excited that Montreat can continue to move forward and get some things done that we need to," he said at an event at the Monte Vista Hotel in Black Mountain shortly after the returns were in. "To see the community is believing in and trusting me and the board to continue what we're doing is validating."

In the weeks leading up to the election, Lentz and Widmer campaigned with Otto under the slogan "Vote OWL," an acronym of the trio's last names. 

During their campaign, the trio expressed appreciation for the current board in Montreat and vowed to continue the work the town council has started.  

I am pleased that the principal message of our campaign seems to have resonated with Montreat's voters," Lentz said. "The message, that is, of continued forward movement in support of the current town council in completing big projects already underway."

Her campaign was about "reaching out to our community to support the continued forward movement of the town council," she said. 

Lentz was "honored and humbled" to receive support from voters. 

"I am very excited to serve the people of Montreat, as one of their town commissioners," she said. 

Widmer was out of the country when the polls closed Tuesday, according to Otto.