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Black Mountain election: 3 Aldermen seats, 1 Board of Education spot

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain entry sign

Black Mountain will elect a new majority for its Board of Aldermen in the Nov. 3 election, including two spots currently held by appointees Jennifer Willet and Archie Pertiller Jr.

The election features a discussion of transparency following appointments of Pertiller and Larry Harris to alderman and mayor, respectively, in an Aug. 10 meeting. Each candidate has said that they are hoping to reconnect the local governing body with residents.

Primary objectives for each candidate vary and include: completion of the town's greenway project, investing in local businesses, establishing stormwater infrastructure, sustaining small-town growth and introducing a townwide plan for the pandemic. 

Former mayor Mike Sobol and Justyn Whitson are listed on the ballot but have since dropped from the race.

Meanwhile, Everett Pitillo and Linda Tatsapaugh are in the race for a seat with the Buncombe County Board of Education. Both are running against incumbent Peggy Buchanan for the Owen District seat.

Board of Aldermen

Three newly elected board members will join mayor Larry Harris and aldermen Tim Raines and Ryan Stone. Harris, an alderman prior to his appointment to mayor, will seek reelection in 2022 along with Raines and Stone.

The three seats are currently held by vice mayor Maggie Tuttle, Pertiller and Willet. Tuttle is not seeking reelection and will not be on the ballot.

There are six candidates vying for the three open seats:

Harris endorsed Willet, Pertiller and Holderman in a Sept. 21 email supporting each candidate's connection to the town. Sobol endorsed Hay, King and Turner after announcing his decision to drop from the race.

Board of Education

Incumbent Buchanan is seeking reelection against Pitillo and Tatsapaugh for the Buncombe County Board of Education.

Peggy Buchanan

Buchanan won 52% of the vote in the 2016 general election. A Democrat, Buchanan is a retired registered nurse and clergy. 

Buchanan believes in returning students to school while insuring the safety of students and school staff. She wants to recruit and retain teachers while building on school programs to prevent students from transferring to charter schools.

Everett Pitillo

A Republican, Pitillo believes local schools have become overcrowded and outdated. He believes the county requires additional funding from outside of the government, primarily from grants.

Pitillo wants to complement virtual learning with stronger training and device availability for staff and students.

More information for Pitillo is available on his website, ElectEverettDPitillo.com.

Linda Tatsapaugh

A Democrat, Tatsapaugh believes schools require additional resources to meet the needs of students, including social, emotional and behavioral support. Tatsapaugh wants to include funds for the development of school counseling, social workers and nurses while expanding on community partnerships.

In bringing students back to school, Tatsapaugh believes the county needs to provide schools with adequate supplies and training. Tatsapaugh also wants to increase teacher and support staff pay.

More information for Tatsapaugh is available on her website, LindaForSchoolBoard.com.