Alderman candidates 'honored,' 'enthusiastic' to work together
BLACK MOUNTAIN - It has been about a month since Doug Hay and his wife, Katie, celebrated the birth of their second daughter. Hay hoped to win a seat on the town’s Board of Aldermen to shape the future of his children’s hometown.
A win on election night meant the Hay household would be without an added layer of stress.
“Everyone is so excited,” Hay said. “It was a busy time for my family, but it all worked out.”
Hay will be sworn in along with Pam King and Archie Pertiller Jr. during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting in December. Pertiller, who won his reelection bid with 19.7% of the vote, was appointed in August to fill Larry Harris’ alderman seat.
Hay said he’s looking forward to “do the work” of an alderman.
“I think that we have a really strong board that I’m excited to work with,” he said. “I’m excited to work with Ryan (Stone) and use some of his experience and expertise and his serving on the board for the past several years. I think Pam is going to be a wonderful addition, and Archie as well, and Tim (Raines) too.”
“It’s going to be a really strong board, and I’m definitely excited just to actually get to it — do the work, be able to get some things done.”
King said she was “surprised at the level of enthusiasm” at the start of her campaign.
“It really was quite moving that people were so supportive and enthusiastic about supporting my campaign,” King said.
For Pertiller, winning the seat he was appointed to had “relieved some stress.”
“Even though I was appointed, and I was glad to be appointed and happy that I was and honored that I was, but to win your seat and have the community vote for you is even better,” Pertiller said. “The nerves are gone.”
King, Hay and Pertiller will serve until 2024. Mayor Harris and aldermen Tim Raines and Stone will seek reelection in 2022.
Black Mountain amended its town charter in 2019 to hold elections in even-numbered years, extending Harris’ term, previously held by Don Collin, until 2022. Raines, who was appointed in 2018 to fill Jeremie Konegni’s seat, will serve a complete four-year term because of this decision.
King said the first step she hopes to take is defining how the board fills vacant seats.
“The step we need to take real soon is getting consistent procedures down about how when a vacancy happens on the board, how it’s filled, so people know what to expect,” she said. “It’s been quite inconsistent for years, and it’s led to people not feeling good about that whole process.”
Jennifer Willet, who finished fourth in voting in her reelection bid, was selected to fill Carlos Showers’ seat in March after being pulled from a list of candidates. The subsequent appointments of Harris and Pertiller, in contrast, were immediate following the resignation of Collins as mayor.
Criticism followed the board’s three appointments as candidates emphasized a need for the board to add much-needed transparency. Pertiller, who said during a Sept. 21 online forum that he would accept phone calls from residents at any time of day, confirmed that he would maintain that availability into his new term.
Because of the support she received, King is “grateful.”
“I look forward to working with Black Mountain, not just the people that voted for me, but there’s a broad range of people in Black Mountain, and I think that’s a good thing,” she said. “I want to get out there and start meeting people and listening to them, and seeing what we can do on the board.”
Completing the town’s greenway project has been mentioned by the three candidates as a priority, including King’s discussion of the town becoming “the greenest little town in North Carolina.” King said she expects the process to be long, but that she is “going to have to get deep into the details of that to find out what I can do to be helpful.”
With a second child at home and a board seat, Hay is “definitely excited.”
“It’s been awesome to talk to so many people and have so many people interested in talking to me, because I’m running, but I did all this so that I could do the work,” Hay said. “I’m excited to have a chance to do that.”