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Board of Aldermen fills local board seats, amends Tuition Assistance Program Policy

Ty Roush
Black Mountain News
Black Mountain's Board of Aldermen will presumably be without a town charter discussion until new members are elected Nov. 3.

BLACK MOUNTAIN - Pam King and Doug Hay are sworn-in members of the Board of Alderman following ceremonies held at its Dec. 14 meeting. Hay and King will assume seats previously held by vice mayor Maggie Tuttle and alderman Jennifer Willet.

The pair join Archie Pertiller Jr., who won his reelection bid.

Alderman Ryan Stone was nominated by Hay to be appointed vice mayor. Stone’s appointment follows the town’s tradition of appointing the highest vote-getter in the previous election to the position.

Mayor Larry Harris recognized Tuttle’s nine years working on the board.

“We appreciate you very much, all that you’ve done and your service to the town,” Harris said. “These words don’t actually do me credit in trying to tell you how much I appreciated serving with you these past years.”

Tuttle, previously an alderman before being appointed vice mayor in August, said alderman-elect Hay and King will continue to move the town forward.

“The reason I came on board is to create a team atmosphere, and I think it’s happened,” Tuttle said. “I’m so happy for that, and I know the people coming behind me will carry that on. It has been my honor and privilege.”

Willet, who was appointed to fill a seat previously held by Carlos Showers in March, said she has grown through the process of serving the town. Willet told Hay and King that “I wish you much success in the coming years.”

“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve on this board,” Willet said. “I have learned a lot. It has done my heart good to be a servant in this town that I grew up in. I appreciate all the things I learned from the more experienced board members, and I have just really valued this.” 

In addition to Stone’s appointment, the board voted to fill its appointments to these local boards:

  • Black Mountain Center of the Arts
    • Primary: Archie Pertiller Jr.
    • Alternate: Pam King
  • Black Mountain Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce Executive Board
    • Primary: Doug Hay
    • Alternate: Tim Raines
  • Land of Sky Regional Council Board of Directors
    • Primary: Larry Harris
    • Alternate: Ryan Stone
  • French Broad River MPO Board of Directors
    • Primary: Larry Harris
    • Alternate: Ryan Stone
  • French Broad River MPO Technical Coordinating Committee
    • Primary: Jessica Trotman
    • Alternate: Josh Harrold
  • Asheville Regional Housing Consortium
    • Primary: Jessica Trotman
    • Alternate: Archie Pertiller Jr.
  • Friends of Fonta Flora Board
    • Primary: Pam King
    • Alternate: Doug Hay

A nomination to the Metropolitan Sewer Board of Directors, a position currently held by Bob Watts, is delayed until the board’s Jan. 11 meeting. All newly appointed board members will serve until 2022.

Complemented by positions held on local boards, vacancies on the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Board were filled by Matt Turner and Kathy Phillips, respectively. Turner’s term will end June 30, 2023, while Phillips’ ends June 30, 2021.

Tuition assistance, forebay completion

The board voted to add additional criteria to the town’s Tuition Assistance Program Policy, which was implemented to encourage town employees to seek educational opportunities to improve performance at their current positions.

Additional criteria would include a minimum grade requirement, town manager Josh Harrold said. Funding is at $5,000, Harrold said, while the program is “something that people have taken advantage of more now than they have in the past.”

Harrold said that the town’s Lake Tomahawk project to repair flooding damage will be completed by Dec. 19, “if not by the following week.” Updates on the town’s greenway project, which were recently “frozen” because of construction dilemmas, will come monthly, Harrold added.

With the new board members in place, Stone said he will discuss potential changes to the town charter and the board’s appointment process with members of the community. Following this, Stone said that he hopes to have locals speak directly to the board during one of its regularly scheduled meetings.

Hay said he hopes to improve Black Mountain during his tenure on the board.

“It’s an honor to have this opportunity to serve on this board,” Hay said. “It’s an honor I don’t take lightly, and it’s a responsibility I don’t take likely. I really appreciate this time, and I think we have a very wonderful, strong board, and I look forward to working with each of you to really make Black Mountain a gem not just for Western North Carolina, but across the state and across the globe.”