Black Mountain Town Council recognizes residents, swears in new members

Karrigan Monk
Black Mountain News
Alice Berry and Bill Christy were sworn in as council members Dec. 12. Mike Sobol was sworn in as mayor and Archie Pertiller was sworn in as vice mayor.

The Dec. 12 Black Mountain Town Council meeting was full of recognition.

Before the new mayor, vice mayor and council members were sworn in, former Vice Mayor Ryan Stone acknowledged and thanked former Mayor Larry Harris and presented him with a plaque. Harris then returned the favor and did the same for Stone.

The town acknowledged the boys cross-country and boys soccer teams from Owen High School for their state championship wins.

More:Owen coaches weigh in on state championship seasons

Owen cross-country and soccer teams were recognized for their state championship wins.

New Buncombe County Superintendent of Schools Rob Jackson thanked the council for honoring the athletes.  

“We’re so very proud of our Owen High School Warhorses,” Jackson said. “Not just because they brought so much bling back to the Valley, but for the manner in which they did it.”

Jackson said the teams showed “outstanding” sportsmanship and it is what he would expect to come from the Valley.

Superintendent Rob Jackson congratulated the Owen cross-country and soccer teams.

After the teams greeted and were congratulated by each council member, Jackson introduced himself to the council and the town. He said he is a Swannanoa native and is happy to be back in the Valley. He thanked the council for their support.

Following Jackson’s remarks, Fire Chief John Coffey presented volunteer fireman Phil Berry with a Life Saving Award.

Fire Chief John Coffey presented volunteer fireman Phil Berry with a Life Saving Award.

“We do this for you folks every single day,” Coffey said. “Protecting the citizens and doing what we’re supposed to do, but when we recognize someone who’s gone above and beyond the norms of our profession, that definitely deserves recognition.”

Coffey said Phil Berry responded to a call on a flight for assistance for a passenger who was going into anaphylactic shock. No doctor was on board and Phil Berry was able to administer the EpiPen medication “undeniably saving the individual’s life,” according to Coffey.

During the comment period, residents thanked the council for recognizing Owen’s student athletes, as well as for the council serving the town and support on various projects.

Mike Sobol was sworn in as mayor Dec. 12.

Buncombe County Clerk of Superior Court Steven Cogburn conducted the oath of office and installation for new Mayor Mike Sobol, new council member Alice Berry and returning council member Bill Christy.

More:Newly elected Black Mountain officials speak on what's next for the town

The new council then appointed a new vice mayor. In Black Mountain, the council member with the most votes in the previous election is traditionally nominated as vice mayor. In keeping with tradition, council member Pam King nominated Archie Pertiller, who received the most votes in the 2020 general election.

Alice Berry was sworn in for her first term on Dec. 12.

With no opposition, Pertiller was unanimously appointed to the role.

According to Town Manager Josh Harrold, Black Mountain is one of the few municipalities in the state to certify the election results. The council moved 5-0 to certify the results.

Bill Christy was sworn in for another term Dec. 12.

Following the certification, the council appointed representatives and alternates to represent the town on seven different advisory boards and committees for area agencies.

Pertiller was appointed to the Black Mountain Center for the Arts with Christy as the alternate.

Council member Doug Hay was appointed to the Black Mountain-Swannanoa Chamber of Commerce executive board, with Alice Berry as the alternate.

King was appointed to the Land of Sky Regional Council board of directors, with Pertiller as the alternate.

Pertiller was appointed to the French Broad River Metropolitan Organization Board of Directors, with King as the alternate.

Archie Pertiller was sworn in as vice mayor Dec. 12.

For the French Broad River MPO Technical Coordinating Committee, Planning Director Jessica Trotman was appointed with Harrold as the alternate.

Alice Berry was appointed to the Asheville Regional Housing Consortium, with Trotman as the alternate.

Sobol was appointed to the Friends of the Fonta Flora State Trail Board. Hay is the alternate.

In new business, the annual lease for the Green Tee Grille was up for renewal. Town attorney Ron Sneed noted that the owner of the restaurant wanted permission to be closed on Monday as the restaurant was experiencing staffing issues and Mondays are usually the slowest days of the week.

At Alice Berry’s request, the motion to renew the lease was continued to the next meeting so the council could be presented with more information. Specially, she wanted to know if the current rent is covering the maintenance and insurance on the property. Harrold said it probably was not.

The final item on the agenda involves a request for proposal for the town attorney services discussion.

“I was looking at the previous RFP for the town attorney which was dated back to the beginning of 2018,” Hay said. “My thoughts here are that it’s good hygiene for the town and for the attorney to periodically ensure that we’re putting out the new RFP to make sure that everyone is getting their needs met.”

Hay also noted the council should build in a standard practice that this is revisited after a set number of years.

The council voted 5-0 to go ahead with the RFP.

Before going into a closed session, members of the council expressed they were looking forward to working with the new council in the new year.

“I look forward to our board doing a good job,” Sobol said. “I take pride in being a part of such an intelligent board and, most important, glad to be a part of team Black Mountain.”