After a feel-good race lacking much controversy, Maggie Valley voters have re-elected Saralyn Price to her second term on the town board, sending with her a fresh face, motel owner Scott Pauley.
Both Price and Pauley ran on campaigns that promised to bring a balance between business and residential interests. With about 140 votes each, the duo solidly beat out candidates Ron DeSimone and Phillip Wight.
After results were called on election night, Pauley said he’d already printed out business cards with his home and cell phone numbers and was ready to hear what constituents have to say.
“I’m going to be all ears and eyes and feet moving as fast as I can,” said Pauley, who added that he was humbled by his win.
Price and Pauley said they are ready to get moving on promoting the festival grounds to attract tourism to the town. They also said they had reservations about the proposed design standards that would regulate the look of new construction and major renovations.
“Maybe this concept would be better received when we get out of this difficult time,” said Pauley.
“I don’t think anything can be done overnight,” said Price. “Even with new construction, it costs a whole lot more to change appearances.”
On Tuesday, all four candidates lined the front lawn of Maggie Valley’s town hall, greeting voters before they went inside to cast their ballots. Some, like Wight and Pauley, arrived in the early dawn. Wight and Price offered constituents doughnuts and coffee, while Price even threw in some Maggie Valley keychains.
Maggie Valley resident Jeremy Case, 30, said he voted for Price because she provided a “good voice” for Maggie Valley. The message Case wanted to send to the town board is to put tourism second on their priority list.
“Help the local people first,” said Case.
Meanwhile, Deb and John Schaefer came out specifically to cast a vote against Price, who voted to annex their subdivision, Campbell Woods, into the town limits.
“The good thing about annexation is that you can vote,” said Deb.
John, 60, said he voted for DeSimone and Pauley because of their professional backgrounds.
“One is a motel owner, and one is a realtor,” said John. “That’s what needs to be represented here because that’s what the town is.”
Seats up for election: 2
Total seats on board: 4
Saralyn Price (I) 141
Scott Pauley 140
Phillip Wight 82
Ron DeSimone 45
Registered voters: 1,027
Voter turnout: 224 (22%)