The nice, open room in the KARE house in Waynesville is a welcoming space. There’s books and toys and a wash of bright colors. There’s a rug featuring dolphins, hearts and shooting stars.
Three Haywood County commissioners running for re-election this year are standing on their track record of balanced leadership from the center of the political spectrum.
The three sitting commissioners on the ballot are Democrats, but they describe themselves as moderate.
Property taxes have emerged as a top issue in the Democratic primary for Haywood County commissioner candidates.
The three sitting commissioners running for re-election say the property tax platform of their challengers is a predictable one. Pledging to lower taxes is a tried-and-true campaign formula and borrows familiar lines from the national rhetoric. But the shoe doesn’t fit, sitting commissioners say.
As the primary approaches, local candidates are making their case. Around the region, county commissioner seats are opening up and incumbents and challengers alike are looking for votes.
• Navigating the political stripes of the Haywood commissioners’ race
• Are Haywood commissioners big spenders, or doing the best they can?
• Macon commissioner race spending pits conservative and moderate Republicans
• Swain commissioner candidates weigh in on the issues
A coup within the Haywood County Republican Party was set in motion this week by a group of precinct chairs who called for the ousting of the party’s chairwoman.
A takeover of the local party by a faction of conservative ideologues has been brewing for more than a year. The faction has increased its toehold in the party, eventually amassing enough seats on the executive committee to make an end-run for the chair’s seat.
The ocean is a long way from Rick Miller’s kitchen. The kitchen is a long way from where his journey began.
“Back then I wanted to be a marine biologist,” the 61-year-old smiled. “And I can still give all the Latin names to the fish.”
The Mélange of the Mountains culinary celebration will run from April 10-13 around Haywood County.
A tourism tax increase in Haywood County has virtually no hope of advancing in the N.C. General Assembly this year, but some of its supporters seem reluctant to fold.
Town and county leaders have implored state legislators to green light a tourism tax increase since this time last year. Hiking the tax on overnight lodging from 4 cents to 6 cents would bring in half a million extra dollars a year for tourism coffers and would be earmarked for building or expanding tourism attractions.
Lynn Collins has honed the art of eavesdropping. It began innocently enough, unavoidable even, since nothing but a cubicle separates her from the foot traffic of downtown Waynesville.
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But her accidental eavesdropping soon became intentional. From her desk at the back of the busy visitor center on Main Street, Collins keeps one ear tuned in to the tourists who pour through the door. It became her secret weapon in the fiercely competitive game of landing the almighty tourist dollar in the mountains: what’s driving them to come here, and what are they looking for when they get here?
For decades, mountain tourism strategists have concocted catchy ways to state the obvious: come visit us because we are in the mountains.
It was so predictable. And there were only so many ways you could say it.