Tuesday was the day voters would decide which forward direction they wanted the town to move in. In the end, voters choose Janet Banks, Mike Eveland and incumbent Saralyn Price.
Eveland and Price will serve full four-year terms, while Banks will fill a vacant seat on the board with two years left in the term.
All three victors celebrated at the Maggie Valley Inn.
“A little bit overwhelmed at this time. I have not run for office before,” Banks said. “It’s an awesome responsibility, so I am going to do the very best I can.”
Eveland, who beat out Alderman Mike Matthews for a seat on the town board, said the results mark a change in the way business is done in Maggie Valley.
“Tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., we have a new beginning,” Eveland said. “I think you will find a board that will work together, with diversity.”
Ever since Phil Aldridge stepped down more than a year ago, the Maggie Board of Aldermen has only had four voting members and hasn’t been able to get along. If Matthews and Aldermen Phillip Wight took one stance, then Price and Mayor Ron DeSimone seemed to take another.
Banks ran to fill the empty seat left by Aldridge and hopefully bring some cooperation to the board. One of her top priorities, she said, would be to review the town’s policies and procedures and craft a policy on what to do when an aldermen resigns.
“We didn’t have a policy in place how to properly replace an alderman who leaves,” Banks said. And the town was left one alderman short for more than a year.
As a result, two factions within Maggie Valley spent much of the year going tit for tat with each other. But no more, Eveland said. Now, it’s about cooperation.
“We can really move mountains if we work together,” he said.
For Price, who has sat on the board during the last year, the results were even more welcome.
“I think that we can all work together, and I am looking forward to it,” Price said.
She added that during her next term, she wants to continue beautification efforts in the town, review and possibly revise policies and procedures, and work on a plan for what Maggie should be in two, three, five years.
Leading up to the election, many people were ready for something new, for cohesiveness on the board, which is part of what brought Maggie resident Anna McDonald out to vote.
“I just came to try to change it up a bit,” McDonald said, adding that she voted for “anyone that wasn’t in before.”
Norm and Lill Sevigny, 68 and 69 respectively, have lived in Maggie Valley for six years but haven’t taken part in meetings or really followed local politics. However, they always vote.
“I am a good citizen,” Norm said when asked why he showed up at the polls.
After walking around and speaking with the aldermen candidates who stood watch over the polls at Maggie Valley Town Hall all day, the Sevigny’s decided who to vote for — Hurley, Meadows and Matthews. They’ve also decided something else: to get more involved and sign-up for the town’s sunshine list, which keeps residents informed about meeting and announcements.
Maggie Valley Town Board
(two four-year seats available)
Saralyn Price: 192
Mike Eveland: 172
Mike Matthews: 131
Steve Hurley: 124
Billy Case: 96
(one two-year seat available)
Janet Banks: 248
Charle Meadows: 97
Joe Maniscalco: 10