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Wednesday, 08 July 2015 14:03

Three on the ballot so far in Sylva elections

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fr sylvamayorSignups for town elections opened Monday, but as of Tuesday afternoon only three people had put their hat in the ring for Sylva’s four open seats.

Jay Ball, who owns Jewelry Outlet on Main Street, will be one of the names on the ballot. Ball, 51, has owned his business for nearly 30 years and believes that management experience coupled with his perspective as a downtown merchant will be a valuable asset to the board. 

“Someone from the downtown merchants would help round the board out, and I think almost 30 years of being in business would help with some of the decisions,” he said. 

Describing himself as a “common sense person,” Ball said that in light of the county’s upcoming revaluation and talk of raising taxes in Sylva, he’d be particularly interested in working on the town budget.

“Before I’d raise taxes, I’d like to go through the budget and see if I couldn’t try to reevaluate some things and put the priorities in different and see if we couldn’t keep and maintain the same tax rate instead of raising the taxes,” he said. 

Ball will be joined on the ballot by David Nestler, who owns Tree of Life Woodworks and serves as president of the Sylva Main Street Association. 

“My main motivating factor is just a love for Sylva,” Nestler said. “I grew up here, I’ve always loved it here and I think I can do a lot of good on the town board. I’ve worked really closely with just about all the town board members. I have a good understanding of how the town functions and the direction I want it to go.” 

If elected, Nestler, 30 would become the youngest member of the town board. 

The board seats up for election are currently held by Harold Hensley, Danny Allen and Lynda Sossamon. When asked whether they intend to run again, all three replied that they had not yet decided and would likely wait until the end of filing to commit either way. Candidates for municipal elections can sign up through noon on Friday, July 17. 

Mayor Maurice Moody has already announced that he will not be running for re-election. So far, Barbara Hamilton, a current town board member, is the only person to have announced her candidacy for mayor. 

Hamilton, 70, is a retired registered nurse and in the midst of her first elected term on the town board, though she was appointed to a vacant seat in 2012. If she loses her bid for mayor, she’ll still serve on the town board until her term ends in 2017. 

“Mainly I’m just really concerned about the town,” Hamilton said of her reason for running. “I’m concerned about our downtown economy. I think we need to be more business-friendly and I’d like more businesses to grow and thrive. I look around at Waynesville, Franklin, even Bryson City, and that’s what I want for Sylva.”

 

Correction

The Smoky Mountain News incorrectly reported in last week’s edition that David Nestler is planning to run for mayor. In fact, Nestler will be running for a seat on the board but will not be seeking the mayor’s position. 

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