At just 22 years of age, Kevin Ensley became one of the youngest licensed land surveyors in the entire state after earning an associate’s degree in civil engineering from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College.
When Mark Jones first ran for a seat on the Jackson County Board of Commissioners in 2006, he was the general manager of High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, a demanding and well-paid position. But when he won the election, Jones knew he wouldn’t be able to keep the job while also fulfilling his newly acquired civic responsibilities.
Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale was pouring concrete on a job site when he was contacted about this story.
“You know, I really can’t tell you what we get paid,” Swain County Commissioner David Monteith said when asked about his commissioner salary. “I’ve never done it for that purpose. To me, serving the people in the community is the main benefit of being commissioner.”
In addition to welcoming newly-elected Commissioner Brandon Rogers and welcoming back newly re-elected Commissioner Kevin Ensley at its Dec. 5 meeting, the Haywood County Board of Commissioners selected Commissioner Kirk Kirkpatrick to serve as chairman.
Mark Swanger tucked into his leather armchair beside a roaring gas fire, an expansive view of his Fines Creek family farm unfurling beyond the bay windows of his log home.
Calm, cool and collected as always, he was ready for another round of a marathon interview aimed at capturing the sweeping tenure of his 20-year political career in Haywood County.
It had been said about newcomer Brandon Rogers that if signs could vote, he would win.
Republican incumbent Paul Higdon will keep his District 3 seat on the Macon County Commission while Republican Karl Gillespie claimed the District 2 seat.
Jackson County government will flip to the Republican side once again following successful campaigns from Ron Mau and Mickey Luker, Republican candidates for county commissioner who managed to oust Democratic incumbents Vicki Greene and Mark Jones.
The Smoky Mountain News held a forum with all four of the Haywood County Commission candidates at the Folkmoot Friendship Center Oct. 20. If you missed it, be sure to check out the video on YouTube — https://youtu.be/aeyUEDKc_FQ. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights of the evening.