There’s only one primary in the Macon County commissioners’ races, but it’s a good one to watch. It might well be a political bellwether.
“You have varying opinions on what’s best for the county,” said Macon County Commissioner Jim Tate, a Republican running for re-election.
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.
The federal sequester came back to haunt Macon County last month when commissioners voted to spend $13,000 to keep the county’s housing assistance program up and running. Commissioners had given Macon Program for Progress $12,000 at the beginning of the fiscal year to make up for the 30 percent reduction in administrative funds that the federal sequester caused.
In front of a crowded courtroom Tuesday, the Macon County Board of Elections voted unanimously to dismiss a challenge protesting Commissioner Ron Haven’s legitimacy as a candidate.
Dueling challenges over the legitimacy of two Macon County commissioner candidates could have had far-reaching implications for the county’s political landscape and, ultimately, the tone and tenure of the county for years to come.
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Both challenges fizzled out after a week of political commotion, but from the shadows of the unfolding drama a power struggle for majority control on the Macon County Board of Commissioners emerged. While both candidates who faced challenges are Republicans, they come from two different ends of the party’s philosophical spectrum.
Jackson County commissioners may start broadcasting their meetings, bringing to the masses the nitty gritty of local government — tax collection reports, committee appointments, budget shuffling of low-level line items, and the not-to-be missed community proclamations, like the one in honor of Firefighter’s Week that passed nothing short of unanimously in September.
The Haywood County Republican Party, siding with a two-time county commission candidate, has submitted a resolution to the county saying it should hire a professional appraisal firm to review all home values.
The future of Jackson County’s Green Energy Park may depend on county commissioners doubling down.
In what he characterized as simply starting the discussion, Jackson County Commission Chairman Jack Debnam broached the idea of changing how voters elect county commissioners.