Weaverville – Four Weavervillians declared their candidacy on July 2 at the Buncombe Board of Elections, for this year’s Weaverville Town Council election. Mayor Al Root chose not to run for the seat again.
The first candidate is Patrick Fitzsimmons, a current council member. Fitzsimmons has been on council for five years and is currently in his second term. He moved to Weaverville in 2004.
Asked why he chose to run for mayor, Fitzsimmons said, “Well, I just think the direction of the council and Weaverville has been going the past few years is really positive for the town. I want to continue the direction. Al has chosen not to run again, so I would like to succeed him. I would say that Al has been highly competent and effective in his position, and I hope that I can continue that era of competence.”
Next, Vice Mayor and current council member Doug Jackson filed for re-election. Jackson is looking for his third term on board. First elected in 2007, he served 12 years on the council with a gap of two years where he was not on the council.
“I want to keep it [Weaverville] in good financial shape. We have a good fund balance, and we need to keep the friendly neighborhood atmosphere that we have in town, and people have come to expect,” said Jackson, a resident of the town since 1974.
The final two candidates are political newcomers. Michele Wood (not to be confused with Michelle Wood) filed to run for the board. Wood is on Dry Ridge Museum Board and participated in Citizens’ Academy, a program “…to promote open dialogue and provide the community with education about the workings of town government…The curriculum covers current town programs, services, policies, procedures, plus a “behind the scenes” look at how Weaverville’s government operates.”
“We moved here five years ago from Dallas,” said Wood. “Got involved in Citizens’ Academy…” She got going to council meetings and thought they were “…fun and interesting…I’ve been to many council meetings the last four years. I was joking; I’ve done a term but from the peanut gallery.”
Wood asked what she would like to achieve on the council, recalled her former neighbor and mayor of Weaverville, Bett Stroud and what was important to her and they were “roads, and zoning and main street and water and those are the kind of same four things going on now.”
The last member of the four is Weaverville resident Catherine Cordell. Cordell has been a member of the Weaverville Planning and Zoning Board. Cordell decided to run when current Councilwoman Dottie Sherrill decided not to run again. Cordell is married to Roger Cordell, who grew up on Church Street. “I’ve been living in Weaverville since my 20s, but in the Town of Weaverville for the last 11 or 12 years. “Roger and I love the town,” she told the Tribune.
“The opportunity has come. Miss Dottie has always encouraged me to do this and nobody ever wants to run against Miss Dottie and so when she finally decided that she was not going to run. She tapped me on the shoulder…and told me, ‘honey, it’s time’,” said Cordell.
Weaverville changed the town’s charter this year and expanded the size of the council from five to six members. It also gave the mayor voting privileges.
According to a release from the four, “The candidates, filed as a block…are pleased to have the support and endorsement of all current members of the Weaverville Town Council and the current Mayor Al Root.” Filling for office ends July 16 at noon.