Weaverville – This week, we are publishing the responses to our questionnaire from the candidates for the Weaverville Town Council and Weaverville Mayor. Current Mayor Patrick Fitzsimmons does not have an official challenger, but Randy Cox has become a write-in candidate for the office. You can read more about him on page 2. All candidates are listed by the office they are running for in alphabetical order.
Catherine Cordell – Town Council
How long have you lived in your election district? 12 years.
Tell readers a little about yourself? I was born and raised on a farm in Mars Hill. At an early age my parents instilled in me the importance of community, faith, and the value of our natural resources. Over 30 years ago, I moved to Weaverville just before I graduated from Western Carolina University with a BSBA Degree. In 2012 former Mayor Al Root appointed me to the Weaverville Planning Board, where I still serve today. I am an unaffiliated candidate.
Why are you running? My entire career has been dedicated to long-term planning and I want to put that experience to work for you as a member of the Town Council. After nine years on the Planning Board, I am familiar with the issues and procedures. If elected, I will be ready to help plan our tomorrows to keep Weaverville a safe and inviting community to live and visit.
One of the things that make living in Weaverville such a joy is the walkability. I will advocate for proven, effective ways to keep our pedestrians safe & protected. I also support the Greenway Connection project that will help build links within our community and to surrounding areas.
As many of you know, Weaverville leaders are continually analyzing the budgets to maintain town utilities, water capacity, fire protection and local police force at the highest possible standard. This is an immense responsibility that takes a team of experienced and insightful council members to carry out this task. Over the course of my 25-year professional career, I have been a key member in strategic budgeting processes, controlling upwards of five million dollars of purchasing annually, so I understand that “Every Dollar Matters.” I feel my professional experience will be an asset to the Council team.
As access to work, school, and even health care evolves, I see a greater need for our citizens to have the best internet accessibility. While planning for tomorrow, I would pursue using federal grant money for public high-speed internet accessibility in the core of town.
What do you see as the most important issue facing your office? Managing growth, preserving the small-town community charm of Weaverville while maintaining a balanced budget with a revenue-neutral tax rate.
If elected, is there anything you would change about recent actions by the current board? No
Would you participate in a public debate for the seat if one was held? Yes
Is the current board doing a good job of communicating with its constituents? Yes, the agenda is published in advance and available on the Town website. Those who want to stay informed can sign up on the WeavervilleNC.org Homepage to get Town updates in your email inbox. The monthly scheduled meeting is planned a year in advance, usually the 4thMonday of each month. Every meeting is Public and can be attended by anyone.
Any other comments you’d like to make? I would like to thank the Tribune and all of you for allowing me the opportunity to introduce myself. I look forward to meeting many of the 4,567 Weaverville Town residents as I campaign. If you would like to schedule a “Meet & Greet” for your street or local organization, please contact me at Cat.email@example.com. I would appreciate your vote on Tuesday, November 2.
Randy Cox – Mayoral candidate
How long have you lived in your election district? 44 years since 1977
Tell readers a little about yourself? I have forged a strong connection with this community I started a photography business that enabled me to capture memories for over 1,500 couples on their wedding days. Working with the Weaverville Journal, I photographed town events, including the Town Council youth league and a range of high school activities. For 23 years, I also had the honor to be a videographer for the Billy Graham Training Center at Asheville. Looking through a camera lens to record significant moments across so many lives has given me a strong appreciation for maintaining focus and seeing things through the eyes as an active Weaverville citizen. For 44 years my wife and family love the experience of our small-town community. Elisa and I moved here in 1977 with one child and over the following years, we welcomed seven more children to our family.
Why are you running? My goal is to see Weaverville maintain its identity and prosper. I believe the goal will be achieved through common sense policies fiscal accountability. People have encouraged me to run for Mayor of Weaverville for over 30 years. I decided that the time is now to bring Weaverville my understanding commitment and love for our unique community.
What do you see as the most important issue facing your office? Informing the people of Weaverville in a timely matter of the agendas.
If elected, is there anything you would change about recent actions by the current board? Would like to hear all sides of the actions.
Would you participate in a public debate for the seat if one was held? Not at this time.
Is the current board doing a good job of communicating with its constituents? It needs to be improved.
Any other comments you’d like to make? Every day I am encouraged to live my life aligned with Franklin Graham‘s decision America campaign challenge: make a difference in our communities by participating in school boards, town council, mayorship or state representation. I am also in the elder at BlueRidge Vineyard Church which further connects me with our vibrant community.
Patrick Fitzsimmons – Mayoral candidate
How long have you lived in your election district? 17 years, moved to South Main Street in 2004.
Tell readers a little about yourself? Have served on Town Council for five years, have been an engaged town citizen prior to Council seat on the Economic Development Board, Citizens Academy, volunteer for Art in Autumn and other town events.
Gained management and leadership experience as the CEO of American Red Cross for WNC for ten years prior to retirement after 28 years with the Red Cross. Then served as Executive Director of Mountain BizWorks, an entrepreneur education and financing institution. Worked for 18 months during the pandemic as a church administrator but retired end of August so I can devote my time to being mayor.
Why are you running? Weaverville is my hometown and I want to be an engaged citizen working to make it the best mountain town in WNC. We live in a special place and we need to plan for its future to ensure it remains so. I am committed to Weaverville and its residents, and I have experience that I want to contribute to our town.
What do you see as the most important issue facing your office? All Weavervillians love our small-town atmosphere, our high-quality services, our desirable neighborhoods and downtown. Effective land use management is the only way to preserve all that. We are very popular right now, and why wouldn’t we be? We are experiencing considerable growth in and around Weaverville and that can be a good thing if dutifully managed. I am committed to ensuring that we manage new development in ways that sustain the high quality of life we all enjoy.
If elected, is there anything you would change about recent actions by the current board? Being a member of that board, I can say the current council is a group of fine and committed people who are diverse in their thinking and able to work effectively together.
Would you participate in a public debate for the seat if one was held? Yes.
Is the current board doing a good job of communicating with its constituents? We work consistently to communicate openly, completely and sincerely, and we encourage and appreciate citizen participation.
Any other comments you’d like to make? Weaverville is an idyllic town that is also well managed. Let’s keep it that way by voting for candidates this November 2 who have the governance experience we need.
Doug Jackson – Town Council
How long have you lived in your election district? 47 years.
Tell readers a little about yourself? See brochure.
Why are you running? I feel that I can continue to make a positive contribution the Town of Weaverville.
What do you see as the most important issue facing your office? See to completion three major projects currently in the works: water plant expansion, phase II of Weaverville Community Center for outdoor sports activity and the greenway project while maintaining a strong funds balance.
If elected, is there anything you would change about recent actions by the current board? No.
Would you participate in a public debate for the seat if one was held? If held in a virus-safe setting with a non-bias moderator.
Is the current board doing a good job of communicating with its constituents? I believe so with multiple channels ( Focus Newsletter. Banners and timely announcements). There is always room for improvement which our manager and staff continue to work on based on citizen and council input.
Any other comments you’d like to make? See brochure for more details.
Editor’s Note: Look for Part 2 in next week’s paper.