Woodfin – Last week, the Town of Woodfin announced the hiring of Shannon Tuch as its new town administrator. Tuch, a principal planner with the City of Asheville since 2015, brings 19 years of local government experience.
“Throughout her 19 years with the City of Asheville, Tuch has held various positions within the Planning Department, gaining valuable experience that she will bring to the Town of Woodfin,” said the release.
Asked for some background information about herself for the Tribune’s readers, Tuch responded, “I graduated from the University of Georgia with a master’s degree in landscape architecture and worked in the private sector for a while before moving into local government work where I have worked for over 19 years, mostly in the areas of planning, zoning, enforcement and development services. My family has lived in Buncombe County for over 21 years, I am married to my husband David, a local business owner, and have two children – both born and raised in Buncombe County.”
With more than two decades in Buncombe County, Tuch has some knowledge of the Woodfin community and its history.
“I understand that Woodfin incorporated in the early 1970s and has a proud history of independence and self-reliance with an economy originally rooted in manufacturing and the working class. As manufacturing has declined over the years, Woodfin has been evolving and has been experiencing some significant growth pressures. With this has been a shift in demographics and expectations,” she said.
As Tuch enters her new job as town administrator, the position is changing. This year, Woodfin Commissioners voted to move away from its town administrator style of government to a town manager system, a change requiring the town’s charter to be modified. Asked her understanding of the difference between a town administrator and a town manager, Tuch said, “Woodfin currently follows a mayor-town Commission form of government which, in some towns, results in the elected body not only setting policy but also being involved in day-to-day administrative decisions of running the town. In Woodfin’s case, however, I don’t see an appreciable difference between the two titles since Woodfin has historically delegated this responsibility to the town administrator. The only real change I see is that under a town commission-manager form of government, the authority for the town manager to perform these responsibilities will come from the NC General Statutes rather than being delegated by the town commission.”
Top Un-Elected Official
As for becoming the top un-elected official in Woodfin, she told the Tribune, “I’m very excited to join the Woodfin team. The town commission and staff have made some important and impressive strides in the last year, honoring the historic Woodfin spirit of controlling one’s own destiny. I’m honored that they have asked me to be a part of this effort.”
The press release declared Tuch “…will help the Town respond to its rapid growth with responsible development. Tuch begins her new role with the Town of Woodfin on March 21.”