Filing for the 2013 municipal elections in Macon and Jackson counties begins Friday, July 5, at noon and will continue until Friday, July 19, at noon.
In Macon County, between Franklin and Highlands, a total of seven elected officials are up for re-election in November.
The seats on the Franklin Town Board include the mayor seat, currently held by Joe Collins who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election, and three aldermen seats held by Billy Mashburn, Sissy Pattillo and Bob Scott. In Franklin's last election, all seats up for election ran unopposed.
To file for office in Franklin, filing for mayor is $73 with each of the aldermen seats costing $36.
The Highlands Town Board has three seats up for grabs including the mayor seat, currently held by David Wilkes, and two town commissioners seats held by Amy Patterson and Gary Drake.
To file for mayor in Highlands, the cost is $10 with the town commissioner seats being $5.
In Jackson County, seats are open in Dillsboro, Forest Hills, Sylva and Webster. In Dillsboro, the mayor position along with all five board seats are all up for re-election.
The mayor position in Forest Hills is also up for election, as are three town board seats.
Long time public servant of Sylva, Maurice Moody, will also not seek re-election leaving his seat and two town board seats up for grabs.
Webster's mayor seat is up for election, as are all five seats on the Town Board.
Moody retiring from public life
After 16 years in Jackson County politics, Sylva's Mayor Maurice Moody will not seek reelection in November. "There are several reasons why I chose not to run for re-election," said Moody. "I plan to spend more time playing with grandchildren. My wife, Mary, was ready for me to retire from the political scene, although she would have supported me if I had chosen to run again."
Moody, who served on Sylva's Town Board as a commissioner for 12 years and as mayor for one term, said in addition to wanting to spend more time with his family, he decided to not run for reelection to allow the next generation to take control. "I also think it is time for the younger generation to step forward and take a leadership role," he said.
Some of the major accomplishments during his tenure include the complete revitalization of Main Street, the renovation of the Jackson County swimming pool, the establishment of the Conservation Easement for Pinnacle Park, establishing and constructing Sylva's Bridge Park and developing the current zoning ordinances, which were written in the late ’90s.
One of Moody's main area of focus while in office, and one he hopes his successor continues, is the economic focus on Main Street. "The renovation of Main Street set the stage for our positive growth," he said. "The Main Street renovation began before I was elected, and included many individuals, businesses and organizations."
For whoever sits next in the mayor’s seat, several challenges are sure to arise, and according to Moody, the budget stands to be one of the greatest.
"The budget will continue to be a major challenge," he said. "Sylva, like most small towns, must strive to move progressively forward while controlling taxes for their citizens."
With nearly 20 years of service under his belt, Moody is looking forward to the next stage of his life.
"Sylva is my home town and has always been an excellent place to live and raise a family," said Moody. "I’m sure Sylva will continue to move forward, and I wish the new mayor and board well in this endeavor."