Four candidates vying for two seats on Lake Lure Town Board

Oct. 30, 2013 @ 04:51 AM

Four candidates are seeking two seats on the Lake Lure Town Board. Incumbents John W. Moore and Mary Ann Dotson-Silvey are seeking re-election. Political newcomers Derek Papesh and Stephen M. Webber are also seeking office.

Mayor Bob Keith is running unopposed.

Only registered voters living in one of the county's seven municipalities are eligible to vote. 

Early voting continues through Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Rutherford County Board of Elections.

Polls will open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 7:30 p.m. for the municipal election.

Why are you running for office?

John W. Moore: Although there have been many fiscal and physical improvements as well as operational efficiencies over the past four years, there is still much that needs to be done. I want to be a part of making sure the quality of life and the beauty of the Hickory Nut Gorge is preserved.

Derek Papesh: I truly care about the Town of Lake Lure. I moved to Lake Lure in 2006 and feel this has been home for me and my family. I proudly served the Town on both the police and fire departments. Now that I am working for the Town of Spindale, I am able to run for office and serve the Town in a different capacity that I wasn’t able to do before while employed with the Town of Lake Lure.

Mary Ann Dotson-Silvey: Our town has been able to get though some tough times recently. We have seen tremendous progress in building community spirit, interest and involvement in moving forward and building. We have moved forward on a number of really exciting projects, some that have been completed, such as the marina, and some that are works in progress.  I want to give my time and support to continue the good works we have begun, and to support the many citizens who are actively involved in activities and projects which are making Lake Lure an even more wonderful place for all of us. 

Stephen Webber: I want to serve the citizens of Lake Lure better and I know I can do that. I have proudly served Lake Lure for 12 years on the Board of Adjustment and the Lake Structure Appeals Board;  I have well over 30 years of leadership experience and management skills. I am proud of my strong ethics and integrity.I do not have a hidden agenda. I don’t simply go along with the opinions of others because they think I should. I thoroughly research every issue,form my own opinions, and make informed decisions. I can make tough decisions when necessary. I know how to accomplish tasks and achieve objectives. I have experience in strategic planning and budget preparations.

What are the most important issues facing Lake Lure?

Moore: They are sedimentation in our lake, inefficient sewer plant, aging water lines, road maintenance and long term planning for the new entrance to Chimney Rock Park that will go through the Lake Lure Town Center. 

Papesh: While serving on the Lake Advisory Board, I have come to realize one of the most important issues facing the town is dredging the lake. The lake is one of the most important assets the town has and needs to be maintained to the best of the Town’s ability. Funding for dredging has to be moved to the top of the priority list. 

Another important issue near and dear to my heart is getting the Lake Lure Classical Academy into a permanent home. I personally think the building of the new facility will increase school enrollment to levels needed to support the school financially. I believe some students have left the school due to a lack of facilities. I believe the Town should step forward and do whatever necessary to help the school secure funding, whether in the form of grants and/or loans to accomplish their goals. 

Dotson-Silvey: Lake Lure will benefit from growth as a year-round economy.  Attracting families to build homes in our many residential developments will broaden our tax base, allow for more and better services at lower cost for individuals as more people share in the cost. With more residents living here full time, businesses can grow and offer more and better varieties of goods and services.  

Community support for immediate construction of the permanent school facility is needed, not only to benefit families with children, but to provide facilities which can benefit everyone in our area. The new school site can provide a place for recreation, a variety of community events and continuing education opportunities for all ages. The town can help to facilitate this construction by seeking grant and state funding for water and sewer service to the school site which will serve other future development in that area. The management of our lake is an ongoing concern as nature works to fill the lake with deposits from all of the tributaries, we must work diligently to dredge and control erosion. Funding continues to be a concern for the many future plans relating to the Town Center, Parks and Recreation land, Flowering Bridge and Western Gateway. With about 75 percent of our taxes going to Rutherford County, our remaining tax revenues in Lake Lure fall short of our needs in the future. 

Webber: I consider all issues as important. If a citizen voices a concern, then it is an important issue and needs to be addressed.  I consider quality of life issues as most important. Some subjects will always be on the list of important issues such as the lake, infrastructure, taxes and budget.

We must continue working towards minimizing the amount of sedimentation that flows into our lake from multiple directions. It is unacceptable when a property owner cannot use certain portions of our lake due to sedimentation. We must expeditiously replace rusty, galvanized water lines in the town. I consider it abhorrent to charge residents for town water that is non-potable due to rust and sedimentation, not to mention the effect this has on the plumbing and fixtures in their homes. We must be wise and judicious when spending tax dollars.

We need to continue to work on our image as a town. The recent marketing and branding assessments have helped greatly to identify negative issues, but we cannot rest yet. We have much more to do regarding the improvement of our image

What proposals, ideas and changes would you advocate if elected?

Moore: Continued cooperation with Rutherford County, Rutherfordton, Spindale and Forest City on “The Green Line Project" — the proposed sewer connection will eliminate our need for a sewer treatment plant and open up county wide economic opportunities.

Address our lake sedimentation problem through a combination of removing accumulated silt and developing systems to help keep silt from reaching our lake. 

Continue to support our local volunteers;continue to pursue state, federal and private grants wherever feasible;

capital improvements need to be made, but I do not believe they should be funded through property tax increases.

Continued support for our new school is essential; continue to encourage and support the efforts of the Nature Conservancy and Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy; continue to improve the physical appearance and maintenance of town property; Encourage environmentally friendly economic development. 

Promote transparency, and accountability. 

Papesh: Dredging would be a top priority and something I would strongly advocate. Another area I believe is important is not only to attract small business to the Town but also young families.This will increase our tax base as well as support our current business owners. A good, strong year round population is key for the growth of Lake Lure. I would like to see a developer come into Lake Lure and build some affordable homes that a working middle class family can afford.

Dotson-Silvey: It is essential to continue taking advantage of available sources of grants and partnering with Rutherford County, as well as neighboring towns and counties. Doing so can allow us to work within the region to pool our resources and accomplish more in mutual benefits. Growing a spirit of cooperation rather than competition will benefit all of us in the region.  Avoiding tax increases can be achieved by working together and bringing in new residents to broaden the tax base of the region.

Webber: I would definitely propose a detailed review of our comprehensive plan. Since the plan was conceived when the economy and prospects for developmental growth were at their peak, many of the goals are now obsolete. While all parts of the plan are important, specific attention needs to be given to utility infrastructure, lake and boat management, community services and facilities,  town government and administration.

What are your qualifications to be a Lake Lure Commissioner?

Moore: I was elected commissioner 2009; selected as liaison to the Zoning and Planning Board in 2009 and elected Mayor Pro Tem in 2011; Real Estate Asset Manager for more than 33 years; have managed medical office buildings, shopping centers, on-campus student housing, condominium associations, large apartment communities and government assisted housing; have supervised over 60 employees at a time and have extensive experience with multimillion dollar budgeting, contract negotiations, human resources, government contracts, facilities maintenance and project supervision. 

I have owned my own company since 2003. This front line experience in the business world makes me uniquely qualified to identify where fiscal improvement can continue to be made in our town.

Papesh: I moved to Lake Lure in 2006 and proudly served the residents as a sergeant with the Lake Lure Police Department for over four years. I was also a member of the Lake Lure Fire Department for nearly three years. My experience as a town employee helped me see how town government operates. I am currently a member of the Lake Advisory Board for the Town of Lake Lure.  

Dotson-Silvey: I have served as a Town Commissioner four years. I have been actively involved in the planning and growth of the town of Lake Lure for the past 35 years;  I have served on various boards and community groups, including 20+ years on the Board of Adjustment where I served both as chair and vice chair for many years.

Webber: I grew up in West Asheville; joined the Army in 1969 and retired from the service in 1993; 22 years spent in Army were in leadership positions. Former Chief Engineer and Executive Housekeeper for a 110-room Holiday Inn.

Served Lake Lure for 12 years on the Board of Adjustment and the Lake Structure Appeals Board.

(Valerie Hoffman, communications coordinator for the town of Lake Lure helped with this compilation.)