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News Matheson turns down Sylva mayor position

Christina MathesonMoody appointed to two-year term

When voters took to the polls in the Sylva Municipal election, they voted to elect Christina Matheson as the new mayor, but when it came time for Matheson to take her Oath of Office, she had other plans in mind. Matheson, who started her professional career as a lawyer, turned down the position as Mayor of Sylva to accept a position with the District Attorney’s Office.

Because Matheson decided against taking the mayor's seat, Sylva’s Town Board voted to unanimously reinstate long time Mayor Maurice Moody to another term in office. “Maurice will serve two years until the next election,” explained Sylva Town Manager Paige Roberson. “In the 2015 election, someone will be elected to the mayor’s seat to serve the remaining two years of the term. In 2017, the election schedule will resume as normal.”

In Matheson’s resignation letter, she explained that in June she began the process of closing the gift shop that she operated in Cherokee for many years. With the closing of her business, she began looking for alterative employment. “My first call was to a man I admire very much, Mike Bonfoey. Mike is the elected District Attorney for the 30th Prosecutorial District,” explained Matheson. “By way of explanation, I served nine years as an Assistant District Attorney. During that time, I had the opportunity to serve not only Jackson County, but all seven counties that comprise the 30th Prosecution District.”

When Matheson reached out to Bonfoey in June, he did not have any openings in his office. “I changed my course and I decided in July to run for the mayor of the Town of Sylva, I certainly feel very fortunate and extremely humbled to have been elected,” said Matheson. “My mother always said that when God closes a door he opens a window. In my case, God opened two. After the mayoral election, I received a call from Mike Bonfoey. Apparently, an Assistant District attorney position had come available in the Jackson County office.”

According to Matheson, at the time of her resignation, she was not currently employed with the District Attorney’s office but does have an offer from someone she trusts and describes it as an offer she “cannot refuse.”

Before making the motion to allow Moody to continue serving as mayor, Matheson said her decision to resign was a difficult one. “I would like to say that this has not been easy for me and I will miss all of the wonderful people with whom I have worked,” she said. “But know that I will be serving the citizens of our town, the county of Jackson, and the remaining counties that comprise the 30th District in a different capacity. I leave knowing that the Town of Sylva is in good hands and I am proud to have been a part of everything wonderful that is the Town of Sylva.”

Moody said he is pleased with the board's confidence in him to continue serving his community. “I have enjoyed serving on the Sylva town board so this was not a difficult decision for my wife, Mary, and me,” said Moody. “Sylva's our hometown, so we want to help when we can. This has delayed some honey-do projects, but will be worth the effort.”

Moody said that his vision for Sylva will remain the same during his next two years in office. “My goals have not changed,” said Moody. “I would like to see Sylva grow and prosper. Hopefully I can provide progressive leadership during this term. I also would like to continue the effort to clean up eye sores and health hazards in the community. Sylva will celebrate its 125 year anniversary in 2014, and having a successful and fun celebration is a goal.

“I am very pleased that Mayor Moody was willing and able to stay on as Sylva’s mayor,” said Roberson. “His appointment provides the most continuity for the town. Christina has a wonderful opportunity in the District Attorney’s office.”

With Matheson’s resignation on Sylva’s town board and as mayor, an open seat was left on the town board. Former board member Danny Allen was appointed in a 3-1 voted. Commissioner Barbara Hamilton nominated Allen, with Commissioner Harold Hensley casting an opposing vote.

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