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News General

Macon County Board of Commissioners are taking a closer look at enacting term limits for county advisory boards, with the intent on negating the influence of politics in how appointments and reappointments are made. Chairman Brian McClellan and Commissioner Ronnie Haven brought the idea to the board’s attention at their regularly scheduled meeting on Oct. 11.

“I just don’t think it is right for someone to be serving on a board, and be eligible for reappointment, and when the make-up of the board changes they get thrown aside because of politics,” said McClellan. “I think term-limits would go a long way in preventing something like that from happening.”

Commissioners did differentiate between some advisory boards, admitting how hard it can be to get people to serve on some boards. Also, some advisory boards have a greater influence on policy decisions in comparison to others, which is why commissioners directed County Manager Jack Horton to narrow the list down for the body to examine in the future.

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President Obama flew into the Asheville Regional Airport on Monday for his first stop on a three-day tour of North Carolina and Virginia to promote the American Jobs Act, which he believes will get America back on track during a time when most citizens can't afford to wait. 

After Air Force One landed, President Obama was greeted by Asheville Mayor, Terry Bellamy and North Carolina Senator Kay Hagan. “President Obama's visits helps the economic development opportunities in our community,” said Mayor Bellamy. “We saw an increase in the number of people in restaurants and the downtown area. In the past, because of his visits, more people have come to Asheville which has helped small businesses related to tourism.”

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The Franklin Tourism Development Authority (TDA) unanimously voted to recommend local businesswoman Karen Bacon as its next TDA member to the Town of Franklin. If appointed, Bacon would fill the final seat in the TDA, representing another business that is “tourist related.”

Bacon, owner and operator of Macon Furniture Mart, Buck’s Furniture and Karen & Co. Boutique, was approved for recommendation after she was asked by TDA members last month whether she had an interest in joining. Bacon did not wish to indicate which TDA member asked her to join.

“I’ve been in business for 24 years and I know a lot about the things that are going on in this town,” said Bacon, conveying an interest in overseeing the promotion of tourism in Franklin. “I really want to see the town grow.”

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By a 3 to 1 vote, last week Highlands commissioners took the first step toward abolishing ETJ [Extra Territorial Jurisdiction] for the Town of Highlands. It was only the first step because creating or abolishing an ordinance requires a super majority. Such a majority would have to have been either 4 to 1, or 5 to 0. Failing to reach a super majority means the Board will have to vote again at the next meeting, Oct. 18. Another 3-1 or 3-2 simple majority will then abolish the ordinance creating the ETJ in Highlands.

Town Attorney Bill Coward explained to the packed board room that the rule requiring a super majority was not a Highlands rule, but rather a state statute. ETJ was established in Highlands in November 2005.

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