In Jackson County, a commissioner must live in the district they are running to represent, but on Election Day, all voters vote for a commissioner in every district.
Gayle Woody is a local retired art teacher who has served on the county commission since 2018. Woody also serves on the Recreation and Parks Advisory Board, Road Naming Board, Health Board, Emergency Food and Shelter Board and the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners.
“In 2018 I was really discouraged about the disrespectful and divisive discourse surrounding politics,” said Woody. “So I filed to run in 2018, and my goal at that point was to try and bring civility and respect into local politics.”
Todd Bryson is from Sylva and has worked for a funeral home for four years since graduating from Fayetteville Technical Community College with a degree in Funeral and Mortuary Science.
“I decided to run because I’m tired of the direction the county is going and I’m ready to see some improvements to the county, see it grow and move forward,” said Bryson. “It feels like we’re staying in the past while surrounding counties are growing, they’re building new things. They’re doing all the things that need to be done in order to have a county make money.
Boyce Dietz is a local retired teacher and football coach. He has spent much of his retirement in public service working for six years as a congressional staffer in Representative Heath Shuler’s local office and four years as an outreach coordinator for Western Carolina University. He has served two terms on the county commission. Commissioner Deitz also serves on the Fire Commission, Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, Mountain Projects and Transit Advisory Board.
“I never thought about running for county commission, but there was an issue that came up about mountain top development,” said Deitz. “I went to a meeting and gave a talk and afterwards several people said ‘you should run for county commissioner.’ And I thought, if running for county commissioner would save those mountains over there, I would do it. I wanted my great grandkids, when they looked at these mountains in Balsam Gap, for them to look just like when the first Native Americans looked at them, and we’ve got that done, through different conservation groups, the tribe, and the town of Sylva and through efforts that we put into it. I can rest knowing that will remain. That’s why I ran.”
John Smith spent seven years in the armed forces as an intelligence analyst. Since leaving the military in 1992, he has worked in the information technology field and is currently a systems engineer. He has …….