Price wants to continue to serve Maggie

By Jessi Stone Assistant editor | Oct 21, 2013
Photo by: Jessi Stone Maggie Valley Alderman Saralyn Price speaks at a recent candidate forum.

Saralyn Price is running for her third term on the Maggie Valley Board of Aldermen to continue efforts in moving the town in the right direction.

“I love Maggie and her people, and I want to make our town a better place to live, work, raise children and visit,” she said. “As the retired police chief in Maggie Valley and growing up here, I care about the future direction the town takes.”

While Price has seen her fair share of turmoil on the board, she said it is time for the board to be able to reach a consensus even if they aren’t all in total agreement. She said the meetings needed to have decorum and be conducted in a professional manner.

“The constant bickering must stop,” she said. “Maggie Valley is not going to move forward without positive attitudes.”

For the last year, Price has been on one side of a 2-2 stalemate since board members couldn’t agree on the appointment to fill the fifth seat.

Price said she believed the situation could improve with a new board makeup, “but a lot depends on who is elected.”

She sees her role as an alderman as someone representing the taxpayers and making policy decisions based on their needs. But she agreed many issues that have come before the board lately shouldn’t have made it that far.

“We don’t need to micromanage. We need a town manager to handle things. If it’s a problem he can't handle, he can notify us and we can get involved,” she said.

If elected to a third term, her goals are to improve the dynamics of the town meetings, ensure residents and businesses receive equal services and to create a long-term plan and vision for Maggie Valley.

“I want all the taxpayers to feel like they have been treated fairly and to be happy they are a part of our community,” she said. “And the board must look at not only immediate needs and goals but future ones as well.”

She would also like to see the board of aldermen review town policies, especially policies for road repair, garbage removal, recycling and sewer expansion.

Road repair has been a major concern for residents who feel the town is not providing adequate service for the taxes they pay. Price said part of the problem was that residents didn’t understand the process and the limitations associated with the town taking over a road, making repairs or snow removal.

If a road doesn’t meet certain standards, the town may not be able to pave, maintain or snow plow the road. However, Price said the town tries to help as much as possible by helping developments get their road up to standard so the town can take over maintenance and will provide snow removal if all the residents sign a waiver.

“There is a process residents must go through, but we need to have better communication between residents and the town,” she said. “The policy we have needs to be looked at and maybe the standards need to be lowered some.”

Price supports the Moving Maggie Forward plan to help the local economy but said the plan belonged to the business community.

“The businesses or the chamber should lead it and the board should stay out of it,” she said.

The beautification recommendations outlined in the Move Maggie Forward plan are very important to Price as well as trying to establish tax incentives for businesses that want to make improvements to their buildings.

The police department has received some criticism regarding its budget and some residents have complained about too much police presence in town. Price disagrees with that assessment.

“I think the police department does a good job,” she said. “If residents want 24-hour police protection then they need to settle for what we have.”

While Price said she is running as an individual, she has been having meet and greet events with fellow candidates Mike Eveland and Janet Banks. She said candidates running on a joint ticket didn’t usually work and they may feel obligated to vote with the others.

“This doesn’t mean I’d always vote the same as them,” she said. “Believe me, I will always vote the way I think is best.”

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