Change Address

VOTE411 Voter Guide

Town of Black Mountain Alderman {_getChooseLabel(this.selections.length)}

The Black Mountain Board of Aldermen consists of a Mayor and five Aldermen who are elected at large in non-partisan elections held every two years. The Mayor and Board of Aldermen serve four year staggered terms. The Vice-Mayor is appointed by vote of the majority of the membership of the Board.

Click a candidate icon to find more information about the candidate. To compare two candidates, click the "compare" button. To start over, click a candidate icon.

  • Candidate picture

    Doug Hay

  • Tonia Holderman

  • Candidate picture

    Pam King

  • Candidate picture

    Archie Pertiller, Jr.

  • Candidate picture

    Charles (Mike) Sobol

  • Candidate picture

    Matthew Turner

  • Candidate picture

    Justyn L. Whitson

  • Jennifer Willet

Biographical Information

What do you think makes you the best candidate for this position? (500 characters max)

What life or professional experience has prepared you for this position?

Identify your top three (3) issues that you wish to address during your tenure in office and rank them in order of priority.

How will you address the top issue once you are in office?

Age (optional) 34
Contact Phone (828) 419-0886
email address
YouTube video
Position/philosophy statement I believe in a better future for Black Mountain. One that prioritizes green spaces, a thriving downtown, intentional development, and transparency.
I'm running for Alderman because I believe we need a stronger plan for the future of Black Mountain. As I picture my daughter (soon to be two daughters) growing up here, I want them to live in a town that prioritizes green spaces and a thriving downtown, focuses on intentional, environmentally sound development, and has a transparent government that works for the people. My dedication, experience, and ability to listen to the community make me the best candidate for Board of Aldermen.
When I set my mind to something, I follow through. This has been critical in my previous work for eight years in Washington, D.C. with the Fulbright Scholar Program, throughout my ultramarathon running career and now as an entrepreneur of a digital business. I will bring my commitment and drive to everything I do on the Board of Aldermen.

Through my current work, I have developed countless skills hosting online trainings and events, and reaching people through digital means. I will use those skills to bring the Board of Aldermen and town further into the digital age to promote transparency and efficiency.

One other important strength I have is my ability to listen and connect. As an alderman, I will be working for the people of this town, which means I'm only successful if I know and understand your priorities and goals just as much as my own. I commit to regular community outreach -- virtual or in-person once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted -- in order for citizens to both learn what is going on in town government and have an opportunity to share their input and concerns.
(1) The top priority needs to be supporting the town through the COVID-19 pandemic. That includes keeping members of the community safe, but also supporting our businesses, downtown, citizens and quality of life. I believe we need a stronger public relations campaign around guidelines for our out-of-state visitors and a commitment from the town to provide the community needed support.

(2) Beyond that, we must plan for future development and growth. We have seen Black Mountain transform over the past several years and that growth will only continue. It's time we get intentional in how we handle it, with proactive infrastructure upgrades and updating of regulations so that the needs of the community are met. If managed properly, I view the growth as an opportunity for Black Mountain to enhance what the town has to offer and improve the quality of life for citizens.

(3) We must have a more transparent, community-centered government where members of the board are regularly reaching out to the community for input and comment. I will do this through regular town hall style events, and by making sure the town and Board are reaching out through all available channels like social media and news media.
While some of these issues can and must be addressed right away, especially those around addressing COVID-19 and transparency in goverment, others will take planning and time to come to fruition. The first step is for the Board of Aldermen to establish these issues as priorities.

When it comes to intentional development, right away I will encourage the Board to reinstate the House Commission to address development issues such as affordable housing. I will also work with the town manager to address water runoff issues, zoning issues, and how we can use future development to benefit the quality of life for citizens.

To support and grow our downtown, I will work with the town manager and the Board to join our neighboring towns as a Main Street America community. This will demonstrate our priority to partnering with the Chamber of Commerce, promoting downtown shops and events, continuing beautification efforts, and aiding economic vitality.

Shared green spaces are a major benefit to residents and tourists alike. I will continue to fund the growth of these spaces, and finish the greenway which will bring economic growth and tourism, and provide a safe space for community members to play.

The key to all of this, is working directly with the community in a transparent, engaging fashion. No longer should residents feel like they do not have a voice in Black Mountain. As an Alderman, I will hold regular town hall style events and directly share updates and information.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Contact Phone (828) 989-3269
email address
Position/philosophy statement Accessible and transparent local government is essential. I am running as A Fresh Voice of the People so I can work to engage and inform the public.
Black Mountain, like every community, faces a number of challenges at the present time. We are not immune from a global pandemic, economic woes, rapid growth and development, and an environment crisis. I bring a fresh perspective and executive skills, including sound money management and visionary thinking. I feel the citizens have a right to know what is going on with their government and a solid plan to keep them informed. I am the candidate committed to listening to the people.
My entire adult life has been in service to my community, both professionally and as a volunteer. Managing an effective non-profit organization as I did requires the ability to see the "big picture", as in what is the goal and how to we get there. It requires working with a wide variety of people to develop and implement solutions, and I have the experience to do that.

My background as the executive director of a non-profit organization with a budget exceeding $2M provides me with the experience to be a good steward of taxpayer dollars. I have balanced a budget, year in and year out. I had to be frugal and visionary at the same time, guiding the organization through challenging times into new ways of fulfilling our mission while at the same time, becoming even more impactful. I am a team player and strong, thoughtful leader.

My current professional position as a non-profit development professional requires reaching out to the public, keeping them informed of the work of our organization, and inviting them to become involved in a variety of ways. These are all skills required of local government officials.
1. Accessibility and transparency must be the watchwords of government in Black Mountain. People want to know what issues the town is considering and have a right to access the decision-making process. Expanding opportunities for a broader range of citizens to provide input will only make us stronger.

2. COVID-19 remains an ongoing challenge, on many levels. I’m sure everyone in our community looks forward to getting to the other side of the pandemic when we can send our children to school, fully open all our businesses, and feel safe again in public. To achieve that, it’s going to require a united effort, all of us pulling in the same direction. We need local leadership to inspire that kind of crisis response. The closer we get to universal compliance to health department recommendations, the sooner we will be past the pandemic.

3. Caring for our environment remains a central concern of all of us. We all want our children and grandchildren to inherit a world that is fit to live in. There are many ways to approach this on a local level-this issue should underpin the long-term vision for our community. Not only do the efforts I propose make for a cleaner environment, they make sound economic sense as well.
Accessibility and transparency must be the watchwords of government in Black Mountain. People want to know what issues the town is considering and have a right to access the decision-making process. Expanding opportunities for a broader range of citizens to provide input will only make us stronger. 1.Offer regularly scheduled, quarterly listening sessions, call them Town Halls if you will. I’ll do it alone if necessary but would welcome the participation of any of the other Aldermen and Mayor, if they choose to participate.

2. Offer regular updates, primarily via social media, regarding upcoming votes and recent decisions.

3. Improve the quality of our online meetings. It is currently very difficult to hear and join in the meetings offered online. We need to acknowledge that the pandemic is likely to be around for a while. It is time to make sure the citizens can hear and see what’s happening at Board of Aldermen meetings and other public forums.
Age (optional) 63
Contact Phone (828) 337-3279
Position/philosophy statement I believe that in God's eyes we are all the same, and that we should treat each other with respect, dignity and love.
I have served the state as an employee in behavioral health providing education, mentoring and guidance for patients as well as staff at JFK ADATC and Black Mountain Neuro-Medical Hospital. I have served on numerous boards and committees in the community to enhance the quality of life for the residents of Black Mountain. I am a team player and collaborator who values the thoughts, opinions and ideas of others. I will bring all of this experience and more to the position of Alderman.
I have had the privilege of serving on many boards and committees throughout my career to include the following:

· Executive Board of Directors, Swannanoa Valley Montessori School (Black Mountain Montessori), Chair.

· NCI Quality Assurance Committee, State of NC, Chair

· MLK Prayer Breakfast Committee, Chair

· UMAR Board of Trustees, Current Member

· Black Mountain Zoning Board, Member

· State Employees’ Credit Union Advisory Board, Member

· State Employees’ Credit Union Loan Review Committee, Member
The rate of growth of Black Mountain

Affordable housing

Maintaining and developing a sustainable infrastructure
I would work collaborativel
Age (optional) 70
Contact Phone (828) 777-0881
email address
Website http://coming
Facebook http://coming
Twitter @coming
Position/philosophy statement Social progressive, fiscal conservative helping to build a better sense of community. We need a new board who will listen to the people!
A willingness to listen to the people, especially those with whom I differ. Having your own goals is good to work toward but the way that we get to consensus is through compromise. You don't have to give up your principles in order to forge a unified front, but you have to bring in others to make a team. We do not know what situation may arise in the future that will truly challenge us like Corvid 19, but I am ready to address them, to think and make decisions that are best for the citizens
Educated at UNC-CH, playing rugby and racing motorcycles in Europe, President of the town chamber of commerce. President of Sobol House of Furnishings for 25 years, President of NC Furniture Retailers, President of St. Vincent dePaul 12 years, Vice chairman of the Metropolitan Sewer District for 8 years, President of the Sourwood Committee in Black Mountain,Organizer of the band Bar B Ques for ten years at Owen-raising over $100,000.00, designer, fund raiser and helped building the indoor soccer center in Black Mountain, head lobbyist to congress for the NC Furniture Association, with Michael Blaine, we designed the Greenway thru town, secured the ROW thru Montreat College and worked since 1994 to get it completed-the biggest downfall of the present board not finishing this important project., worked 1 and 1/2 years on the intense "Comprehensive Plan for Blk. Mtn, with several hundred citizens, started the fireworks show art Lake Tomahawk and raised the money to pay for it for over 12 years,renegotiated our last garbage contract, as Mayor, right on the floor of the council meeting and saved the town over $700,000.00, board member of Bounty and Soul, a local food source. All the time spent with these groups helped me to listen better, to learn how to use the talents that each group had to offer and to build a consensus that made each of these endeavors successful even if it fell short of what I wanted. And sometimes I did not succeed because I will not shy from the truth.
First and foremost, finishing the greenway. Michael Blaine and I drew out what has become the greenway master plan on the back on a McDonald's bag in 1994. We made slow progress but during those first years we got the ROW after my visit with the Bishop of the Episcopal church, which is now Montreat College. Unfortunately it was until the comprehensive plan was developed and passed that the greenway commision was started and progress reappeared. During my 4 years as Mayor the board shied away form pushing it forward with any force and so has the present board. It is way beyond time to finish something that most other towns started after us but have completed. Secondly, we need a resolution to reinstate the 2 story height restriction in the historic district of downtown. We don't need more Mr Cordell's from out of state to come in and change our historic buildings and build what most people do not want. While we are at it, we need to buy back the green space that was in front of the Tea House and turn it into a small park Thirdly, we need to address the parking problem. The past board bought the Foam and Fabric building and turned into the town garage and lamented how they solved the parking problem by adding 50 spaces. Yes but nobody wants to park that far away. A great solution is to buy the land from Joe Tyson between the Post Office and US70, where we could build a below grade parking garage for over 100 cars and then sell the land facing US70 for retail shops.
When I first ran for alderman, almost 17 years ago, finishing the greenway was my top priority. It still is and we can get this done within 2 years if we don't have the constant resistance that we have had from the past boards. And with the corvid 19, walking is back in vogue. This is not complicated. The main problem has been lack of leadership and taking our eye off the ball. We didn't spend anything between feb 2017 and Feb 2019. Then we pour over $400,000.00 into fees from Michael Baker Engineering. And what do we have ?? We are not even talking about breaking ground until next year at the earliest and we can't do that until the design is in, the ROW secured and the money in hand. I promise to bird dog this project and if necessary, change engineering companies to get this thing completed... 25 years is long enough. Please put in a new board and let us get this done, just like the 3 aldermen did when we forged ahead with building a new city hall, bought the land around the old city hall and turned it into the beautiful park that the whole town is proud of, right in the aftermath of the great recession. That is vision! I will paraphrase Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world-BLACK MOUNTAIN- indeed it is the only thing that ever has"

Age (optional) 32
Contact Phone (828) 231-5579
email address
Position/philosophy statement Adapt, Improvise and overcome.
As a lifelong resident of Black Mountain, I feel like I can related to all the residents, and their needs. Plus having management experience I believe will help also.
My years of coaching High School sports and youth league sports. 2 years as assistant manager at Henson Building Materials.
1- Making sure that the residents of Black Mountain have a voice on the board 2- Developing community programs and activities for the the youth/kids of the community to be a part of and be able to give back to the community. 3- Make sure we come up with ways for the working class families to still afford to be able to live within the city limits and not push out of the county by such high living prices.
Well I believe since we are voted on, we should represent the voters. I plan to be a voice for the people of this great town. I have the same wants and issues as they do and I plan to help them in any way I can. I will be a voice for the people.

I want to develop some great community programs for the younger generation. We have great programs for the seniors, but we need some for the youth. I will work with the other alderman I come up with some good programs.

We need housing that is affordable for the working class family. I know family's that work here, kids go to school here, that move out of the county because simply, it cost wall to much to live in town.
I am a lifetime resident of our Town. My adulthood has consisted mostly of public safety within Black Mountain or in the neighboring Town of Montreat. I am a community driven individual that wants to bring a voice of reason to the Town's leadership. I feel I can effectively listen to my neighbors and translate their concerns and ideas into my vote.
Throughout my career, I have had to make critical decisions, often having to make them in a split-second. These decisions for me could have meant life or death. As a full-time police officer for almost eight years, I spent many, many hours in a classroom taking classes. The classes range from Community Oriented Policing to Crisis Intervention Training to Solo Active Shooter Response Conditioning for Law Enforcement Officers. In having this experience, I can process problems and make informed decisions.

I am currently a volunteer firefighter at Black Mountain Fire Department and the President of the Black Mountain Volunteer Firefighters Association. I’ve developed skills here not only in fighting fire, protecting life and property and technical rescues, but in the handling of donations and how to use them to best serve our firefighters. We must make the best use of the incoming funds to allow our firefighters a better opportunity to protect themselves and others life and property.

I have been an Emergency Medical Technician certified in North Carolina since November of 2016. This responsibility includes dealing with high stress situations that can change drastically in a moment’s notice and include another’s life. I say all of this to show that I have proven experience to make rational decisions, including other citizens' property, taxpayer dollars and quality of life.
I feel the first and biggest key issue the Town is facing is our critical infrastructure. We must look at the future and where we want our Town to be when our children and grandchildren are present. If we fail to provide the infrastructure needed for growth, ultimately our Town will fail. The second key issue our Town is facing is public safety. We must continue to support our Fire and Police Departments by providing the personnel and resources needed to safely and effectively keep our Town safe! The third key issue our Town is facing is youth development. I remember as a kid growing up in this town having the entire valley behind our youth. If there was a sporting event happening, everyone was there in support. We must find ways to allow our youth to develop in ways that are positive and encouraging. In doing this, our youth become smart, educated and productive members of society.
My top priority if elected to a seat on the board would be to listen to my neighbors to have a better understanding of what they feel the necessities of this town are. I do not necessarily have an "agenda" on what I would want to accomplish other than, to the best of my ability, becoming a voice of reason with everyone as a whole to bring this community together as it should be. I feel sometimes people have individual goals in politics and they forget that they are to serve the people and represent their community. After I have had some time to speak with the people of our Town with where they feel our critical infrastructure is lacking, we must prioritize these issues. After they have been prioritized, we then look for funding for these projects. This funding could come from a number of different areas, including grants.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.
Candidate has not yet responded.