Clyde Mayor Jim Trantham was at the Haywood County Board of Elections office the day the filing period opened to register for a chance to be elected as the town’s mayor.
Trantham has served on the town governing board for 21 years, and was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Mayor Jerry Walker, who passed away in December 2017.
“It’s more responsibility, but think with my experience it has helped,” he said. “Clyde has done a good job for the people. We have been proactive in pursuing grants to help us.”
Trantham recounted the state and federal funds that flowed into the town following the twin floods of 2004 that devastated many homes near the Pigeon River, as well as many public buildings.
The town received a $500,000 grant to run an 8-inch water line between the town and Canton, which supplies its water, and to also help upgrade the pumps at the Lake Junaluska pump station. The town just finished the sewer project on north side of the river, which was a $500,000 job, covered largely by a N.C. Department of Natural Resources grant, with 25 percent financed for no interest.
“We’re the first municipality in North Carolina that’s done a water assessment survey,” he said. “We got a $60,000 grant for that. Now we know where our problems are in the water system and are focusing on grants to repair those areas in the future. Water and sewer are boring, but they are always a problem.”
A land-use planning effort in 2009 indicated that the people of Clyde wanted to keep away from economic development as they preferred to keep the town a quiet one, Trantham said.
“That doesn’t mean we don’t want businesses to come here, but we just aren’t going to pursue it,” he said. “I want to work for the people of Clyde and try to do what is best for them. My values and principles, from what I can tell, reflect the values and principles of the people of Clyde. That’s the way I govern.”