By Beth Lawrence


It has been three months since former Tuckaseigee Water and Sewer Authority Director Dan Harbaugh resigned the position, and the board has not found a suitable replacement.

There has been interest in the position after a slow start, said Board Chair Tracy Rodes.

Early on applications came in sluggishly leading the board to discuss advertising to a wider audience.

The board placed ads in newspapers and on job boards for a number of municipal and public works sites across the state.

They eventually went further afield.

“We advertised the position in water and wastewater trade publications in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia,” Rodes said. “If I remember correctly, we paid for a membership fee to join one trade publication. We also advertised the executive director position in Tennessee and Virginia. The total advertising fees were $625.”

To date, there are 11 applicants. Interviews with the full board are scheduled to begin in January.

Rodes does not have an estimated timeline to fill the position but believes a decision could be made early next year.

“If no other qualified candidates apply, we hope to make a decision soon after the interviews are concluded,” she said.

The TWSA personnel subcommittee has developed a set of interview questions.

TWSA’s board is made up of representatives from local municipalities, the county and Western Carolina University, all of which are affected by TWSA’s decisions. There are three from Sylva, two from the county, one from Dillsboro, one from Webster, and one ex-officio member from WCU, who does not have a formal vote but whose opinion is taken into consideration. 

The board agreed each representative should go to the entity he or she represents and ask for guidance on specific questions they feel might be important to ask candidates.

Sylva town board member David Nestler, who also serves on the TWSA board, brought it up at the Dec. 12 Sylva town board meeting.

The board will then come up with a specific set of questions to be asked of candidates, Rodes said.

The four entities represented will have a say in selecting the director by proxy of their appointed envoys.