By Jesse Wood
The Boone Town Council selected former Councilwoman and Mayor Loretta Clawson to fill the seat of resigning Councilwoman Jennifer Pena at her last meeting on Thursday evening.
The council had three applicants to choose from. The others were David Welsh, a real estate agent, and Jeannine Collins, a real estate appraiser.
While each were given a few minutes to state their case before the board at the Thursday meeting, the Boone Town Council was unanimous in its selection of Clawson after Councilman Fred Hay was the first to speak up.
“Loretta Clawson is one of the best public servants this town has ever had,” Clawson said.
The council members essentially echoed each other in praising Clawson and noted that with this position expiring after the municipal elections in November, Clawson was the best candidate to be able to jump in immediately and make an impact, without having to start from scratch and learn the intricacies of being on the board and attending the UNC School of Government courses.
Clawson served as a council member and mayor for 16 years before retiring in 2013. After her two-year break, Clawson said that she is refreshed and ready to serve the town once again.
“The many great things in the Town of Boone that I support are the neighborhoods, trees and environment. I am treehugger and everything,” Clawson said.
Pena announced her June resignation earlier this year. Pena said she is moving to Greensboro to live closer to family.
Pena’s resignation so close to the candidate filing for municipal elections means that four seats on the Boone Town Council will be up for election in the fall – instead of three.