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Originally published: 2013-11-26 16:40:27
Last modified: 2013-11-26 16:41:12

One applies for Boone council seat

by Anna Oakes

One person has applied for a vacant seat on the Boone Town Council since town leaders last week announced the process for filling the position.

The seat, to be vacated by Boone Mayor-elect Andy Ball, has two years remaining in its term, which expires in December 2015. Diane Warman Blanks of Green Street submitted an application to the town last week.

Blanks said she is a third-generation resident of Boone, noting that she was born and raised here and returned three years ago after retiring from Emory University in Atlanta, where she coordinated donor relations.

Blanks holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from UNC-Chapel Hill and has a background in public relations and fundraising, according to her resume.

Blanks is a member of the Watauga County Public Library Endowment Board, Junaluska Heritage Association and Boone Historic Preservation Commission.

Blanks said she feels a commitment to the community and wants to provide a voice for small stakeholders, including local residents, senior citizens, individual homeowners, the Junaluska community and others.

According to the State Board of Elections, Blanks is a registered Democrat.

The Boone Town Council discussed the process for filling the vacant seat at its Nov. 19 regular monthly meeting and again at the Nov. 21 continuation of that meeting, when the council agreed to require a letter of interest and resume in addition to a completed application form.

The town issued a public notice soliciting applications on Nov. 22.

Applications for the seat are due to Town Clerk Kim Brown by 5 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6.

Newly elected council members Jennifer Peņa and Quint David and re-elected Councilman Rennie Brantz will join Councilwoman Lynne Mason in voting on the council appointee after being sworn in at the Dec. 17 meeting.

Ball said the appointee will be sworn in immediately following the council's vote at the Dec. 17 meeting.

Speaking last Wednesday, James Milner -- who was unsuccessful in his run for a seat on the council this November -- said he had not given much thought to applying for the vacant seat.

"No one at this time has approached me about applying for that open seat, and I have not given it much consideration at this time," Milner said. "I hope that the town council picks someone who is concerned about the issues facing the town of Boone and will work to resolve them."

Mark Templeton, who finished fourth in voting for the Boone Town Council race, said last week that he also had not given much thought to the idea.

For more information, call Boone Town Hall at (828) 268-6200.