Among the central government planning actions taken by the Radical Republicans in this session, the desire of Lake Junaluska residents to be annexed to the Town of Waynesville has flown somewhat under the radar.
For about two years, residents of the Methodist assembly at Lake Junaluska have been working on a plan to allow the community of about 800 to be annexed into the Town of Waynesville. Both the town and the Lake community spent months working out details, in what appears to be an open and transparent process. A bill allowing the annexation passed the Senate, with the support of Sen. Jim Davis (R-Macon) who represents most of Haywood County. The bill also had the support of Rep. Joe Sam Queen (D-Haywood), who represents all the affected land in both the town and at Lake Junaluska.
Well, apparently a few disgruntled souls, upset to be in the minority, decided to approach Rep. Michelle Presnell (R-Yancey). Ms. Presnell's district does include part of Haywood County, but none of either Lake Junaluska or Waynesville. Ms. Presnell decided to hold up the annexation, apparently because she could.
Almost everyone here is puzzled over Mr. Presnell's objections. Both the Smoky Mountain News and The Mountaineer, our local newspapers in Haywood County, have opined against Rep. Presnell's interjection into what is surely a local matter.
This article captures the frustration of Lake Junaluska residents and property owners.