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Lapsley to file for re-election

County Commissioner Bill Lapsley, serving as a team leader for a Blue Ridge Honor Flight trip, in October 2017. County Commissioner Bill Lapsley, serving as a team leader for a Blue Ridge Honor Flight trip, in October 2017.

William G. "Bill" Lapsley, a civil engineer who went from asking the Board of Commissioners for rezoning approvals to deciding development requests as a county commissioner, announced on Tuesday that he will run for re-election this year.

"This board has worked well together with the county staff to provide a long list of essential services," he said in a statement. "There have been several tough issues during this term and all have been handled professionally and in the best interest of the public. There are several important projects to be resolved in the next few years and I believe that my background and experience will provide valuable benefit to the taxpayers of Henderson County."

A native of New Jersey and graduate of the University of Wyoming, Lapsley, 69, worked for the Los Angeles County Flood Control District before taking a job in 1974 with the Hendersonville water department. He joined the private sector in 1981 and throughout his career led the design and engineering of dozens of site preparation jobs for residential subdivisions and commercial and industrial development across Henderson County and Western North Carolina.

On the Board of Commissioners, he has insisted that both the School Board and the Hendersonville City Council the support commissioners' decision to build a new Hendersonville High School instead of renovating the current building, has repeatedly called for returning part of the county's hefty fund balance to taxpayers and has been a persistent advocate for more Henderson County influence in regional water and sewer expansion plans.

A past member of the boards of Pardee Hospital, the Social Services department, Four Seasons hospice, the Rotary Club, YMCA, the Chamber of Commerce, Mountain Land Conservancy, he was also a past chair of the Partnership for Economic Development. Currently he serves on the county Transportation Advisory Committee and was recently elected chair of the French Broad Metropolitan Planning Organizations, which sets transportation project priorities for Henderson, Buncombe, and parts of Madison and Haywood counties. He also serves on the Board of Trustees for the UNC Health Care System in Chapel Hill.

Active in the community but a political novice at the time, Lapsley won 57 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Larry Young in the Republican primary in May 2014. Filing for the Board of Commissioners and other races opens Feb. 12. The District 3 seat covers western Hendersonville, Mills River and northwestern Henderson County.