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Lapsley to challenge Young for Dct. 3 seat

Bill Lapsley Bill Lapsley

Local businessman, professional engineer and longtime community volunteer William (Bill) Lapsley announced today that he will seek election for the District 3 seat on the Henderson County Board of Commissioners. The seat has been held for the past 12 years by Mr. Larry Young.

Lapsley, the owner of William G. Lapsley & Associates engineering firm, said in a news release that his many years of experience managing a successful business, as well as leading many of the areas non-profit boards, will provide the board with a unique opportunity to impart technical expertise and community involvement experience directly to the decision making process.

"It has been an honor to serve the citizens of Henderson County for the past 40 years in a long list of volunteer positions," he said in a news release. "Among them, Pardee Hospital, Four Seasons Hospice, Department of Social Services, Rotary Club of Hendersonville, United Way, Boy Scouts, YMCA and several others. I am now looking forward to working with the other commissioners in the same way. The office of County Commissioner is a position that directly impacts the Quality of Life in Henderson County. It is of the utmost importance to have five people who have the background and experience to make informed and thoughtful decisions for all of us." He continued. "Since I started evaluating the potential of running, I have been humbled by the overwhelming amount of support and encouragement I have received."

Lapsley won an immediate endorsement from Hendersonville businessman and newly elected Hendersonville City Council member Jeff Miller, who has a broad network of supporters through his own community service, political activity and HonorAir work.

"Bill has an incredible knack for quickly understanding all sides of an issue, developing common ground and consensus and getting things done," Miller said in a statement. "I have seen these strengths in Bill at the board level and in the professional arena. He is simply one of the finest men I know."

Lapsley, a Republican, will oppose three-term incumbent Larry Young for the seat, which extends from the western edge of Hendersonville and covers Mills River. That makes for two contested seats with the possibility of a third. Andrew Riddle of Flat Rock is opposing Michael Edney in the District 1 seat. Sheriff's Lt. Tim Griffin is running for the District 4 seat held by Tommy Thompson, who has not announced his re-election intention. Candidates must live in the district that they seek to represent; voters countywide elect all the board seats.

Lapsley indicated three specific areas in which his experience and interest will be focused:

Economic Development – Our local economy must remain vibrant and strong to maintain the community services that we all enjoy. Support for our existing business community and attracting new high paying jobs in all sectors is a critical responsibility of the Board. I have volunteered many hundreds of hours of my time toward this area as a past chairman of the Henderson County Chamber of Commerce and the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development. I have shared in the successful recruitment of Continental Teves, UPM-Raflatac, FedEx Ground & FedEx Freight, Prince Manufacturing, Elkamet and more recently Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Empire Distributors of North Carolina.

Infrastructure – For our economic development program to work, it is imperative for our community infrastructure to be maintained properly and expanded when necessary. The Board has a leadership role in this effort to make sure all components of our infrastructure are being addressed. This includes roadways, water systems, wastewater systems, electric power, communications, natural gas, etc. I have spent over 40 years in the planning, design, permitting and construction administration of all of these type improvements in Henderson County. The knowledge and experience that I will bring to the Board is unmatched.

Public Health – The community needs and deserves the highest quality health care services for all of our residents. This has been a particular interest of mine over the past 15 years. My experience with the Department of Social Services, Four Seasons Hospice, the Pardee Hospital Board of Trustees and now the UNC Healthcare Board of Trustees, provides a unique background to lead the County's efforts in all areas of public health.

A graduate of the University of Wyoming with a degree in civil engineering, Lapsley is a licensed professional engineer in North Carolina, South Carolina and other states. He and his wife, Joan Vanoli Lapsley, have lived in Henderson County for 40 years and have three grown sons, all of which were raised in Henderson County and graduated from West Henderson High School.

For more information, contact Bill Lapsley at 828-687-7177 Ext. 307.