Citizen Spotlight: Mayor Maurice Moody

Western Carolina University students can accomplish great things. Our alumni are vast and immense when it comes to their accomplishments.

Maurice Moody graduated from WCU in 1966. Since his graduation, he has worked in various fields. Four years after his retirement from BASF, an international chemical company, in 1993, he has served as a commissioner for 12 years and has served one term as the mayor of Sylva.

So what is next for the mayor? Recently, Moody announced that he would retire as mayor of Sylva. He said that he will continue to manage the rental properties that his family owns, and he has been appointed to the ABC board. So, he is not completely hanging his hat on local politics. He also added that he is happy to have more time to spend with his family doing the things they love to do like riding their horses and playing with their English Cocker Spaniel.

When asked why he wanted to retire after one term, he said, “I believe in change and new ideas. This is my 16th year with the board, and I just believe that there comes a time when you need to make a change.”

The mayor made a point to discuss the various changes that have been made in recent years to Sylva. He also mentioned the improvements.

Moody stated, “I don’t believe in the status-quo; you’re either progressing or backing up. So I like to see positive growth, and I think we are getting a lot of that. There have been a lot of accomplishments made by Sylva since I’ve been on the board.  We’ve seen the renovation of Main Street, the conservation easement at Pinnacle Park and the renovation of the pool. There has been some significant progress in the town over the past 16 years. I want to emphasize that all this has come to be because of many dedicated people.”

When asked to elaborate on the workings of the board, the mayor stated that he and the board of commissioners are part-time employees whose main job is to create policy for the town. The town does have a staff that runs the day to day aspects of Sylva.

Moody said, “You are not in it for the money but for the good you can do.”

As a Jackson County native, the well-being of this area is extremely important to him; he understands the necessity of family values, business and growth.

He stated, “Every small town is a little bit different and to me that is an advantage. When you are traveling, you don’t want to see just Anywhere, USA. You like to go somewhere to see something different. If you stay true to your roots, you will be different, and I think we’ve done that here in Sylva.”

As the mayor prepared to continue with his day, he had a bit of parting advice for the students of Western Carolina University.

“Persistence and dedication have more to do with success than IQ. Also don’t forget, life’s journey is fun and you should make sure you have some, too,” said Moody.