Inside WNC: Clay County

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Inside WNC is a permanent feature from Carolina Public Press that profiles each of the 18 westernmost counties of North Carolina. This is your guide, including direct links, to elected officials, key agencies and departments, plus information on the county’s wages, housing, education and more.

Clay County Government Center. Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

Clay County, N.C., map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau, via Wikipedia.

Clay County

Geography and Population

Located in southwestern North Carolina, Clay County borders Cherokee County, to the west, and Macon County, to the east. It also borders Georgia.

Map courtesy of the U.S. Census Bureau.

U.S. Census Bureau maps

Land area in square miles: 214.75

Persons per square mile (2010): 49.3
Population, 2012 estimate: 10,618

American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.4 percent
Asian: 0.3 percent
Black: 1 percent
Hispanic or Latino origin: 2.8 percent
White non-Hispanic: 94.5 percent
People reporting two or more races: 1.3 percent

Source: U.S. Census Bureau


U.S., State and Local Officials, Key Agencies

U.S. elected officials

U.S. Senate
Sen. Richard Burr (R)
Washington address: 217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-3154
Fax: (202) 228-2981
Email contact form

Asheville address: Federal Building, 151 Patton Ave., Suite 204
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone: (828) 350-2437
Fax: (828) 350-2439

Information on Burr’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

Sen. Kay Hagan (D)
Washington address: 521 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
Phone: (202) 224-6342
Fax: (202) 228-2563
Email contact form

Asheville address: 82 Patton Ave., Suite 635
Asheville, N.C. 28801
Phone:  (828) 257-6510
Fax: (828) 257-6514

Information on Hagan’s support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

U.S. House: 11th Congressional District
Rep. Mark Meadows (R)
Washington address: 1516 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Phone: (202) 225-6401
Email contact form

Hendersonville address: 200 N. Grove St.
Hendersonville, N.C. 28792
Phone: n/a

Information on Meadows’ support, sponsored bills, etc. from GovTrack.us

N.C. Elected Officials

N.C. Senate District 50
Sen. Jim Davis (R)
Address: N.C. Senate
16 W. Jones St., Room 2111
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-2808
Phone: (919) 733-5875 and (828) 342-4483
Email: Jim.Davis@ncleg.net

N.C. House District 120
Rep. Roger West (R)
Address: N.C. House of Representatives
16 W. Jones St., Room 1229
Raleigh, N.C. 27601-1096
Phone: (919) 733-5859 and (828) 837-5246
Email: Roger.West@ncleg.net

County Officials and Agencies

The old Clay County Courthouse, located on the square in Hayesville, N.C. Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

Clay County Commissioners
County Commissioners Chairman: Stephen “Doc” Sellers
Address: 33 Main St.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-0089
Email: n/a

County Manager: Paul Leek
Address: 33 Main St.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-0089
Email: manager@clayconc.com

Sheriff: Vic Davis
295 Courthouse Dr.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-6354
Email: sheriffdavis@claync.org

Clay County Department of Social Services
Director: Debbie Mauney
Address: 55 Riverside Circle
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-6301
Email: Debbie.Mauney@ncmail.net

Clay County Health Department
Director: Janice Patterson
Address: 1 Riverside Circle
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8052
Email: janicepatterson@clayhdnc.us

Member of the Southwestern North Carolina Planning and Economic Development Commission (Southwestern Commission), which covers the westernmost part of the state, specifically Cherokee, Clay, Graham, Haywood, Jackson, Macon and Swain counties


County Seat

Hayesville Town Hall. Angie Newsome/Carolina Public Press

Hayesville
Population (2010): 311
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Town Government Office Address:
P.O. Box 235, Hayesville, N.C.  28904
Physical Address: 56 Sanderson St., Hayesville, N.C. 28904

Mayor: Harrell Moore
Email: hayesville56@yahoo.com
Phone: (828) 389-1862

Town Manager: n/a
Address: n/a
Phone: n/a
Email: n/a


Law Enforcement Agency

Clay County Sheriff’s Office
Sheriff: Vic Davis
295 Courthouse Dr.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-6354
Email: sheriffdavis@claync.org


Voter Information

Clay County Board of Elections
Director: Julie Hall
Address: 54 Church St.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-6812
Email: clay.boe@gmail.com

Chair: Pat Margo
Address: n/a
Phone: n/a
Email: n/a


Court System

Judicial District 30A
Clay County Courthouse
Address: 261 Courthouse Dr., Suite 1
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8334
Email: n/a

Clerk of Superior Court: J. Tim Barrett
Phone: (828) 389-8334
Email: n/a/

District Attorney Michael Bonfoey
Phone (Clay County office): (828) 389-1630
Email: n/a


Economy and Employment

Unemployment rate, December 2013: 6.6 percent
Unemployment rate, December 2012: 9.5 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce – Labor and Economic Analysis Division

Top three industries, by employment (2010, most current):
Retail Trade: 391
Health care and social assistance: 306
Construction: 191
Source: County Business Patterns, U.S. Census Bureau

Largest Employer (Third quarter of 2013, most current): County of Clay
Source: N.C. Department of Commerce

Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau
Clay County Chamber of Commerce
388 Business U.S. 64
Hayesville, N.C.  28904
Phone: (828) 389-3704
Email: info@ncmtnchamber.com


Wages, Housing and Education

Per capita money income in past 12 months (2012 dollars) 2008-2012: $21,989
Persons living below poverty level 2008-2012: 22.6 percent
Median household income 2008-2012: $38,536
Median owner-occupied housing value: $156,500
High school graduates, age 25+ (2008-2012): 85.9 percent
Bachelor’s degree or higher, age 25+ (2008-2012): 20.2 percent
Source: U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts

Number of homeless (January 2013 point-in-time count, most current): 6
Source: North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness

Child poverty in Clay County: 33.1 percent in 2012
Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-7.42.58-AMSource: NC Child

Clay County Schools

Four-year cohort high school graduation rates, as of September 2013: 88.8 percent
Source: N.C. Department of Public Instruction

Clay County Board of Education
Address: 154 Yellow Jacket Dr.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8513
Email: n/a

School Board Chairman: Jason Rhinehardt
Address: 990 Palmer Road
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8063
Email: jason.rhinehardt@ncfbins.com

School Superintendent: Mark Leek
Address: 154 Yellow Jacket Dr.
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8513
Email: mleek@clayschools.org


Higher Education*

n/a


Top Healthcare Provider*

Clay County Health Department
Director: Janice Patterson
Address: 1 Riverside Circle
Hayesville, N.C. 28904
Phone: (828) 389-8052
Email: janicepatterson@clayhdnc.us


Crime and Law Enforcement

Crime Rate Per 100,000 (2012): 2,523.9
Violent Crime Rate: 248.6
Property Crime Rate: 2,275.3
Number of registered sex offenders: 14
Source: N.C. Department of Justice


*Listings are for entities headquartered in the county and do not include satellites, branches or other service information for others with operations in the county.

Contributors Kathleen O. Davis and Micah Wilkins supplied additional research to this report.

This page will be regularly updated. Contact us with updates or questions.

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About the Author

Hank Shell

Hank Shell is a contributing reporter and photographer with Carolina Public Press. Contact him at shelljh@email.appstate.edu.

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