Brittney Lofthouse – Contributing Writer
The Macon County Board of Commissioners approved a lease agreement for office space within the courthouse for newly elected District 11 Congressman Madison Cawthorn. The location of Rep. Cawthorn’s office on the third floor of the courthouse is the same space Macon County leased to Congressman Mark Meadows during his tenure in Congress. The county is donating the space to Rep. Cawthorn at no charge.
The Macon County office will be staffed 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays every week and will be located inside the Macon County Courthouse. The office will be staffed by Drew West, Regional Representative/Caseworker for Rep. Cawthorn. West will work Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Haywood County office. According to Micah Bock, Communication Director for Rep. Cawthorn, both the Macon and Haywood offices were set up to serve the constituent needs of the far western part of the 11th Congressional District.
“Constituent services are already underway and are ongoing, whether Congress is in session or not,” said Bock. “We have assembled a staff of caseworkers in each of our offices to assist the general public with whatever they need from any federal agencies. We take pride in helping the people of the 11th District get the services they are entitled to and stand ready to assist.”
Besides the Franklin office, Rep. Cawthorn has already opened or is in the process of opening district offices in Hendersonville, Burnsville and Waynesville.
The district staff also includes Michele Presnell who is serving as a regional representative/caseworker working out of the Yancey County office. Presnell is a former four-term member of the State House of Representatives and also served as a Yancey County Commissioner.
West, who is serving in the Macon and Haywood offices, was a caseworker for Rep. Mark Meadows.
Rep. Cawthorn said that while he has spent much of his first two weeks after being sworn into office in D.C. he is looking at how to best serve WNC. According to Cawthorn, the issues facing the district vary.
“It’s a mix of job creation and infrastructure improvements, like broadband,” said Rep. Cawthorn of where his focus will be during his term. “We need to get people back to work and spur job creation throughout the district. So many of society’s ills can be solved when people have a good-paying job. Now that the campaign is complete, I am looking forward to rolling up my sleeves, traveling the district, and meeting with industry stakeholders, economic developers, elected officials, and job creators to build a strong working relationship – all while meeting the individual needs of the constituents who have issues with the various federal agencies.”