Your Town Council

Mayor J. Carey O’Cain

Carey was elected to the Council in 2009 and was elected Mayor in 2011, 2015 and 2019. Prior to serving on Council, Carey served as President of the Laurel Park Civic Association for three years. He grew up in Hendersonville and lives with his wife Lutrelle Livingston, a native of Laurel Park, in the Echo area of our community. Carey graduated from Clemson University with a degree in architectural construction in 1972. He worked as a commercial general contractor in Denver, CO; Birmingham, AL; and Raleigh, NC before retiring in 2005. He continues to be actively involved with improving and enhancing the beauty of our Town. Carey and Lutrelle have four grown children and four grandchildren.  Lutrelle and Carey also own and operate the Wild Birds Unlimited Nature Shop in Hendersonville.

Commissioner Debra Hinson Bridges

Deb was elected in 2021 for a four-year term on the council. By profession, she is a musician and retired business owner. Her primary interest in serving on the council stems from living in small NC towns for most of her life. Deb is especially passionate about healthy land and forest management, conservation, and preserving natural resources. She has experience working with the NC Forestry Service on wildfire mitigation grant projects, forest action plans, and the NC Department of Agriculture's Century Farm program. Deb's collegiate background includes bachelor and master's degrees from St. Andrews University and California State University in music performance and composition as well as professional certificates from Duke and Cornell. Currently, she serves as organist at Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration and performs frequently with other professional musicians in the area.

Commissioner A. Paul Hansen

Paul was appointed to fill a Council vacancy and elected to Council in 2013, 2017, and 2021. He currently serves as the Mayor Pro-Tempore. Prior to serving on the Council, Paul was on the Laurel Park Civic Association Board for 10 years and served several terms as President. He was Chairman of the Laurel Park Planning Board for 4 of the 9 years he served on that board and was also a member of the Laurel Park Parks & Greenways Board at its inception. He has been a homeowner in Laurel Park since 1980 and a regular visitor to Henderson County for 70+ years. Paul graduated from Clemson University with a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and is retired after 31 years in the international aerospace industry.

Commissioner George W. Banta

George was appointed to the Town Council in 2015 to fill a Council vacancy, and then elected to full terms in 2015 and 2019.  Prior to his appointment to the Town Council, George served for seven years on the Parks and Greenways Board as secretary and then as Chairman.  He is a homeowner in Laurel Park, previously residing in Timber Creek and now in the Echo Lake area of Town. George is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a degree in Agronomy.  He has worked throughout his career in the crop protection business developing new products for agriculture.  After 34 years of service, he retired from Bayer Crop Science as Field Research Director.

Commissioner Kristin Dunn

Kristin Dunn was appointed to fill a council vacancy in 2020 and elected in 2021. She served three years on the Board of the Rotary Club of Hendersonville. She has worked in nonprofit management for a decade and is currently the Operations Director at Thrive. Though not a North Carolinian by birth, she moved to Charlotte as a teenager and now "claims the south" as home. Kristin fell in love with the mountains of WNC during her time at Appalachian State University earning degrees in English - Creative Writing and Global Studies with a minor in German. She and her husband live in Laurel Park with their young daughter and dog.