Lea Elected Chairman of Board
Tim Lea took the reins of the Moore County Board of Commissioners Monday.
After two previous tries for the chairmanship, Lea was elected by a unanimous vote and without discussion or controversy.
"Tim is certainly able-bodied and knowledgeable," Comm-issioner Cindy Morgan said in her nomination of Lea, who was elected last year to his second term on the board.
Former Board Chairman Nick Picerno made the second.
Lea then nominated Morgan to be vice chairwoman, and the vote was again unanimous. Morgan succeeds Jimmy Melton as vice chairman. Melton is recovering from orthopedic surgery and was not present for the Monday meeting.
Megan Owrey, clerk to the board, called the meeting to order at 4 p.m., then asked for nominations for chairman. With the board vote in hand, she turned the meeting over to Lea for election of the vice chairman.
In brief acceptance remarks, Lea thanked his fellow commissioners for their confidence and said he looks forward to working on behalf of the county. He acknowledged that the county faces tough decisions in the future.
Picerno announced in November that he would not seek re-election as board chairman. Picerno said that the chairman's many responsibilities made it difficult for him to participate in board functions to the extent he prefers and that he wants to spend more time studying and discussing the issues facing the county. He also proposed that the board consider rotating the chairmanship among the five members.
Lea, as the senior member of the board, was nominated at the board's organizational meeting last December but only Morgan supported him. Melton and Larry Caddell voted instead for Picerno, who was new to the board, as were Melton and Caddell.
A previous effort to elect Lea as chairman also fell by the wayside during the final term of former Commissioner Colin McKenzie, who served as chair for two years. At that time Lea mentioned an informal agreement that would have elevated him to the chairmanship for the last year McKenzie served on the board. McKenzie retired from the board in 2007 after three terms as a county commissioner.
Lea is a former chairman of the Moore County Planning Board and a former vice chairman of the Sandhills Community College Board of Trustees.
He chaired the Land-Use Plan Steering Committee that developed the plan adopted by the county in 1999, an action that led to adoption of the first countywide zoning ordinance.
Lea also chaired the committee leading the search for a school superintendent, an effort that led to the hiring of Dr. Susan Purser.
The former Marine is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of Healthcare Systems Consulting Inc. Lea is a product of the Moore County public schools and attended SCC and East Carolina University.
He and his wife, Laine, live on the family farm near Eastwood.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 693-2479 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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