Filing Period Begins for Town Offices
A former Pinehurst councilman hopes to make his return to village politics this fall.
Doug Lapins officially threw his hat in the ring for one of the two Village Council seats up for election this year when he filed Monday at the Moore County Board of Elections in Carthage -- the first day of the filing period for municipal offices.
Nancy Roy Fiorillo also filed for Village Council Tuesday afternoon.
In Southern Pines, three incumbent councilmen -- Chris Smithson, David Woodruff and Mike Fields -- filed for re-election. Late Tuesday, Marsh Smith also filed for the seat now held by Fields, which is the one vacated in February by the resignation of Abigail Dowd. That seat has two years remaining. Smithson and Woodruff are running for four-year terms.
The filing period runs until noon July 17. Election Day is Nov. 3.
First elected in 2001, Lapins served six years on the council before resigning in October 2007 to devote his full attention to his wife's health concerns. At the time of his resignation, Lapins was also running for mayor against George Lane and John Marcum. Lane won the election by a wide margin.
Lapins said in a statement to The Pilot that his wife's medical issue had been resolved and that he was ready to serve again.
"I am excited about the opportunity to resume an active role in addressing the important issues facing Pinehurst," he said. "The challenges we face must be addressed with intelligence, common sense, and a new degree of creativity.
"As in my past service on the council, my decisions will be based on a commitment to the history and traditions of Pinehurst and to the council's financial responsibilities to our taxpaying residents. I believe that my past record of leadership in both private industry and government will be of particular value to the residents of Pinehurst in these challenging economic times."
Fiorillo was Moore County planning director from 1997 to 2002 and currently serves as chairwoman of the county Planning Board. She lost a close Republican primary race to Nick Picerno in May 2008 for a seat on the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
"I believe I have a lot to offer the village and the residents of Pinehurst, and I look forward to serving the community," she said by phone.
Mayor Pro Tem Lorraine Tweed, who was first elected with Lapins in 2001, said she has decided not to run for a third term. She said Tuesday that while she has "thoroughly" enjoyed her time on council, she was now ready to enjoy retirement.
"I feel it's time after eight years to allow someone else to step forward and serve." she said
Lapins' former seat is one of the two up for election. Councilman Jeff Dawson was appointed to fill the remaining two years of Lapins' term after the 2007 election.
Dawson said Tuesday that after some consideration, he decided against running for a full four-year term. He said he had been asked by many residents to run, but ultimately didn't feel like sacrificing his privacy for a campaign.
S.P. Incumbents File
Smithson has served on the council since 2003 and ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 2007. He currently serves as mayor pro tem.
He said in a prepared statement that one of his top priorities during his six years on the council was drafting of a comprehensive long-range plan, a process which is currently under way and is expected to be completed by the end of the year.
"A big task we face, especially over the next couple of years, is to begin implementation of the plan," he said. "I decided to run for re-election because Southern Pines not only needs council members with experience, but also someone who, for years, has supported and fought for updating our planning.
"Without a driving force behind implementation of our new plan's recommendations and goals, it very well could be forgotten and left to wither on the vine, much like the 1988 [land development] plan was.
"In the simplest terms, I am running for council because I love this town. It is a very special place and I was very fortunate to grow up here. I want to do my civic duty to help ensure Southern Pines continues to be a special place for natives, newcomers and visitors well into the future."
Smithson is expected to launch a campaign Web site at www.ChrisSmithson.com in the coming days.
Like Smithson, Woodruff has served on the council since 2003 and ran for mayor in 2007.
"There are some things still on our plate that I'd like to be involved in and see to completion," he said.
Fields served on the council from 1989-91 and as mayor from 1993-97. He was appointed to the seat vacated by Dowd.
Fields said Tuesday that he offers "seasoned leadership" that he believes can help build consensus and bring people together. He added that exercising fiscal restraint in today's difficult economy was paramount.
"I'm honored to have served previously as mayor and I think I can be a valuable contributer to the future of the town," he said. "I want to work to provide quality services within a budget that doesn't require tax increases."
No challengers had filed as of Tuesday morning.
Other Early Activity
While it is still early in the process, candidates have begun filing for seats in the county's smaller municipalities as well.
In Whispering Pines, the seats held by Mayor Bob Zschoche, Frank Zamaroni and Randy Saunders are up for election.
Zschoche has filed for re-election. He was first elected to the council in 2005 and was appointed mayor in late 2007. Challenger Ron Saylor has filed as well.
In Carthage, incumbent commissioners Arthur Barber Jr. and Robert Sullivan have filed for re-election. Jerry Williams has done the same in Pinebluff, as has Donald Campbell in Cameron.
Candidates have yet to file for Aberdeen, Foxfire Village, Robbins, Taylortown or Vass.
Contact John Krahnert III at 693-2473 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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