Parson Is Back on Village Council
The newly elected Pinehurst Village Council on Tuesday appointed a familiar face to fill a vacant seat and complete the five-person body.
Mark Parson won unanimous council approval to serve out the remaining two years on a four-year term vacated by the new mayor, Nancy Fiorillo.
He was appointed following the administration of the oath of office for Fiorillo and new council members John Cashion and John Strickland.
This is the second appointment to the council for Parsons. He was selected in 2010 to fill a seat after then-Mayor George Lane died and council member Virginia “Ginsey” Fallon was appointed mayor.
Parson, who finished third among five candidates vying for two council seats in November, had expressed reservations about accepting another appointment to the council, but he said Tuesday that he chose to accept because he didn’t want to let his supporters down.
“It really was the number of votes I received,” he said. “How do I look somebody in the eye who supported my campaign, who I invited into my home and asked for their votes, and then say, ‘No, I won’t take the job’?”
Parson received 1,761 votes in the Nov. 7 election. Only Strickland (2,379) and Cashion (2,329) received more.
All four council members supported Parson. Newly elected council member Strickland opposed rushing the appointment process. He said he would rather see multiple nomineeswith a variety of backgrounds that could be thoroughly reviewed and considered by the council. But he acknowledged that he had “little or no support on such matters” from the other council members.
“As a matter of cooperation, I am prepared to support the nominee and move forward,” Strickland said. The council then voted unanimously to appoint Parson.
Doug Lapins nominated Parson, saying he did so because in Parson’s short time on the board he had been a “productive, contributing member.”
“I see no one else who brings the same strengths and insights to the council,” Lapins said.
Fiorillo and new council member Cashion also supported Parson.
Cashion said he had grown to appreciate Parson over the past few months as he watched him serve on the council.
“I appreciate the skills Mark brings to the council,” Cashion said. “They are skills none of the rest of us really have.”
Pinehurst resident Doug Middaugh sent a letter to Fiorillo, Cashion, Lapins and Strickland outlining his and others’ feelings on the appointment.
“We have several concerns about this issue,” the letter reads. “The first is that there has been no real outreach effort to consider new people for this vacancy.”
The letter proposed appointing John Marcum, who was a runner-up in the mayoral race.
“In some previous appointments of this type, the individual finishing second overall behind the winners has been appointed,” the letter read. “This could be followed in the present case by appointing the second-place finisher, Mr. Marcum. On the other hand, Mr. Parson finished third overall and lost his seat, so even this approach would not justify his appointment.”
Marcum received 22.7 precent of the votes in his race. Parson received 21.7 percent in his.
Middaugh supported Marcum in the campaign. His letter was signed by seven others.
The newest council members told an audience of about 200 that they are honored, humbled and appreciative of being entrusted to their respective positions by the citizens of Pinehurst.
“We all have the same interest in mind,” Fiorillo said. “And that’s what’s best for the village of Pinehurst.”
Also during the meeting, Lapins, who has two years remaining on his four-year council term, was unanimously selected by his peers as the mayor pro-tem, and Strickland was named as treasurer.
Before adjourning, the council voted unanimously to approve two proclamations honoring Fallon and Thurman. Fallon, who served on the council for nearly two decades, finished fourth among five seeking an election to the council in November. Thurman, who was elected to the council in 2007, finished third in the race for mayor.
Both will be presented with proclamations honoring their service at a later council meeting.
Contact Tom Embrey at email@example.com.
More like this story