Carthage Looks to Fill Vacancies
Carthage is looking for a few good women, or men.
When Lee McGraw took his oath of office as mayor, his seat on the Town Board as a commissioner became vacant. The board will appoint somebody to fill out the remaining two years of his term, but intends to make that appointment only after reviewing applications for the post from interested residents. To apply online, click here.
A second vacancy exists on the town Planning Board, an advisory panel that meets monthly to review proposals and make recommendations to commissioners. At their January meeting, the commissioners extended the time period to seek consideration for either seat. Applications will be accepted up to the weekend before the board’s annual budget retreat Feb. 29.
“I wanted to leave it wide open,” McGraw said. “We want a lot of applicants. We want to get someone with energy, a person who can bring their effort to bear on our businesses and help drive the energizing of our historic downtown.”
Those qualities would apply to either job, as McGraw sees it. He said both are important.
Carthage is undertaking a period of self-assessment and goal-setting that will mean residents helping the town plan or directing the town as commissioners. The town is applying to the N.C. Center for Rural Development to be one of 10 new sites for the center’s Small Town Economic Prosperity program, NC STEP.
Chris Lassiter chairs the Planning Board, which meets at 7:30 p.m. on the first Thursday of the month in the MacDonald Building.
Applicants don’t need to fill out any forms for this vacancy. They just need to call the town office and express interest. The Town Board makes the appointment, and members serve without limit at the pleasure of the board.
While the Carthage Town Board generally goes along with what Planning Board members recommend, it has also — from time to time — acted differently.
The town commissioners also meet in the MacDonald building at 6:30 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the month. Planning Board reports from its earlier meeting go into a packet given to commissioners well before they meet to consider any recommendations.
Qualifying is easy. Applicants must be at least 18 years old, registered to vote and live in Carthage. They can fill out an application online or get one at the William Walton Municipal Building on U.S. 15-501.
It must be submitted by Friday, Feb. 24, which is a week before the budget retreat.
McGraw said he likes the challenges he has faced since joining the Town Board.
“I ran for commissioner two years ago, in 2009 really,” he said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed the cooperation of the board and their shared genuine interest in Carthage.”
McGraw said he isn’t worried about vendettas or personal agendas muddying the waters when new members join the board.
“If they put the town ahead of any personal interests, they will be successful in helping the town,” he said. “That’s the way I feel about it.”
With his Town Board seat coming open in December, in the midst of the holiday season, McGraw and others feared potential candidates might have been missed it because they did not know the board was looking for applicants.
“It is hard to get the word out to every nook and cranny of Carthage,”McGraw said. “We want to be sure everybody in Carthage knows about it so as many as would like to serve will put in their names.”
Contact John Chappell at email@example.com.
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