Carthage Appoints Motz-Frazier to Fill Vacancy
In one of the shortest meetings in Carthage history, the town commissioners chose Pat Motz-Frazier as their newest board member.
It took less than a minute from the end of Mayor Lee McGraw’s opening prayer to a prayerful close by Catherine Graham for the motion to be made, seconded and passed by acclamation during the meeting last week.
Motz-Frazier takes the seat vacated by McGraw when he was elected mayor. The board sought residents interested in the office and interviewed a number of candidates March 15. The special called meeting at 6:15 p.m. Thursday was almost a formality. It was clear the commissioners had made their decision after meeting with all applicants
“They were all good,” said Commissioner Milton T. Dowdy. “Pat Motz-Frazier just seemed to be a standout.”
Motz-Frazier owns and operates The Old Buggy Inn Bed and Breakfast in the Victorian mansion built by Wiliam T. Jones, president of the old Tyson and Jones Buggy Co., for his home. After buying it, she completely restored the place in mixed pastel grandeur. Over her years since moving from California to Carthage she’s been active in town life.
To help raise money for the annual Buggy Festival, she turned the inn into a movie trivia game, with guests vying to guess which motion picture costumed characters in various rooms, on the veranda or in the garden represented.
Recently, she has been working to bring back to life the Carthage Board of Trade headed by World War I hero James Rogers McConnell before he left to volunteer first as an ambulance driver and then as one of the original fighter pilots of the Lafayette Escadrille.
His book, “Flying for France,” was written before his death in aerial combat, the last American to die in battle before the United States entered “The Great War” in 1917. Motz-Frazier took an interest in the town’s history because of the storied past of her inn.
Her interest in and support for everything in her new hometown — especially anything building economic vitality for old “Sweet Carthage” — made her part of every effort from the annual Buggy Festival to the town’s current application for a slot in the N.C. Rural Center’s Small Town Economic Prosperity (NC STEP) program.
Motz-Frazier will take her oath of office at the regular April meeting of the board.
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