UPDATE: On Thursday, Mason MacDonald was added to the list of candidates who have submitted a letter of interest for the open council seat, reported Town Clerk Peggy Smith.
Interviews will be held next week for residents vying for an open seat on the Southern Pines Town Council.
The seat has been vacant since the Rev. Fred Walden, a 16-year member of the council, died in September. Walden’s term was set to expire next year.
Seven people submitted letters of interest after the town announced it was seeking candidates to fill Walden’s seat. Residents in the running include Lemuel Dowdy, Sarah Jane Harmon, Robert Katrin, Daniel Kohn, Mason MacDonald, Peter Mamuzic, Paul Murphy, and Kim Wade.
On Tuesday, the council voted to hold a series of 30-minute interviews with the candidates. The half-hour time limit was proposed by councilman Jim Simeon.
“(The time limit) puts an obligation on us and also the candidate to be precise and present the information that he or she wants us to know,” Simeon said.
Simeon suggested that each council member provide “two or three” questions to Reagan Parsons, the town manager. Parsons agreed to compile the questions ahead of the interviews.
The interviews will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday. Any candidates who are unable to attend the interviews on Monday will have another chance on Tuesday, when the council is expected to begin a round of make-up interviews at 1 p.m.
Mayor David McNeill said he would like to see the new council member sworn in before the board’s next regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 11.