HELP WANTED — City Council member needed in City of Rockingham. This is a part-time position. Serve as a voting member of the Rockingham City Council. Position extends for 12 months, through the end of December 2013. Chance to remain in job if elected in November. Job duties include setting tax rates and fees, evaluating programs and services, setting and adopting a general fund budget in excess of $8 million, and more. Applicant should be familiar with the word “infrastructure,” and must be able to work some evenings.
The Rockingham City Council is short one council member and looking for residents willing to get into public service for the good of all city residents.
The opening on the council was created in January when councilman Steve Morris was elected mayor by his fellow councilmen. The mayor’s post became vacant in early January when then mayor Gene McLaurin stepped down to assume his new role as the area’s state senator.
Morris, a long-time downtown business owner, was appointed to the top post by a unanimous vote of the City Council.
“We need to fill this chair,” Morris said, referring to his now vacant seat at the council table, near the end of his first meeting as mayor.
Morris put out the call for any city resident interested in serving to “send us a resume,” to the office of City Manager Monty Crump, ” … and tell us why you think you’d make a good council person.”
Mayor Morris said he didn’t want to rush the appointment, but the sooner the council can fill the vacancy the better, as the council begins work on the next fiscal year budget very soon.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity,” Morris said.
A member of the council, John Hutchinson, who is the city’s current Mayor Pro Tem, said he’s looking for a person who cares deeply about the city and who will continue the valuable spirit of cooperation on City Council that has led to so many recent successes.
“To me, the most important thing in filling the open council seat will be to find someone who comes first with a love for our community, and a desire to help steer the city in a positive direction. As the country begins to emerge from a long, deep recession, we want our city on solid ground. We want to use this opportunity to help good things happen here,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson became a council member in 2005, after serving on the city’s Planning Board.
“When I moved back to Rockingham in 1995, I had already spent several years studying local history. Along the way, I learned that when people get involved in their community, they can make positive things happen. Ordinary people can work together to accomplish extraordinary things,” Hutchinson said.
He said Rockingham has been fortunate to have a mayor and a team of council members who focus on what’s best for the city.
“There is a real spirit of cooperation on the council, and with other local governments. That isn’t the case in every town and county in North Carolina. We have had a lot of success as a result of that cooperation,” said Hutchinson.
“Outsiders know they can partner with the city and make things happen. Discovery Place KIDS grew out of that stability and cooperation. So did Hinson Lake, where we partnered with North Carolina Wildlife. We were able to work together with various levels of government, with NASCAR, and with Andy Hillenburg in order to bring a truck series race back to Rockingham Speedway. These are just a few examples,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson is hopeful that spirit of cooperation will continue with the new City Council of 2013 and beyond.
City residents of voting age with an interest in being appointed to the City Council should send their desire in a letter to:
City of Rockingham, 514 Rockingham Road, Rockingham, NC 28379.
— Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.