John Charles Robbins
Daily Journal Editor
Denise Sullivan, the newest member of the Rockingham City Council, is a wife, a mother, an educator and a breast cancer survivor.
Her goal in her newest role is straight-forward and to the point: “To serve well the people of Rockingham,” she told the Daily Journal this week.
Sullivan joined the ranks of the City Council in February. At its regular monthly meeting, the council voted unanimously to appoint Sullivan to the council seat left vacant in January when councilman Steve Morris was appointed mayor.
After being sworn in, Sullivan said she was deeply honored for being chosen for the important post, that she will serve the city to the best of her ability, and that she was “grateful” for the opportunity to do so.
Morris got the top job after former mayor Gene McLaurin won a seat in the NC Senate. Morris will serve out the rest of McLaurin’s term as mayor, through the end of 2013, and Sullivan will serve out the remainder of Morris’ term, also through the end of December. If they want to stay on the City Council they will have to win election this fall.
Asked recently if she planned to run for election this year, Sullivan responded, “I just want to do a good job for the citizens of Rockingham, and if I feel that I am doing the job successfully, then yes I will run in the election.”
Sullivan has been a teacher for 33 years, 30 of those years in Richmond County. She teaches students with exceptional needs, and is currently at Rockingham Middle School.
Sullivan is married to Danny Sullivan, an attorney in Rockingham. She is the mother of three children, Neely, Adam and Brett.
Sullivan attends First United Methodist Church, where she serves on various committees. Sullivan was also a longtime member — and chairperson — of the Rockingham Housing Authority.
In her letter of interest to the Rockingham City Council, Sullivan mentioned her work on the Housing Authority, and her interest in city government.
“I would like to submit my name for consideration to fill the vacancy on the City Council. Having served for several years as chairperson for the Rockingham Housing Authority, I have become much more interested in the city government and the growth of Rockingham,” Sullivan wrote.
“I have been a life-long resident of Richmond County, and have lived in the city for 24 years. I care about Rockingham, the people, and the direction in which we are moving. My father ran the only Gulf gas station in Rockingham for many years. I will never forget when self-service pumps were put at his station; he still required that his employees give his customers full service. He believed that his success was because of his customers, the people of Rockingham, and they deserved the best. I too, believe like my dad and you, our citizens deserve the best.
“Our city has grown and continues to improve because of your belief in the citizens of Rockingham. The citizens have believed and supported you, and you in return have led Rockingham in a positive direction. I will work hard along with you to move our city forward,” she wrote.
Sullivan went on to list achievements like Discovery Place KIDS, Hinson Lake, Plaza Jam, the new greenway at Hitchcock Creek, and NASCAR’s historic return to Rockingham Speedway as evidence that the city is moving forward.
“I want to be a part of this growth and the forward move. I hope that you will consider me for filling this position,” she concluded.
— Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.