Tonight the Rockingham City Council will consider setting public hearings for rezoning requests, the demolition of at least two rundown buildings in town, and who will become the next mayor.
By the end of this evening, the city will have a new mayor.
Former mayor Gene McLaurin officially resigned the post last week, and on Friday was sworn in to his new job as State Senator for District 25. McLaurin won the state lawmaker’s post in the November General Election. The district includes Richmond, Scotland, Anson and Stanly counties.
Tonight’s city council meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall, 514 Rockingham Road, Rockingham.
The meeting will be opened by Mayor Pro tem John Hutchinson, according to the agenda. Once meeting minutes and other housekeeping items are taken care of, the council will then elect a new mayor, following a procedure set forth in the city charter and according to state law.
City Charter, Article IV, states in part: “In the event of the resignation of the mayor the members of the council shall by a majority vote elect a mayor as provided by the General Statutes of the State of North Carolina … .” That person will then serve out the remainder of McLaurin’s current term, through the end of 2013.
McLaurin has said the council could choose the new mayor from among its own ranks, but that isn’t required. However, he said it is likely the councilmen will select one of their own to be the mayor, and then that would create a vacancy on the council. If that happens, the council would look for a new face to appoint to the position.
Administration of the Oath of Office to the newly elected mayor will be conducted by City Clerk Gwendolyn Swinney.
The council will be asked to consider setting a public hearing on a request to rezone about 6 acres at 106 Old River Road from High Density Residential (R-7) to Highway Business (B-3).
Councilmen will also be asked to set a public hearing on an ordinance to adopt the Pee Dee Lumber Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan.
Other agenda items will have the council:
• Considering demolition of a dilapidated dwelling at 113 S. Grove St., and in a separate case, the demolition of a dilapidated dwelling at 714 Hwy 1 North.
• Listening to a report on activities of the Lumber River Council of Governments by liaison staff member Michael Ramey.
— Editor John Charles Robbins can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 13, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.