There’s an empty seat at Roseboro’s town board table. Commissioner since 2007 and mayor pro tem since 2011, James McLean resigned from both positions, effective Dec. 31.
During Tuesday night’s town hall meeting, Roseboro town clerk Nancy Lindsay read McLean’s letter of resignation, which was dated Dec. 23 and submitted to her and Mayor David Alexander.
In the letter, McLean tendered his resignation, making reference to separate conversations he had had with the mayor and the town clerk, according to the letter. McLean, whose term as commissioner was to be up in 2015, also wished the best to both of them and to the town of Roseboro.
Commissioner Roland Hall made a motion to accept McLean’s resignation. The motion carried with a unanimous vote.
“I hate to see Mr. McLean resigned,” said Alexander the next day, adding that he didn’t know the exact reasons behind McLean’s decision to leave the town board. “But like everyone, I hate to see him go because he was a good commissioner. We were starting a new year and he knew exactly what we wanted and what we were going to do.”
“I appreciate Rev. McLean’s tireless dedication to Roseboro for the past six years,” echoed Commissioner Alice Butler, “and wish him only the best.”
When contacted on Wednesday for comment, McLean described his resignation as a decision that “wasn’t spur of the moment. It was something that had been gnawing at my gut for a while.”
“There was something that went on that triggered it,” he noted, mentioning a personnel decision made by the town board with which he disagreed. After that, “I just decided to hang it up.”
“I want all my supporters to know that I appreciate their support, and I want them to know that I didn’t resign because of my age as some have suggested or because of poor health,” McLean assured. “I did it simply because I had had enough.”
The town board decided Tuesday night to move forward and choose a new mayor pro tem to replace McLean. Hall nominated Butler for the position, and she was approved with a unanimous vote.
“I didn’t expect that,” she acknowledged immediately following the vote.
“I am humbled and honored by the confidence my fellow board members have in me,” Butler added the next day. “It is a pleasure to work with Roseboro’s committed Board of Commissioners, mayor and employees as we all strive to improve the quality of life in Roseboro.”
“She’s good. She hasn’t been a commissioner that long but she’s very good and it seems like she’s been one for 10 years. She’s up on top of things and is good about getting things done,” shared Alexander, noting that while Butler holds a job, she dedicates much of her time to the town. “Even though we work we still have to take care of the town of Roseboro.”
“She’s very good, very smart,” he reiterated, “so I’m very satisfied.”
Filling the commissioner seat left vacant by McLean will not be as quick a process.
Lindsay informed the town board Tuesday night that it had two options to choose from as it set out to fill the position. The commissioners could nominate Roseboro citizens during the current meeting who they believed would make a good commissioner, see if the nominees would accept the nominations, and then vote amongst themselves by ballot. The commissioners could also advertise the position by posting the opening on the town’s website and on the town hall door. With this option, applications for the position would be accepted, the town board would review the applications and conduct interviews, and then commissioners would appoint a new commissioner to the town board via ballot votes.
“I like the idea of filling out an application,” said Hall.
With the rest of the commissioners in agreement, they decided to advertise the position, requesting that applications be turned into town hall by Friday, Jan. 24. The town board also decided it would meet again on Jan. 28 to discuss the applications and conduct interviews.
“We’ve got to add another commissioner and we’ve got some people in mind. We’re just waiting on the applications,” shared Alexander on Wednesday. “We hope to get some who ran for election to put their names in the pot.”
“We want to pick the right person for the town of Roseboro,” he stressed, emphasizing that the new commissioner needs to be a person who can come in and work well with the rest of the town board. “Someone who can help us do things, things that we can work together on.”
Lauren Williams can be reached at 910-592-8137, ext. 117 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.