07/13/04 — Finalists picked for open council seat

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Finalists picked for open council seat

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on July 13, 2004 1:58 PM

Three of the eight applicants for the vacant Goldsboro council seat will advance to Thursday's interview phase.

The finalists are Don Chatman, Naomi Williams and Cheryl Alston.

The city's screening committee met Monday to winnow the list down to three possible candidates for the District 3 seat.

The other applicants for the vacancy are James Allen Blount, Bobby G. Jones, Philip Kantzer, D.A. Stuart and Nathaniel Best.

The committee didn't waste any time getting down to business during Monday's meeting.

Councilman Chuck Allen suggested that each committee member pick three candidates and see what names came to the top of the list. The other two members of the committee are Mayor Al King and Councilman Charles Williams.

Chatman and Ms. Alston received votes from all three committee members. Ms. Williams received two votes, and Jones received one vote.

Allen said he picked the two women for interviews because the council didn't have a woman member, and he was interested in hearing from them.

He also said that he believed that Ms. Williams had a right to an interview since she had progressed through the primary last year to run against former Councilman William Goodman. Goodman resigned from his seat in early June. The candidate the council ultimately chooses will finish his term.

Councilman Williams originally picked Jones, Chatman and Ms. Alston but agreed that interviewing Ms. Williams would be the right thing to do.

"In making the selection of who to interview, all I'm looking at are their credentials," Williams said.

The entire council will interview the candidates, in alphabetical order, beginning Thursday at 12:30.

Each interviews will take up to a half hour, and all the candidates will be asked the same questions. It's not known yet what those questions will be.

When the council interviewed applicants in 2002 for the District 2 seat, left vacant when former Councilman Tom Barwick moved to Clayton, it had about 10 questions for each candidate.

Those questions included listing the candidates' top two priorities for the city, their opinion on the location of a civic center, how they would work to continue a good relationship with the Seymour Johnson Air Force Base and what the city's role should be in promoting industrial development.

After the interviews are completed, the council is expected to decide Monday who will be the new District 3 representative. The new council member will be sworn in at the first meeting in August.