Mount Olive swears in new board
By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on December 4, 2013 1:46 PM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Monday's meeting of the Mount Olive Town Board was more ceremony than business as state Rep. Jimmy Dixon and state Sen. Louis Pate swore in new town board members for the next two years.
Returning to duty were Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. and Commissioners Kenny Talton, George Fulghum and Ray Thompson. Replacing former Commissioners Hosea Manley and Gene Lee were Commissioners Jerry Armstrong Sr. and Joe Scott.
Each elected official laid hands on the Bible and took the official oath.
Outgoing commissioners Lee and Manley were lauded for the combined three decades of service they had brought to the board.
"I feel good. We got a good board going on, and everyone is dedicated," Lee said. "We (have) nothing that the town board can't handle."
"I sat on the board for eight years, and God says there's a season for everything. God decided I had somewhere else to go," Manley said. "If they need advice, I'll give it to them. ... I had to deviate from the board sometimes. A few times we disagreed, but it's important to keep together. Too strong of sides can mess it up."
After so many years of public service, both Lee and Manley said they look forward to having more free time. Come summertime, Lee said he was going to spend some more time fishing, and Manley said he was happy to know that his monthly Monday night meetings would not be coinciding with any more basketball games.
Beside the new commissioners taking their seats Monday night, the town board also chose a new mayor pro tem.
The mayor pro tem acts in the stead of the mayor when he is not available. Commissioner Thompson, 78, has held the position for the last few terms. The only nomination, however, offered by Talton, was for Fulghum. Since no other nominations were presented, Fulghum assumed the job.
"I feel like the younger generation needs to get more involved in politics, and when I was asked, I felt like I needed to be willing and practice what I preach," Fulghum said.
After the meeting, McDonald said he was pleased with how things turned out.
"I know that (Commissioner Joe Scott) will put the town first, and I know Jerry will, too. And I think we will have a good board, and we'll continue to work in a harmonious way. Disagree but agree to disagree, and I think that's what it's all about," McDonald said. "When the outcome is finally decided, it will be right for Mount Olive and that's what it's all about."