Whiteville City Council to discuss options to fill vacant seat

Whiteville City Council to discuss options to fill vacant seat
Whiteville City Hall (Source: City of Whiteville)

WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - The City of Whiteville lost one of their own leaders earlier this month and now, City Council is tasked with filling that vacated seat; Rober Leder served on the Whiteville City Council for more than 20 years before his passing.

“Council must decide in which method to use in selecting someone to fill the unexpired term left by Mr. Leder. Mr. Leder’s term is set to expire in 2023,” according to the City Council agenda set for Jan. 26.

The process of filling the seat is dictated by the state legislature.

“The City’s Charter refers back to NCGS 160A-63 and a couple of blog posts from the UNC School of Government is included which explains the process for filling unexpired terms. Council may appoint a qualified candidate to fill the term until the next election. The next election is November 2, 2021. Whoever is appointed by the Council, must file for this seat for the rest of the unexpired term, if that person desires to continue to serve out the rest of the term,” according to City Council’s agenda. “Any other qualified person can run for the seat as well. The seat is in District 1. The person elected to this seat for the unexpired term will hold the seat until 2023.”

The City Council can use one of several different processes to appoint a new council member including, accepting applications, cover letters and resumes, and appointing someone of their choosing that is qualified to serve. Any person is qualified to serve provided they are a registered voter and a resident of the district of the vacant seat.

It is unclear which route the council is expected to go at this time.

“This is a difficult and emotional situation, and I am certainly not advocating the Council do anything tonight. Staff needs guidance on how to proceed as we prepare to move forward,” the agenda item concludes.

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