A death leaves a vacancy on the Whiteville City Council

Whiteville City Council addresses vacant seat and murals for downtown

WHITEVILLE, N.C. (WECT) - Whiteville City Council Member Robert Leder died in early January after more than a month in hospital.

At a meeting Tuesday night, city leaders began the process of appointing a new member to the council.

Council members decided to use an application process to fill the seat and now are accepting nominations from qualified Whiteville residents who are registered voters.

City council member Justin Smith says he hopes the opening will bring a female voice to the table.

“All things considered; my preference would be to appoint a woman. We don’t currently have a woman on our board, and I think that’s an invaluable perspective that’s important for city council,” said Smith.

New ordinance approved for murals

Council members also approved a measure that makes murals, sculptures, and statues public works of art rather than signage.

Signs have a size limit, while public displays of art do not, so works of art can take up an entire side of a building.

Murals will now be exempt from signage regulations, but still most follow the proposed regulations for murals.

The goal is to beautify downtown and make it a destination for locals and for visitors and to streamline the process for those wanting to put public art in downtown Whiteville.

“It’s going to be more streamlined, its more defined. When you lump it into regulations with a sign… make it more clear cut on what they can and can’t do as far as a murals are concerned,” said Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann.

Also, there will be an initial $75 fee if you want to display public art in downtown Whiteville.

Justin Smith said he is a member of the Whiteville Rotary Club, which is partnering with the Whiteville Garden Club to put three murals in downtown Whiteville in the coming months.

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