Nelson takes helm as village mayor

Published 12:00 am Thursday, December 12, 2013

There were plenty of changes in the seating arrangement up front in Village Hall Monday night as Nick Nelson was sworn in as the mayor of Clemmons.

In addition, Mike Rogers and Mary Cameron were sworn in by the Honorable Judge David Sipprell as council members along with newcomer Bill Lawry. Meanwhile, John Bost, who served three terms as mayor, and councilman Michael Gautreaux departed.

One seat still remains to be filled as Nelson had to resign his position on the council with two years remaining on his term.

Those candidates interested in being considered have until Monday at 5 p.m. to “apply,” and the council is looking to call a special meeting later in the month to discuss how to proceed.

It is up to the council to determine who fills any vacancy that occurs as state law and the local charter give the council the authority to name a replacement.

The plan is to name a new council member in the first meeting in January, which will be Jan. 6.

“I’ve had an opportunity to have some very informal conversations with some people who have stepped forward, and I must say we have a very distinguished group who have

stepped forward and offered themselves to the service of Clemmons to filling that position,” Lawry said.

Bost and Gautreaux were honored with plaques during the first part of Monday night’s meeting before a packed room.

“It’s been a great privilege and probably one of the highlights of my life,” said Bost, who has served as mayor since 2007. “I love the village. I’m not going away and will help in any way that I can.”

In addition to Nelson leaving his spot on the council, Lawry had to resign from being a member of the Zoning Board of Adjustment before a brief reception and the swearing-in ceremony.

Rogers, who received the most votes for council in the November election, was appointed as the new mayor pro tem.

In other business, planner Megan Ledbetter said that construction authorization had been finally been received from NCDOT for the greenways around Village Point Lake as well as Frank Morgan Elementary School tying into Harper Road.

“We’re hoping to have bids opened by the middle to end of January,” Ledbetter said.

Village manager Gary Looper said that the total price for the project was about $850,000, and the grant was for $680,000.

“It’s an 80-20 split,” Looper said. “”The school pays for about $30,000 of that. We’ll pay for about $140,000.”

The council also:

• Appointed Nelson as council’s representative on the Transportation Advisory Committee and Rogers as the alternate.

• Heard from Looper, asking about the council’s wishes regarding having a retreat in February or March, and if so, where and what the process would be.

• Appointed Lawry as the council’s liaison on the Stormwater Advisory Board.

• Heard from Frank Samuelson during the public comments portion of the meeting about a CPR training day being sponsored by the Clemmons Community Foundation on Jan. 11 from 9 a,m. to 1 p.m. at Clemmons United Methodist Church. Samuelson said that it is not a Red Cross class and that residents can come and learn the latest life-saving techniques in 20 to 30 minutes. There is no charge to attend.

• Heard from Robin Dean during the public comments about the need for the new council to address problems in Clemmons, including increasing revenues. He said he was prepared to speak to Forsyth County representatives in Raleigh to see what could be done about the council’s refusal to address additional funding through taxation and having to respond to taxpayers’ questions.