Clemmons mayor, council members sworn in: Combest named mayor pro tempore; newcomer Wooden joins board

Published 12:10 am Thursday, December 14, 2023

By Jim Buice

For the Clemmons Courier

CLEMMONS — For the Clemmons Village Council, Monday night’s final meeting of 2023 focused exclusively on swearing in the mayor and council members elected in November, naming a mayor pro tempore and appointing representatives to boards and committees.

Mike Rogers was sworn in for his second term as mayor, and incumbents Bradley Taylor and Mike Combest were sworn in to return to the council. 

Meanwhile, newcomer Randy Wooden was also sworn in after claiming the other available spot on the board. He replaces Chris Wrights, who decided not to seek re-election after serving eight consecutive years on the council.

Taylor, Combest and Wooden will join Michelle Barson and Mary Cameron, who were elected to four-year council terms in 2021.

Following the seating of the council, the election of the mayor pro tempore was next on the agenda with Cameron making the motion to name Combest to the position. Wooden seconded the motion, and it passed by a 3-2 margin.

Barson, who was the top vote-getter for the council in the 2021 municipal election and named mayor pro tempore for the last two years, and Taylor, who was the top vote-getter in this November’s election by a slim margin over Combest (698 votes to 677 votes), cast the two nay votes.

In past elections, the council routinely named the top vote-getter to become the next mayor pro tempore, but Lisa Shortt, village clerk, said after the meeting there was no mandated requirement to do so.

When asked for comment afterward, Taylor, who finished third in the council race as a political newcomer in 2021, said he wanted to commend Barson for the great job she did as the mayor pro tempore the last two years representing the village as an engaged leader in the community and among elected representatives.

To me, the mayor pro tempore position is one that recognizes an active council member who is a leader among the elected council, seeks to deepen their involvement and is dedicated to serving beyond the role of council member,” Taylor said. “During my first term, I jumped right into our work honoring our past and bringing a new forward-thinking point of view for the Clemmons of today and tomorrow — the future direction of our dynamic community. As the top vote recipient, our citizens acknowledged my leadership, dedication and valuable point of view for the village of Clemmons.”

Barson, who was also mayor pro tempore for two years after being the top vote-getter in the 2017 election, said she has always seen this position as a role that helps you step deeper into your council role and almost forces you to become a leader among your fellow voting members of council. 

“Bradley has done, by all accounts on council, a wonderful job stepping up and getting up to speed quickly,” Barson said. “He’s very thoughtful with his comments and clearly comes prepared. We’re not the Clemmons we were even 10 years ago. Therefore having someone that understands the old Clemmons and is going to help usher in the new would have been a powerful, positive representation of the direction I believe we’re headed in.”

In various appointments Monday night:

  • Taylor was appointed as the Transportation Advisory Committee representative with Combest being appointed as the alternate.
  • Cameron was appointed as the Piedmont Triad Regional Council representative with Wooden being appointed as the alternate.

The council also adopted the 2024 meeting and holiday schedules.

With this being an organizational meeting, staff reports will be presented in the next meeting on Jan. 8. There will not be the usual second monthly council meeting on the fourth Monday in December.