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Red Cross looking to fill vacancies next year

In light of Red Cross Mayor Larry Wayne Smith and Councilman Jerry Jordan resigning last month, there are several open seats that will need to be filled next year.

“We’re not wanting to see someone come in and just want to change the world, but we want to be all of one accord and make Red Cross the best that it can be and keep it a little small town,” former councilman and newly-appointed mayor Kelly Brattain said. “We’ll be looking for someone with that same vision and the desire to serve.”

Brattain said he was aware Jordan was stepping down. Jordan didn’t run for office last year — his name was written on the ballot and he promised the council he would only serve one year.

Brattain was caught off guard with Smith leaving, saying he “didn’t have a clue.”

There are now three council members with Brattain, Mayor Pro Tem J.J. Curlee and Councilwoman Trina Plowman. Brattain said since they have three members, as long as each shows up they have enough for a quorum to hold town council meetings.

“We are more than capable of running this town with the three we have,” Brattain said.

According to state law, “a vacancy that occurs in an elective office of a city shall be filled by appointment of the city council.”

When vacancies do occur on a city council, the council has two options. In an open meeting, a citizen can make a motion asking that someone fills the seat and the council can vote to approve the motion. Otherwise, in an open meeting, council members can nominate citizens to fill the vacancy and the highest vote getter becomes the next council member.

Brattain said the council is talking to people about serving. He hopes citizens will step up and be willing to serve and see how local government works. He did acknowledge though that in a small town, it may be difficult to find people willing to serve on the council. Red Cross had about 750 people as of 2017.

Since Smith and Brattain had only one year left in their terms, their positions will be open next year, along with the seat of Plowman, who is now the town’s financial officer, which was Jordan’s role. Brattain said he will run again for the mayor’s seat next year.

As of now, Brattain said no members of the public have reached out to the council expressing interest in running for any of the available vacancies.

About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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