Board members out following anti-gay comments; Albemarle fills seats

Published 10:50 pm Monday, August 7, 2023

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Two members of the Albemarle planning and zoning board who were caught using anti-gay terms on an open microphone last week have resigned.

According to a statement released by Albemarle Public Information Officer David Fath, board members Joey Gathings and Dean Speight Sr. resigned from the board Monday.

The resignations stem from anti-gay comments made at the Aug. 3 meeting of the planning board, captured on video and streamed on Facebook Live.

Both were volunteer members of the board, according to a statement from Albemarle Mayor Ronnie Michael released Monday.

“I respect their decision to resign in the best interests of the community. We do not condone the words that were used, and they do not represent the City of Albemarle’s values or beliefs,” Michael said in the statement.

At Monday’s Albemarle City Council meeting, the board nominated three new members to the board. For one term expiring July 2024, Jennifer Miller was named to fill the term.

Aaron Deese was also named to the board for a term ending July 1, 2025. The board also has a new first alternate as Evan Scott St. John was named to serve through July 2025.

All three new board members were approved unanimously by the City Council.

The board still has openings for a second and third alternate.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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