Council introduced to new public housing director

The Albemarle City Council on Monday night was virtually introduced to the city’s new public housing director N. Lee Staton, who began his job March 30.

The previous housing director, Cedric Baldwin, left his position in November.

Originally from Guilford County, Staton previously worked at the Greensboro Housing Authority, where he served as vice president of operations, according to a news release. He also worked as a fair housing investigator/administrator in the Human Relations Department for the city. 

Prior to joining the city of Albemarle, Staton served as the executive director of Mustard Seed Community Health, a Greensboro-based non-profit that provides integrated care to those in the community who could not afford medical insurance or were underinsured. 

Though the council meeting, which was live-streamed on Facebook and Vimeo, was conducted at city hall, each of the council members, along with Mayor Ronnie Michael and City Manager Michael Ferris, sat six feet apart. There were also less than 10 people in the chamber.

The fact that Staton started working for the city amid the coronavirus pandemic was not lost on the council, many of whom have still not actually met him.

“I look forward to us getting back to normal so we can actually meet him one-on-one in person,” Michael said about Staton, who he’s met briefly once.

“It’s been a unique starting period for Lee, but he’s hit the ground running, tackling some very much-needed projects and I’m just glad to have him on board,” Ferris said.

Staton briefly called into the meeting, where he thanked Ferris, Assistant City Manager Nyki Hardy and other members of the management team for giving him the opportunity to work in the city.

Staton attended N.C. State and Morehouse College in Atlanta before graduating from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies, minor in Social Work, and a Master of Public Administration.

He’s also a veteran of the U.S. Navy and served as chief executive officer of the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Greensboro.