Hartsell, Morgan elected to Norwood Town Council

Three candidates ran in Tuesday’s election for two spots on the Norwood Town Council. The two incumbents on the ballot, Wes Hartsell and Keith Morgan, won reelection.

Morgan received the most votes of the three candidates, 493 (38.1%) with Hartsell finishing with 413 votes (31.92%) unofficially. Latonya Reneae Wall White finished unofficially with 356 votes (27.51%). There were 32 write-in votes.

Both Hartsell and Morgan had been appointed to the town council to serve terms. In Hartsell’s case, he finished fourth in the 2020 election but was appointed to the council when Larry McMahon resigned. Hartsell also served on the board, previously losing the election in 2018 but earning an appointment to the council.

Hartsell said winning election gives him the opportunity to “keep going forward with everything we’ve been trying to do to better the town.”

He mentioned the improvements to the downtown, including the social district, which was just the second approved and opened in North Carolina, and working on the town’s water problems. Hartsell also mentioned Norwood’s efforts to continue to get grants for various projects.

“(There are) just a lot of things that we’ve got going on. We’ve got a lot of good stuff going on in this town,” Hartsell said.

On being elected instead of appointed, Hartsell said, “people have recognized the contributions that I have made to this town, some pretty rational decisions.” He added on topics like the water rate increases, he has “been able to explain stuff to people where they might not like it, but they understand it.”

Morgan was appointed to the town council in March when Betty Harrison submitted her resignation. He has also been on Norwood’s planning board for several years.

He said he saw the appointment in March “as an opportunity to get my feet wet and see what it was all about, make my mind up if this was something I really want to do.”

A lifelong Norwood resident, Morgan credited many of the town’s citizens for making a huge impact on his life, whether it was playing ball or just guidance as a young man growing up without a dad.

“My purpose for wanting to be on the board is we have a lot of things that are going in the town, good things,” Morgan said. “I just want to be involved and try to be a voice for the citizens as we move forward where Norwood is going (and) what will we look like 15, 20 years from now.”

He added, “the citizens have spoken and given me an opportunity. Now I have to put up or shut up. I appreciate the citizens putting their faith in me…I promise to them I’ll do the best I can.”