Unanimous vote for council vacancy

Unanimous vote for council vacancy

The Lenoir City Council unanimously voted to appoint Kent Greer to fill the vacancy left by Ben Willis’ resignation during Tuesday’s city council meeting. 

Willis' resignation was announced Jan. 4, after accepting a position with the Western Piedmont Council of Governments as the director for Community and Economic Development.

Councilmember Todd Perdue was the first to make a motion recommending Greer, who currently serves on both the City of Lenoir Planning Board and the Caldwell County Planning Board. 

“Like the rest of the council, I’ve had the chance to carefully study this,” he said. “It’s a critical position.”

Perdue then said the candidate appointed to the vacancy would have “big shoes to fill,” due to how active Willis was during his time on the council.  

“Not just at the council level and the college level…the state, even the national level,” he said. “I’ve looked at the experience of each one (of the candidates), based on the information they’ve submitted.”

“In my mind, I have made a choice,” Perdue said. “I would like to recommend that the board consider Kent Greer for the position to fill the two year term balance from Mr. Willis's vacancy.”

In addition to serving on local planning boards, Greer has been the past president of the Caldwell County rotary club, past president of the Hammary Furniture Management Organization, and both the prior chairman of the deacon board and prior treasury member for Rhodhiss Baptist Church. 

Greer, a Caldwell County native, is currently the general manager of Fortran Corporation in Hickory, which owns telephone poles in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. 

In response to being selected for the seat, Greer said, “I’m very humbled. Thank you, thank you very much.” 

Mayor Joe Gibbons announced that Greer will be sworn into his position at the strategic planning retreat on Feb. 11 at 8:30 a.m. “Your family will be welcome to be there that morning for the swearing in ceremony…and then we will put you to work and go right on into the budget retreat.”

Gibbons also addressed Michael Careccia, who was runner up in the 2020 Lenoir City Council race, and went through the proper steps to be considered for the vacancy.  “We hope that you will consider doing some things with us,” such as joining a board within the city, he said. “We would like to talk to you about that, if you are interested in that.”

Careccia said he would be interested in learning about the available opportunities and congratulated Greer on his appointment. “I will continue to work around the community and continue to be a voice for those in the community,” he said.

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