WJ alderman son added to ABC board

By Nathan Ham - nham@civitasmedia.com

WEST JEFFERSON — The only item on the West Jefferson Board of Alderman meeting agenda to offer up differing opinions among the board was the decision of adding a new board member to the ABC board.

Mayor Dale Baldwin chose to nominate West Jefferson native and current resident Derek Green to the position to replace current member Russell M. Killen, whose three-year term is set to expire.

Mayor Baldwin said that he had discussed the board position with Green, who is the son of current alderman Calvin Green, and said he would be interested in the position.

“As we age out, we’re going to need get some of these young people started in some of these boards. They’re going to have to run this one of these days,” said Baldwin.

Green as well as alderman Brett Summey abstained from voting in the matter due to conflict of interest as both are related to Derek.

However, according to Mayor Baldwin, meeting statutes outline that abstaining from a vote counts as a “yes” vote. Along with Jerry McMillan’s vote of approval, the appointment passed.

Alderman Stephen Shoemaker was against the decision and wanted to see Killen remain on the ABC board.

“That board is doing a very good job up there,” Shoemaker said. “In Russell’s defense, he’s a hard worker, he’s as honest as the day is long and he’ll be there when you need him.”

Alderman John K. Reeves was absent from the meeting, thus the 3-1 voting result.

The Jefferson Post is reaching out to town officials and the North Carolina School of Government to determine the ethical implications of town leaders appointing a family member to a local board.

Nathan Ham can be reached at 336-489-3062.

By Nathan Ham


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