Mayor, council members taking their oaths Monday

Published 9:00 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017


Washington’s new City Council begins governing the city Monday.

Council members and Mayor Mac Hodges take their oaths of office once the current council finishes its business. One of the last duties the current council performs is to declare the results of the recent council and mayoral elections official and declare the council and mayoral seats vacant.

After a brief recess, Superior Court Judge Wayland J. Sermons Jr. is scheduled to administer the oaths of office to Hodges and the five council members. The only change on the council is that Roland Wyman will take the place of Larry Beeman, who did not seek re-election.

After the mayor and new council are seated, the council will choose a mayor pro tempore. Traditionally, the council elects the top vote-getter in the election to that post. The mayor pro tempore oversees council meetings when the mayor is absent. Virginia Finnerty, the current mayor pro tempore, led all council candidates in the election with 756 votes, followed by fellow incumbents Richard Brooks, 700 votes; William Pitt, 641 votes and Doug Mercer, 539 votes. Wyman, a council newcomer, received 547 votes.

The mayor and council members serve two-year terms. Municipal elections are nonpartisan.

The new council, according to the tentative agenda for its meeting, is expected to adopt the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget schedule, which guides preparation for the next city budget, which takes effect July 1, 2018. The schedule provides tentative dates for budget-related activities.

Budget packets are slated to be distributed to the city’s management team members and outside agencies seeking city money will receive their budget request forms at the beginning of the 2018. The agencies’ requests are due Jan. 29, 2018. The council is expected to conduct a budget planning session Jan. 22, 2018. The public hearing on the proposed budget is penciled in for May 14, 2018. The tentative date for the council to adopt the 2018-2019 budget is May 21, 2018.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the Council Chambers in the Municipal Building, 102 E. Second St. To view the council’s agenda for a specific meeting, visit the city’s web­site at, click “City Agendas.” Locate the appropriate agenda (by date) under the “Washington City Council” heading, then click on that specific agenda listing.







About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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