Alexander named to replace Kluttz on Salisbury council

  • Posted: Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:44 p.m.
    UPDATED: Thursday, January 3, 2013 4:45 p.m.

In a surprise development, Salisbury City Council today chose local architect Karen Alexander to replace Susan Kluttz, Salisbury’s longest-serving mayor who has been tapped by Gov.-elect Pat McCrory to serve in his state cabinet.

Kluttz resigned her council seat and office as mayor pro tem effective immediately and did not attend today’s City Council meeting.

During their first meeting since Kluttz’s appointment, City Council members revealed they have been discussing Kluttz’s presumed departure for weeks, as well as candidates for her possible replacement.

Council members said they did not meet as a group, which would have violated state law. Mayor Paul Woodson said he has been in contact with council members individually to discuss the issue and personally interviewed three finalists — Alexander, former City Council member Mark Lewis and Rip Kersey, runner-up in the 2011 election.

He said Alexander’s knowledge and experience as chairwoman of the Salisbury Planning Board and the way she handled a controversy over a new Waffle House restaurant gave her the edge.

Woodson also said he wanted to appoint another woman to the City Council. He said other council members also preferred a woman.

Also today, City Council chose Maggie Blackwell, the third-highest vote-getter in the 2011 election, as the new mayor pro tem. Blackwell served as mayor pro tem during Kluttz’s final term as mayor.

Blackwell nominated Alexander to the council. Councilman William “Pete” Kennedy nominated Blackwell for mayor pro tem. All votes were unanimous.

Read more in Friday’s Post.

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