Salisbury City Council sworn in as 2 depart

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Shelley
Bill Burgin and Mark Lewis attended their last meeting as members of the Salisbury City Council Tuesday afternoon.
Lewis had served as a councilman since 2003, and Burgin since 1997.
Newly elected Maggie Blackwell and Brian Miller, as well as William “Pete” Kennedy, Susan Kluttz and Paul Woodson, were sworn in as council members for the next two years.
For the first time in the history of the Salisbury City Council, two women are serving together, and both serve as the top two positions in city government, with Kluttz as the mayor and Blackwell as mayor pro-tem.
Kluttz and the council adopted resolutions of appreciation for both Burgin and Lewis, which highlighted major accomplishments of the two during their time as councilmen.
Burgin and Lewis were also presented with artwork, portraits, photo collages and keys to the city.
“And you get to keep your nameplate,” joked Kluttz.
Councilmen “toasted” Burgin and Lewis, sharing some of their favorite memories and wishes as they leave the council.
Burgin was first.
“It’s been a fantastic 12 years,” said Woodson. “We’ve gotten a lot of things done. Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication to the city.”
“You’ve been a great council member, and I wish you the best of luck,” said Kennedy.
“You are my role model for what I try to do here,” said Lewis. “I don’t know if there will ever be anyone else who will serve as well as you.”
Burgin then spoke to the council, city staff and citizens of Salisbury.
“It’s amazing how fast time flies,” he said.
Burgin thanked his friends and family who have “carried the load with great patience.
“To the city staff ó thank you for all the support you’ve given me. I know the citizens of Salisbury are lucky to have you serve them.”
Burgin thanked City Manager David Treme for being his “ministry.”
“You’ve only let me down once,” he joked, stating that Treme didn’t do such a great job at teaching him golf.
“To the council, (this is a) special relationship that I will cherish my entire life.”
Kluttz then spoke of Lewis’ time with the council.
“Even though you’ve only been on the council for six years, you’ve been a part of this team for 12 years. We are very grateful to you,” she said.
“You have been as solid as a rock,” Woodson said to Lewis.
Kennedy told Lewis that he enjoyed working with him on the fiber to the home project.
“We will remember you as a trailblazer for this,” said Kennedy.
“Mark’s one of my best friends,” said Burgin. “He’s a hardworking man driven by his passion in helping others.”
Lewis called Tuesday’s meeting “bittersweet.”
“Something I’ve poured my heart and soul into for the past six years is somewhat coming to an end,” he said.
“Thank you to my family for the sacrifices they made. God’s plan always works through this.
“Thank you to all the volunteers who serve on boards and commissions. It’s very evident the vision of the city is not restricted (to the council).”
Lewis called the city staff “a pleasure,” and said the staff was what he would miss the most.
“When you start thinking about what we’ve accomplished as a team in the past six years, it’s unheard of for a municipal staff. I know we’re leaving the city in good hands.
“My role model is Bill. My inspiration is Susan. She is an incredible leader, and she’s just a great mayor.
“And I’ll still do my dry cleaning business with you,” Lewis joked to Woodson.
“As our 12 years come to an end, a special thank you to all of our council members,” said Kluttz. “To our new members, congratulations, and I know you will do well.”
The council meeting adjourned, the new members were sworn in, and the meeting began with Blackwell and Miller in their council seats.
“It is my honor to serve with this team,” said Blackwell. “It is a great team.”
“I am very excited about these next two years and where we are going to go,” said Kluttz. “We are going to have a great two years ó I’m very confident of that.”
Treme spoke for himself and on behalf of the city staff.
“We have a new team,” he said. “We pledge our full support toward accomplishing the outcomes, strategies and goals. It is our deepest pleasure to serve you.”
Miller called the new position “humbling.”
“I’m excited about the challenge,” he said. “It’s an honor and a privilege. I look forward to doing a good job.”
During the brief meeting, the councilmen were assigned their council liaison appointments to various community groups:
– Brian Miller: Rowan County Tourism Development Authority; Downtown Salisbury, Inc.
– Paul Woodson: Centralina Council of Governments; Economic Development Commission; Fireman’s Relief Fund Board; and Salisbury Tourism Development Authority.
– William “Pete” Kennedy: Salisbury-Rowan Community Action Agency; Rufty-Holmes Senior Center; Tree Board; and Transportation Advisory Board.
– Maggie Blackwell: Human Relations Council; Community Appearance Commission; and Metropolitan Planning Organization.
– Susan Kluttz: Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Metropolitan Planning Organization alternate.
In other news:
– On Dec. 4, from 6-6:30 p.m., the Salisbury Parks and Recreation Department will hold a tree-lighting ceremony at the City Park by the lake.
– The annual Christmas luncheon for city employees will be held Dec. 9 from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at the Salisbury Civic Center.
The next council meeting will be Tuesday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m.