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Seaford sworn in as China Grove mayor; Bringle rejoins council

CHINA GROVE – After upsetting incumbent Lee Withers in November’s election, Charles Seaford was sworn in as mayor Tuesday night.

He was sworn in by state Sen. Carl Ford, R-33. Seaford previously served two and a half terms, or 10 years, as a councilman.

“I will well and truly execute the duties of the office of mayor, according to the best of my ability, according to the law, so help me God,” Seaford said.

Seaford has said his plans for office include continuing efforts to market the town of China Grove, keeping taxes low, paving roads and focusing on industrial growth.

Now being retired, Seaford said he has time to focus on the job and aims to maintain China Grove’s “small-town atmosphere” and continue traditional events such as Christmas in the Grove and Farmers Day.

Withers on Tuesday reflected on his time as mayor.

“These are my last words as city mayor,” he said. “These last four years have been the toughest of my adult life.”

He also highlighted his various accomplishments while serving as mayor, including starting the Mayor’s Youth Council.

“I challenge this board to keep this good work of keeping our board clean,” Withers said.

Withers previously served two four-year terms as councilman and one four-year term as mayor.

He gave special recognition to his father, Roger Withers, for his work in the China Grove community.

In other business:

• The board approved and swore in former Mayor Don Bringle to fill Seaford’s remaining term as councilman. Bringle will serve for two years. Bringle was mayor for 12 years and served two terms on the town council.

• Rodney Phillips and Steve Stroud, who were unopposed in November, were also sworn in as councilmen, with their terms ending December 2023.

• The board named Phillips mayor pro tem, a position previously held by Councilman Brandon Linn. Phillips will serve for two years.

• The board made 2020 appointments to the Transportation Advisory Committee and the Technical Coordinating Committee of the Cabarrus-Rowan Urban Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.

The council appointed Seaford as the Transportation Advisory Committee representative and Linn as the alternate. Franklin Gover is currently the Technical Coordinating Committee representative, and David Ketner is the alternate.

• The board reminded the community of Christmas in the Grove, which will be held along Main Street and Swink Street on from 5 to 9 p.m. Dec. 14 and the town Christmas tree lighting at 7 p.m. Saturday in Hanna Park on Main Street.

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