PEMBROKE — The Town Council again heard on Tuesday from a Maynor Street resident whose booming voice has echoed in council chambers during two of the past three meetings as he asked why a vacant council seat has not been filled.
“It’s just amazing that you can’t come together, the three of you, for the good of the town, and go ahead and fill that position,” Gary Strickland said during the public comment section later in the meeting.
“It’s obvious the reasons why,” he said. “Whoever you pick you want him to go along with your political agenda, and if not then why wouldn’t you vote for somebody else because all three of the people that you all put forward would seemingly be good people.”
The three councilmen each nominated a person to fill the vacant seat, which has been open since February, at a Aug. 6 meeting but none of the nominations received a second. Under a general statute, the remaining council members nominate a candidate, who will then be voted on by the entire council.
Strickland also criticized the council at the Aug. 7 and June 5 meetings. Also in June, Strickland said the Pembroke Police Department did not take any action to find person who broke into his home and that they have not addressed complaints about people riding ATVs at night near his home.
Strickland left with a promise not to return to another council meeting.
“You can go down the road as long as you want to, but there’s always room enough to turn around and come back,” Councilman Allen Dial said as Strickland walked out of the door.
The council seat has been vacant since Robert Williamson died in February.
Also on Tuesday, the council:
n Announced the closing of Main Street and portions of Vance, Second and First streets for a street festival on Nov. 10.
n Appointed Ronnie Locklear, nominated by Councilman Ryan Sampson, and Loretta Smith, nominated by Dial, to the ABC board. The town’s ABC store has been closed since October 2008.
n Held a second public hearing on a Community Block Development Grant to repair a lift station on Pine Street. No one spoke for or against, and the council voted to seek the grant.
n Approved participation in the North Carolina League of Municipalities’ Wellness Initiative Participation Agreement, which will provide wellness services to town employees.
n Heard from Bryan Graham, director of Pembroke Recreation, who spoke about upcoming programs and new marketing strategies.
n Announced that demolition was complete at 503 W. Third St. and 204 E. Third St.
n Conditionally approved sewer service for a residence that lies outside of the city limits, pending acceptance of an agreement to be drawn up by Town Attorney Gary Locklear.