On December 1st, Judy Stone, President of the County Council presented her letter of resignation to Republican Chairman Dave Holmes. She was resigning with two years and one month left in her four year term.
Holmes put the word out and three candidates presented their declaration of candidacy; Steve Harper, Kip Cook and Adam Faulstitch.
Friday evening at 5 p.m. the candidates, precinct committee members and interested citizens gathered in Republican Headquarters.
Chairman David Holmes told those in attendance that Adam Faulstitch had withdrawn his declaration. He told the other two candidates they each had three minutes to tell the five precinct committee members why they were the right person to fill the vacant seat.
Steve Harper was first to speak and said his previous experience on the County Council makes him the best candidate. During Harper’s term the council had some big successes including bringing the Metronet to the county, refinancing the jail bonds which helped to put the county in a good financial position today and major changes in the Highway Department. He said conducting PASER testing of county roadways set the county up to qualify for Community Crossings grants totaling $3.6 million and $1.6 million in local money over the past several years.
Harper said the next two years could be challenging. He said while the 2021 budget is in place unemployment numbers due to COVID-19 have skyrocketed causing less revenue to the county. In addition, the fourth court will be stated next year and the additional expenses that will come with it. Harper said his experience with the budgeting process and manipulating the funds to have a balanced budget is challenging.
Kip Cook, an insurance agency owner in Plymouth for many years spoke second and said his family has a history in local politics and that he was a state convention delegate in 1980. He said while there would be a learning curve he felt he would be able to communicate with the public on decisions the council makes.
With only one vote, Steve Harper was elected to represent the citizens of District 4 on the County Council. He was immediately administered the oath of office and will join the County Council for their December meeting on Monday, December 14th.