Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas to step down, work with NCDOT

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Allen Thomas is stepping down from his position as mayor of Greenville.

He’s been named the Executive Director of the North Carolina Global TransPark (GTP), a division of the North Carolina Department of Transportation.
The announcement came Tuesday morning.
“We are pleased to have Allen coming on board in this key role,” NCDOT Chief Deputy Secretary David Howard said. “He brings the right experience to recruit cutting-edge industries and leverage the investment the State has made in GTP.”
Thomas, a Vanceboro native, is the co-founder of IQMax Inc. of Charlotte, a three-term mayor of Greenville and has worked in the past with the North Carolina Departments of Commerce and Transportation.
“I am greatly honored to be selected for this opportunity to serve under Secretary Jim Trogdon and the North Carolina Department of Transportation,” Thomas said. “We are at an important time for the East and our state – an exciting new juncture with major assets coming online in parallel with existing infrastructure. It is time to place major emphasis on maximizing and leveraging our eastern assets; our ports, roads, military bases, newly planned CCX intermodal rail terminal, training, universities and the Global TransPark all working together as an economic catalyst for our state and the eastern United States.”
Thomas said the decision was difficult but he could not pass up the opportunity.

“This is the only elected office I’ve ever held,” said Thomas. “I know some people feel like i’ve been here forever. It’s been three terms, but I’ve always been a businessman, a husband and a father. That’s more important than anything. I’ve also been one. As an entrepreneur, I seize opportunity. And I see a large opportunity here that I hope will pay off for everybody across the East.”

Thomas will make the move from his current elected position to full-time Executive Director of the North Carolina Global TransPark beginning June 29, 2017.

 “It has been the greatest honor to serve the citizens of Greenville as mayor,” Thomas said. “I have poured my heart and soul into being a positive and engaged visible presence in our community. We have come a long way together since 2011, from the challenges of floods and great recessions to building economic growth, new highways and a vibrant center city with great momentum. It is a bittersweet day for me, but I am confident of our progress and I know Greenville is on a great trajectory. It is now time to redirect that energy to a role for eastern North Carolina. While this means a transition in public service, I am excited about the possibilities to work with leaders across the east to maximize our assets and build a solid economic foundation for generations of North Carolinians into the future.”
Greenville’s city attorney has confirmed the following regarding filling the Mayor’s seat when Thomas steps down:

North Carolina General Statute 160A-63 provides that a vacancy that occurs in an elective office of a city shall be filled by appointment of the city council. The vacancy would be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term – until when the new Council takes office after the November election.

The process is as follows:

  • The resignation is submitted to City Council.
  • City Council takes action to accept the resignation (this makes it legally certain that the resignation is effective and removes the possibility of a withdrawal of the resignation).
  • After the effective date of the resignation and until Council appoints a person to fill the vacancy, Mayor Pro Tem Smith will preside at Council meetings and be entitled to vote as a Council Member. Additionally, Council may confer upon her any of the powers and duties of the mayor during this period (this is advisable – particularly in connection with the need to declare a state of emergency, if necessary).
  • Council is required to take action on filling the vacancy but there is no set time frame. Council has a reasonable time to fill the vacancy. Taking into consideration the July Council schedule, an appointment as late as during August would likely be considered as reasonable.  Council could make the appointment to fill the vacancy prior to the effective date of the resignation but it would not be effective until the oath of office is taken after the effective date of the resignation.
  • If Council fills the vacancy prior to the resignation being effective, Mayor Thomas is still a member of Council and would have the opportunity to vote in the case of a tie. If Council fills the vacancy after the resignation is effective, Mayor Thomas is no longer a member of Council and will not have the opportunity to vote.
  • The person chosen to fill the vacancy must be qualified to be elected to the office of Mayor – a resident of the city who is a registered voter.
  • If a Council Member is chosen to fill the vacancy, this creates another vacancy which must be filled – again by a person who is qualified to serve in the office (if a Council Member elected by a district, a resident of that district who is a registered voter).
  • There is no set process for Council in considering who should fill the vacancy. Some cities ask for persons interested to submit a letter of interest or application.  And some then have the persons make a presentation before Council. But Council could simply make the nominations themselves.
  • Discussion of filling the vacancy is not a permissible closed session topic.

 

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