GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Kandie Smith was unanimously appointed by the Greenville City Council as the city’s first female African-American mayor at a meeting Thursday night.
Smith said, “It is an honor to be in this position. I know it’s a lot of responsibility because you are leading the city and I don’t want to take it lightly.”
City hall was packed Thursday night as people flooded in to see Smith sworn in as mayor.
Mayor Smith said the crowds exceeded her expectations.
“I don’t even know if I can put words to it,” said Smith. “I don’t want to cry, it was awesome, and it was awesome. This room was standing room was completely full, standing room only.”
Smith said the day’s significance weighs heavily on her mind.
“I’m also standing on the shoulders of all those people who have been running for office, especially women, and African American women who are trying to make sure we offer ourselves as to servants to the city as well,” said Smith.
Council member Rose Glover was appointed to fill the mayor pro-tem position. This made it the first time two African American women are serving in those roles at the same time.
Glover said, “It’s very important that sometimes we break the chain and do something different and I’m just glad that we were able to do this.”
Smith’s time as mayor may be short. She said she doesn’t plan to run for the seat in November.
Until then, Mayor Smith has a list of things to get done.
“The first thing I’m going to push for is safety. We don’t want any more murders we don’t want anything like that to happen,” said Smith. “But the second thing is we want to make sure we fully staff our departments like we need too.”
For Smith it’s about bringing the city together.
Smith said, “No one person runs this city, it takes a collective effort. I’m excited to walk in that role.”
Council members P.J. Connelly and Calvin Mercer have both publicly expressed interest in running for mayor when the election is held in November.