After losing an election bid Tuesday to become Mount Airy’s mayor, Teresa Lewis still could reach the city council after all, based on discussion at a commissioners meeting Thursday night.
Two commissioners indicated support for appointing Lewis to a vacancy on the city board that will result when Commissioner Deborah Cochran becomes mayor. Cochran captured the mayor’s seat Tuesday 1,018-897 after Lewis earlier was declared the winner due to an election snafu involving transposed numbers at two precincts.
The subject was not on the agenda for the commissioners’ meeting Thursday night, but was mentioned at the end of the night when board members offered general comments.
Commissioner Jon Cawley, who was unopposed in the election, broached the idea of Lewis being considered for the board slot that will result from Cochran’s switch in positions. But in doing so, Cawley acknowledged that “there are dozens of people who will make a good commissioner.”
When Commissioner Todd Harris got his turn to speak, he offered a strong recommendation for Lewis, who has owned WorkForce Carolina for 20 years and held a number of leadership positions with community organizations.
“I think she would make an outstanding commissioner,” Harris said. After Cochran takes over the mayor’s post in early December, “I have every intention of supporting her as commissioner,” he added.
No formal replacement procedure has been announced for filling Cochran’s spot on the board. She is now midway through a four-year term as at-large commissioner, which she was elected to in November 2007.
When the city council last had such a vacancy, resulting from Commissioner Tom Bagnal’s resignation in July 2008, officials conducted an open application process that drew a dozen people seeking the position. They were given an opportunity at a meeting to speak on why they wanted the job, which led to the selection of Cawley via a process that included remaining board members scoring the applicants.
Lewis has been unavailable for comment since her election defeat, including if she would be willing to become a commissioner.
Contact Tom Joyce at email@example.com or at 719-1924.