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League Members Elect Officers and New Board Members 

By Scott Mooneyham, NCLM Director of Public Affairs

Representatives from cities and towns across North Carolina have elected Zebulon Mayor Bob Matheny and Jacksonville Mayor Pro Tem Michael Lazzara to serve for the next year as officers of the North Carolina League of Municipalities.

Matheny was selected as League president after having served as 1st vice president for the past year; Lazzara was selected as vice president after having been elected 2nd vice president a year ago. Under constitutional changes adopted last year by the NCLM members, the organization chose to no longer elect a second vice president after 2016.

The selections were made during the League’s annual conference, CityVision 2016 Accelerate!, held in Raleigh in late October.

Matheny has served as mayor of Zebulon for 23 years, and prior to his election to that post, was a town commissioner for 15 years. His involvement with the League spans more than a decade, having been a member of the NCLM Board of Directors for four years before being elected as 2nd vice president in 2014. Prior to his election to the board, Matheny served on NCLM policy committees. He also has served on the League’s Risk Management Services Board of Trustees, which oversees three insurance risk pools.

Matheny replaces outgoing NCLM President Lestine Hutchens, the longtime mayor of Elkin.

As he spoke of the challenges facing municipalities in a changing world, Matheny urged municipal officials to see those challenges as opportunities that can motivate communities.

"At the end of the day, all people are bound by the fact that all of us, all of humanity, are problem solvers. Solving problems is what people do. You have to use those problems and challenges as motivation," Matheny said. "Upset with the legislature? Talk to them. Feel like your residents don’t appreciate the efforts of your city or town? Work harder to communicate with them, listen to them, educate them, and educate yourself."

Lazzara has served on the Jacksonville City Council since 2005 and has been mayor pro tem for three terms. He had served on the NCLM Board of Directors prior to his selection in 2015 as 2nd vice president.

Those selected to new terms on the NCLM Board of Directors are: Washington City Councilman William Pitt, District 2; Bethel Mayor Gloristine Brown, District 4; Morrisville Council Member Liz Johnson, District 6; Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor, District 8; Lenoir Mayor Pro Tem Ben Willis, District 10; Franklin Mayor Bob Scott, District 12; Whiteville Mayor Terry Mann, at-large; Laurel Park Manager Alison Melnikova, manager seat; Chapel Hill Manager Roger Stancil, manager seat; Michelle Daniels, N.C. Local Government Budget Association, undesignated affiliation organization; Charlotte City Council Member Ed Driggs, large city seat; Durham Mayor Pro Tem Cora Cole-McFadden, large city seat; Greensboro Mayor Nancy Vaughan, large city seat; Fayetteville Mayor Nat Robertson, large city seat; Raleigh Mayor Pro Tem Kay Crowder, large city seat; and Winston-Salem Council Member Derwin Montgomery, large city seat.

League Executive Director Paul Meyer said he continues to look forward to working with a diverse group of board members that reflect the diverse visions of North Carolina cities and towns.

He acknowledged that he would miss working with Hutchens, whose term as mayor also ends this year and who is not seeking re-election.

"Mayor Hutchens has been a joy to work with. No one has been more committed to bettering their town or more committed to helping North Carolina municipalities achieve their goals and aspirations. The people of Elkin know what I mean when I say she is true treasure," Meyer said.