Mayor Teross Young
Troutman Council votes to extend mayor's term during emergency meeting
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Troutman Town Council voted during an emergency meeting on Tuesday to extend Mayor Teross Young’s term through November 2019, changing course from an earlier decision to hold a mayor election this November.
Young was appointed mayor by the council in October 2016, following he resignation of Ron Wyatt, after Wyatt was selected by the Republican Party's Executive Committee to serve as Iredell County Register of Deeds.
The council voted unanimously to extend Young’s term Tuesday after some explanation and discussion of the move, which was necessitated in part by a Board of Elections inquiry as to whether Troutman would need a mayoral race on the ballot this fall.
When the council selected Young in October, it decided to make his appointment through the election in November of this year, based on legal advice from the N.C. School of Government.
Town Manager Justin Longino and Town Lawyer Gary Thomas were advised that a state statute, passed after the Town Charter, requires an appointment last only until the next election and supersedes the Town Charter, which states someone could “be appointed to fill the unexpired term.”
However, another School of Government representative recently advised Thomas that the Town Charter could take precedent and that the council could appoint Young through November of 2019.
Young, who recently received a job promotion that will require more travel and responsibility next year, wanted to serve through this November. However, Mayor Pro Tem Paul Henkel convinced him to stay on as mayor through 2019, with Henkel’s support and assistance to step when Young’s job demands conflict with his mayoral duties.
Henkel was adamant that keeping Young on as mayor was best for the council and Troutman, even if Young may have to be away for some duties starting in 2018. “I will be glad to step in as he sees fit. He will call and let me know when he needs me for whatever purposes — a meeting or special event.”
“My preference is, if it is the wish of the majority of this council, to allow us to appoint him for the final two years of the term. I will continue to be there for him. I would rather try this and see. I enjoy having Teross as mayor, and he has brought a lot to the table. I support him. He has a lot of relationships out there that also bring a lot to the table,” said Henkel.
If he later finds the new job and mayor duties are too much, Young would discuss that with the council at that time.
“I have no doubts in supporting Teross,” said council member Sally Williams, “and I am 100 percent behind him.”
However, Williams expressed concerns about placing too much stress on Young with the mayoral, job, and family responsibilities since Young expressed doubts about running again in November with his new job.
“But I want him to stay. He is a tremendous asset and a good leader,” said Williams.
Henkel assured Williams that he will do everything he can to support Young if he gets swamped, noting that Henkel was sure that the other council members, who work well and respectfully with each other, would also be willing to step in to make this situation work.
“If it does become too much for him, he can resign. That is the court of last resort, and I hope that is a court that we will never enter,” said Henkel. “I think and hope it will work. Teross is going to give it his best, but there is no guarantee. He will do all he can.”
“I think the town has benefitted from Teross’ expertise,” said council member Judy Jablonski, “and he can continue to benefit it as long as he can.”
Council member Paul Bryant pledged his help and support to both Young and Henkel “so that the team that we have here continues on that path with the common goal to get done what is right for the town under his extended leadership with your additional background support as needed in the Pro Tem position.”
After the vote, the council signed a waiver of formal notice form since this meeting was called less than three hours before its start.