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Newland Finance Officer Resigns at Aldermen Meeting

By Tim Gardner

Town of Newland Finance Officer Lisa Meinhardt submitted her resignation during the last regular monthly meeting of its Board of Aldermen July 3.

Aldermen (Town Council members)– Kenny Caraway, Lauren Turbyfill, Greg Seiz and Jamey Johnson were present. Other town officials present included: Mayor Valerie Jaynes; Town Administrator Keith Hoilman; Town Attorney Joe Seegers; and Town Clerk and Board of Aldermen secretary Tammy Gardner.

Meinhardt had served in the position slightly less than two years. She cited July 12 as her last day on the job. However, she said she would remain in the post a short while longer if the Board desired to help with the transition to the hiring of a new finance officer.

Meinhardt declined further comment concerning her resignation.

In the meeting’s other highlight, town resident Christie Hughes presented the aldermen a petition of 107 signatures of the town’s registered voters requesting them to appoint her to the fifth Aldermen’s seat that became vacant when former aldermen Joleta Wise perished in an automobile accident May 31.

Hughes read a statement to the Board of Aldermen requesting to fill the seat for the remaining nineteen months of the two-year term Wise would have served. Wise was as an alderman for five months after being sworn in last December.

Hughes said she would “always do what’s best for the town” if she became an aldermen. Hughes added that those listed on the petition indicated that they would vote for her if she is a candidate for the Board of Aldermen in the 2019 election.

Johnson made a motion to appoint Hughes to fill the Board seat, but the motion died from a lack of a second.

According to terms of a town ordinance, because the Board of Aldermen currently has four members instead of the traditional five, the mayor will cast the deciding vote if there is a 2 to 2 deadlock vote on any issues until a new alderman is appointed by the Board or a candidate is elected to fill the open seat in the 2019 election.

The Aldermen’s next regular monthly meeting will be Tuesday, August 7, beginning at 6:00 p.m. in Town Hall.