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East Spencer board seat remains open for now after death of alderman

EAST SPENCER — The Board of Aldermen has not filled a seat left empty by the December death of longtime Alderman Otis Gibson, but it is expected to approve a resolution in support of a special election to fill the remainder of the term.

Gibson, 72, died in the midst of a four-year term. He was elected in November 2017, and his term would have expired in 2021. State law doesn’t say when the board has to fill the seat, but it says it should fill the seat.

The board could appoint someone in the interim, but no one has made any inquiries, officials said. The board decided at its Monday night meeting that pending some wording changes in the resolution, it will fill Gibson’s unexpired term.

The resolution says the board would fill the vacant seat, but Town Attorney Jeff Morris recommended the board take out that reference.

Morris said the decision on who fills the seat should be the board’s.

The request about the vacancy came from Rowan County Board of Elections Director Nancy Evans.

Town Manager F.E. Isenhour said Evans essentially needs documentation during the election cycle.

In other business:

• The board discussed a March 23 town cleanup day. The town has reached out to East Spencer companies, churches and residents to participate in the town-wide cleanup. Town Planner Joe Morris said this would be a good opportunity for Scouts and other civic groups to help beautify the town. The town will have a dumpster at the back of the fire department for trash. There are restrictions on what can be dumped, Morris said.

The board and staff will continue to discuss what items can be trashed.

• The aldermen discussed its “April Foods Day” food truck event that will be held in early April. It will include live music, food trucks and other activities. Plans are still in the works.

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