Maiden council fills vacancy

Maiden appointed a new member to its town council Monday night to replace Howard Ervin, who resigned unexpectedly last month.

In a 3-1 vote, the council appointed Trina Michael.

Michael, a registered nurse at Graystone Ophthalmology, has attended nearly every council meeting for the past two years.

“I’ve lived all my life in Maiden, and I have a great interest in the town,” she said. “I want to represent my community well.”

Michael was appointed after a recommendation from town councilman Marcus Midgett. She was one of seven possible candidates who had been identified by various sources in the community, said Maiden Mayor Bob Smyre.

The other candidates included Johnny Stiles, Mike Moore, Bill Cashion, Danny Hipps and John Staton.
Michael will serve nearly a two-year term before the seat opens for election in 2013, according to Kent Crowe, Maiden’s town attorney.

The appointment followed little discussion from the council. The one opposing vote came from councilman Max Bumgarner.

“Thinking about this the past week, it has been one of the hardest decisions I’ve made on this council,” Bumgarner said. “Choosing the next-highest vote getter is the fairest. It’s a way to hear the wishes of the citizens who voted.”

According to 2011 municipal election results, the next-highest vote getter was Mike Moore.

Michael will replace Ervin, who spent six years on the council.

Ervin tendered his letter of resignation during Maiden’s Jan. 16 town council meeting.

He said he resigned for personal reasons.

During his time on council, Ervin helped oversee a time of growth in Maiden, including the expansion of Lawrence Lumber Company Inc., vonDrehle, Ethan Allen and the recruitment of Apple Inc.’s East Coast data center.

He also served as an alternate representative for the town of Maiden to the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, according to a press release from the town.

“It has been an honor to serve on this council the past six years,” Ervin said Monday night. “It started out rough, but I’m proud of what we accomplished.”

Smyre read a resolution Monday in appreciation and commendation for Ervin’s time on council.

In other business, Maiden’s council:
* amended its Fiscal Year 2011-12 budget in the general fund for part-time salaries for the Maiden Volunteer Fire Department.

* approved the installation of a three-way stop at the intersection of W. Carpenter Street and “B” Avenue.

* approved the renaming of Getrag Parkway to GKN Way.