Montgomery to step down from City Council on Nov. 5

Montgomery to step down from City Council  on Nov. 5
October 04
03:00 2018

Derwin Montgomery has announced that he will step down from representing the East Ward on the Winston-Salem City Council on Nov. 5.

Montgomery, who is also co-owner of the Chronicle, was chosen to fill the position of 72nd District state representative, which was left vacant when Ed Hanes stepped down. Montgomery read and submitted his resignation letter to the City Council during its Monday night meeting, Oct. 1.  He thanked his fellow council members and the residents of the East Ward.

“Over the last 10 years I have had the pleasure of working alongside each of you in varying capacities,” he said. “Most of all, we have been blessed to serve during a time where we have shepherded the largest public/private investment in the city of Winston-Salem in a generation. These investments have charted a course for the future of this city and its residents. The true impact of our time together will not be seen for years to come.”

He also acknowledged the challenge that remains for the East Ward and the city. “Despite all of our work, Winston-Salem still faces large pockets of economic inequality, layered with systematic racial challenges,” he said. “Responsibility for poverty in Winston-Salem does not sit wholeheartedly with this council, but it does bear responsibility to lead this community in a direction that ensures that all citizens of this city have an opportunity to thrive.”

Among the accomplishments he listed during his tenure were equitable distribution of bond funds, drawing attention to the city’s affordable housing needs and the progress the city has made toward paying its employees a minimum of $15 an hour.

Montgomery will step down at the end of the general business at the City Council meeting on Nov. 5. His successor might be sworn in that night.

To fill the seat, the Forsyth County Democratic Party (FCDP) will host an East Ward City Council Candidate Forum on Thursday, Oct. 4, at 7 p.m. at St. Paul United Methodist Church, and then executive committee members in the ward will vote on the matter on Sunday, Oct. 7, at 4 p.m. The party’s recommendation will then go before City Council for approval.

FCDP Second Vice Chair Phillip Carter challenged the process to the state party, asking for caucuses instead. NCDP Chair Wayne Goodwin responded in a letter last week that there’s no laws or party rules that address filling municipal positions, so the matter is deferred to the county chair and executive committee.

FCDP Chair Eric Ellison said the party is trying to make the process as fair, open and transparent as possible.

“I think we’ve done what is expected of us, if not a little more,” he said.

The FCDP is acting on a request from the City Council, who intends for the person picked to be an interim replacement until an election for the seat can be held, which they’ll be asked not to run in. As of Monday, Tony Burton and Annette Scippio have submitted their names for consideration.

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Todd Luck

Todd Luck

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