VALDESE — Valdese Mayor Chip Black announced last week that he doesn’t plan to run for reelection this year.
Black, 67, said the decision to not run was not an easy or quick one. He said he’s been thinking about it for at least a year.
Black said he believes it’s probably a good idea for the town to have some new leadership and new thinking, and that played into his decision. After a while, you run out of good ideas, he said. He thinks it’s good to have some turnover in elected leadership.
Black said he also wanted to give the town council and the community plenty of time between now and the July filing date in case any were interested in filing for the seat.
And Black thinks there are some people on the council and in the community who would make a good mayor.
Black said it’s been a wonderful time for him on the board, and that he hopes people look back on his time serving the town positively.
Come November, Black will have served seven years as mayor. He was mayor pro-tem on the council when former Mayor Jim Hatley died Jan. 9, 2015. Black was appointed to serve as mayor and was then elected to the seat later that year.
Before that, Black had served 17 years on the town council, having been first elected in 1997.
Black said during his time as a councilman and mayor, the board members, while they may not always agree, have been able to maintain good relationships.
“I’m proud of my years of service and the people that I’ve gotten to know and work with over the last 24 years,” he said.
And what is he most proud of during his time as mayor?
“I think the most important role of mayor is to help the council come to good decisions. And you have five people who sometimes see things differently and ultimately a decision has to be made,” Black said. “And the mayor, I think, can be an agreement-builder to find common ground on tough decisions. And I think we have made tough decisions. And I’m confident our council made wise choices and I’m proud of assisting in that process.”
In Valdese, the mayor doesn’t vote during council meetings except in the event of a tie, and that’s something he’s never had to do, Black said.
Staff writer Sharon McBrayer can be reached at email@example.com.