Council votes to keep Cooper’s seat vacant


By Kevin Spradlin

Previous coverage
* Cooper dies at 68
* 2015 filing period opens July 6

ELLERBE — Members of the Ellerbe Town Council voted Monday night to keep vacant the seat previously held by James “Buddy” Cooper until the November election.

Councilman Corey Brewington made a motion to keep the seat vacant instead of appointment a replacement for the 68-year-old who died in office in February. Brewington explained that Cooper was up for re-election and with only eight months until election day, a new council member would “have to go through so much to catch up.”

Ellerbe“We’re just going to wait,” Brewington said. “It would be so inconvenient for whoever got put in that seat. It’s just a lot that you would have to catch up on. We hope everybody understands. Regardless, when November comes, somebody’s gonna get it.”

After serving as interim mayor to fill in for Olivia Webb, who resigned, Cooper won a seat on the council in the November 2013 election to fill an unexpired term.

There were three candidates vying for one seat. Cooper won with 98 votes, while Jeremy McKenzie was second with 70 votes and Elsie Freeman third with 39 votes.

Prior to the start of the meeting, McKenzie was writing a letter of interest in the position, directed the letter to the council. McKenzie said he figured the seat should be his because he was the next highest vote-getter in the 2013 election.

Mayor Lee Berry spoke in particular of Cooper’s effort on the lagoon project — a years-long, complex improvement to the town.

“We’re really gonna miss him on that project,” said Berry, who noted Cooper felt that project was “his baby.”

Filed in: Ellerbe/Norman, Latest Headlines, News

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