Hines takes seat as Winterville councilman
The Times Leader
Saturday, January 13, 2018
WINTERVILLE — Newly certified Winterville Councilman Ricky Hines took the oath of office on Monday, a month after the rest of the board was sworn in.
Hines won election after the Nov. 17 canvass certified a 1-vote victory. Prior to taking office, an attorney with the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement on Dec. 6 told the county election’s board it shouldn’t have certified the election because of the ineligible ballots.
Then, on Dec. 29, a state Superior Court judge reviewing the case in Wake County ruled the county board did not have the authority to suspend the election. Judge Paul Ridgeway said a certificate of election issued Nov. 27 was the final act in the election.
Hines said Monday he is glad the process is over and looks forward to serving the town of Winterville. He was surrounded by his wife, Beverly, sons, Corey, 23, and Christian, 10, mother, Mary Hines, and sisters, Kim Waters and Phyllis Stevenson, as he took his oath of office, which was administered by N.C. Sen. Don Davis.
“I am looking forward to working with this board to make the correct decisions for the town of Winterville. I’m not here to represent me. I am here to represent the citizens,” Hines said.
Hines is an active presence within the Winterville Parks and Recreation department, where he volunteers his time as a coach. He also serves on the Pitt County Planning Board, a role he plans to continue to hold throughout his tenure as councilman, he said.
Hines works for the USDA. This term marks his first as an elected official. He was elected to fill the term of Ron Cooper, which expires in December 2019.
“It is a shame problems arose at election time,” said Winterville Mayor Doug Jackson, who also reclaimed his seat in the Nov. 7 election.
Jackson looks forward to working with Hines in the months ahead, he said.
Councilwoman Veronica Roberson made a motion to rescind the council’s Dec. 11 motion to appoint Mark Smith as mayor pro-tem and vote again with the full board now seated.
In his 20-year tenure as mayor, Jackson told the board historically the council member with the most seniority in consecutive service years is appointed mayor pro-tem, which in this case is Smith.
Councilman Johnny Moye seconded the motion, which failed 2-3 with Hines, Smith and Councilman Tony Moore opposed.
The Times-Leader serves southern Pitt County including the towns of Ayden, Grifton and Winterville.