Three have applied for District 1 City Council seat
By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector
Sunday, December 30, 2018
Three people already have applied to fill the Greenville City Council District 1 seat. The deadline for filing the application is 5 p.m. on Monday.
Among the three who have applied are the woman who filled the seat when its current occupant was appointed mayor in 2017, a recently appointed member to the Greenville Utilities Commission and a social work supervisor who also serves on several volunteer boards.
The City Council must appoint a new council member because the seat’s current occupant, Kandie Smith, was elected to the North Carolina House of Representatives’ District 8 seat in November.
Smith’s resignation is effective on Monday and she will be sworn in as a state representative on Jan. 5.
Earlier this month, City Council members said their goal is to seat the new member at their Jan. 10 meeting.
Shawan Barr, assistant director of the Luncille Gorham Intergenerational Center, held the District 1 seat for about three months in 2017 when Smith was appointed mayor after Allen Thomas resigned the position. Barr stepped down when Smith won re-election in November.
“Working passionately with the City of Greenville, stakeholders, partners and the communities to fulfill goals already established in a short period of time was influential,” Barr said. “The accomplishments gave me the desire to want to serve even the more.”
Barr has lived in District 1 for 11 years and a total of 22 years in Greenville. Before joining the Gorham Center, Barr worked as support staff for Pitt County Schools’ exceptional children program.
Monica Daniels is a social work supervisor with the Pitt County Department of Social Services.
She also serves on the board of N.C. Civil, which works with local organizations to promote growth and bring the concerns of the community to elected leaders. Daniels also is secretary to the board of the Mediation Center of Eastern North Carolina.
“Through my volunteering work I am learning a little more about politics and what it takes to help a community by being a servant, by being a voice and giving feedback from the community to those who can help make a change,” Daniels said.
She was born in Greenville but her parents moved away when she was little. She returned to the city in 1985 and has lived in District 1 for 15 years.
Daniels said as a social worker and active community member, she recognizes changes takes teamwork and she can work with others in a non-judgemental manner.
Kelly L. Darden Jr. was appointed to the GUC Board of Commissioners in October. He also served on the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and was vice president of the N.C. Wildlife Federation where he held multiple positions for more than a decade. He was the first African-American to host a nationally televised outdoor show. He is semi-retired, working part-time as a mentor with a mental health organization.
Darden has spent most of his life in District 1 with the exception of attending college in Charlotte and living several years in Winterville.
He said numbers of people approached him about serving in the District 1 seat.
“I felt that if I was selected I could reach more of my family, the people who live in District 1, and I could have an impact that would equally have an impact if not more,” he said. “I felt I could reach possibly more constituents if selected to fill the seat.”
Darden said he already was thinking about running for the District 1 seat in 2019.
“I think Kandie Smith did a great job. I think the difference is I am a Greenville native and lived my entire life in Greenville aside from going off the college and then living in Winterville for a few years,” he said.
Daniels said if appointed she would definitely run for the seat. Even if not appointed she likely will run for the seat in 2019.
Barr said a lot of things are motivating her to run in 2019.
“It is possible that I will run for District 1 seat in 2019,” she said. “The hands-on experience, the mindset to serve, the willingness to work with diversity, and the opportunity to be a voice for District 1 constituents again are all motivational reasons for me to run.”
Applicants who want to be considered for the seat must be a registered voter, be 21 years of age or older, and be a resident in and registered to vote in District 1.
The application can be found by clicking on the “In the Spotlight” box at www.greenvillenc.gov.
The application must be submitted to the City Clerk’s Office by 5 p.m. on Monday. For more information, call 329-4420.