By John Peters
February 25, 2014
Last week the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners selected Jim Armbrister to fill the vacant seat left by the death of Scott Graham.
This selection, and the process, is laudable for at least three reasons.
First, the process itself. The board kept the selection transparent, accepting applications from those who were interested in the post, allowing those who applied to address the board — again in public — and then voting on the selection.
In recent years several local boards have had the duty of filling vacancies brought about by various reasons, and the Mount Airy board has been a shining example of how this should be done — above board, in public, without a hint of back-room deals.
Second, in the choice. Armbrister comes to the board after a career in local law enforcement, having served in various positions with the Mount Airy Police Department. He understand public service. He has a good sense of what the community is about. And he brings first-hand, practical knowledge of how a local government agency operates out in the field, every day.
This should not be taken as a criticism of any of those who applied, but we cannot think of a better person to fill this vacancy.
Third, in the strong field of candidates who applied. There are some incredibly talented folks among those who sought the seat, people who bring a wide variety of experience and knowledge to the table. While we’re sure those who were not named to the seat were disappointed, we hope they will continue to look for ways to serve their community.
There are a host of committees and bodies — some appointed by city commissioners, some not — that could use their expertise and ability. We hope they will seek out those opportunities, because Mount Airy will be better for their efforts if they do.