After a vote of Roxboro City Council, Benji Gault was named to fill the seat and unexpired term of the late Sandy Stigall.
Mayor Merilyn Newell opened the proceedings by thanking the applicants.
“I just want to express to all of you that are here tonight how much we appreciate your interest in serving the city,” Newell said. “It is difficult to only choose one of you because you all brought so many great qualities and desire to make a contribution and give back to our community. I hope you will take advantage of other opportunities to serve if you are not selected tonight. Just know that it was a tough decision for the council.”
Newell then opened the floor for nominations and comments from the council members.
Mark Phillips echoed Newell’s sentiments.
“I’d just like to second what you said,” Phillips said. “It’s a tough decision and we appreciate everyone who came out. I have to say I’ve been pleasantly surprised both times by the number of people who came in and especially the new people who came in the second time.”
Newell explained that votes on nominations would come at the reverse order of the nominations.
Reggie Horton opened with a nomination for Gault, followed by a nomination of former councilman Henry Daniel by Phillips.
Newell then called each name and asked for a show of hands for votes in favor of each nomination.
Phillips voted for Daniel while Horton, Mayor Pro Tem Tim Chandler and the newest council member Cynthia Petty raised their hands in favor of Gault.
Gault thanked the council for his selection.
“I really appreciate you guys selecting me for this position,” he said. “Hopefully, I can meet your standards and do the job. I think it will be a great learning experience for everybody. I’m really excited to fill the position and see what it’s all about.”
Gault told The Courier-Times that he was somewhat surprised to be selected.
“Obviusly, this was something I was striving for, but didn’t really expect to get,” Gault said. “The competition was pretty stout – there were some great applicants. I’m glad that they selected me. Hopefully I can do the job that I feel like I’m capable of doing.
Gault said he is looking forward to bringing more businesses to Roxboro.
“I’m really interested in trying to being some more businesses and more income into the city,” Gault said. “As we all know, money is really what makes the world go round. The more jobs you can bring, the more money people spend here, the more other businessess thrive – it’s a real snowball effect. Hopefully we can find a way to do that and satisfy the needs of the public. I know it’s a tough job, but I know we’ve got a great council and we can come together to make good decisions.”
Gault will officially be sworn in at the council’s meeting at 9 a.m., Nov. 18.