Roanoke Rapids City Council Tuesday will consider filling the unexpired term of the late Carol Cowen, who died last month.
Council meets at 5:15 p.m. in Lloyd Andrews City Meeting Hall on Jackson Street.
There have been two people who have expressed an interest in the seat — Sandra Bryant, a human resources specialist with Halifax Electric and Greg Lawson, a retired Roanoke Rapids police chief who also served a previous four-year term on council.
Cowen would have been up for re-election in November.
Bryant said today if she fails to gain the appointment Tuesday at this point she still plans to run for the seat in November.
“I am seeking the appointment to the Roanoke Rapids City Council seat vacated by the untimely passing of Councilwoman Carol Cowen because I would bring another perspective to decision-making for our city,” Bryant said. “Growing up in Roanoke Rapids, I have seen many positive changes and I would like to see our town continue to progress and I would like to participate in that progress.”
She said, “As a Roanoke Rapids High School graduate I worked and raised a family here as well as served on numerous boards and committees and I feel I have much to contribute to the future of our city.”
Bryant said Cowen “has been a dear friend of my family for many years. Our relationship goes back many years when she taught some of my siblings and her daughter and my younger sister went through high school together.
“We had become friends and she had become a big supporter of (Bryant’s husband Halifax County Board of Commissioners Chairman) Vernon (Bryant) for his elections and we always kept up with our families. She and my mom were friends and were Belk buddies and met there on almost a weekly basis for their shopping. It would be an honor to serve in a position that she held. I feel that she really cared for all people.”
In a copy of her platform Bryant said she would seek to increase economic development without raising taxes; support efforts to attract large-scale companies with competitive salaries to the area; support businesses and resources to attract and retain the younger generation such as in the arts, museums, coffee shops, yoga studios and co-working spaces; provide more services for youth and senior citizens through focusing on the underserved and underrepresented people in the community and expand and update parks, recreation facilities and services.
Her platform also includes the following:
Provide better housing, affordable home ownership and safer neighborhoods; foster an inclusive environment to promote citizen involvement and engagement by Roanoke Rapids residents working together for the good of the city.
Lawson said today he had already planned to run for the seat in November. “I’ve expressed if the council was interested in filling her remaining term I would be interested in that. It would be an honor to assume the remainder of her term just to honor her and her legacy on the council.”
Said Lawson: “I want the council to make the best decision for the city and if I were nominated and was voted to fill her term it would be an honor. I think it’s good the council has choices and it gives them a lot to consider. I am interested and it would be a privilege to fill her term.”
Lawson said he was excited about the “potential opportunity to serve. I wish everyone involved the best. I had made it known I was going to run anyway. It’s unfortunate council has to make this consideration under the circumstances of Carol’s passing.”
Lawson said he would not be disappointed if Bryant got the appointment Tuesday. “If Mrs Bryant is chosen that’s great. If she decides to run then I think that’s great, too. It would be great to have great choices. She’s certainly a good lady. I’ve worked with Vernon many years. They’re a good family. When good candidates are up for consideration that’s the most healthy way for the election process to go. I think I’m qualified and knowing the culture of the community I feel like I’d be a good fit.”