Thursday, 14 March 2019 16:55

'Hello, Goodbye': Hamlet council welcomes Stuart, says goodbye to Waters

Written by
Rate this item
(1 Vote)

HAMLET — City Council members this week said hello to their latest addition and goodbye to a longtime public servant.

Maurice Stuart was sworn into office Tuesday, repeating the oath of office administered by City Clerk Gail Strickland while surrounded by his mother, other family members and friends.

He was voted in by the council at a special meeting Feb. 27 to replace David Lindsay, who resigned prior to the February meeting.

A Hamlet native who moved back in 2014, Stuart was one of five candidates to apply for the position. In his application letter, Stuart said, “I am now ready to give back to Hamlet what it gave to me.”

In addition to his management background, Stuart is a member of the Human Relations Council, a recreational basketball coach, and a volunteer with the Juvenile Crime Prevention Council Teen Court.

Mayor Bill Bayless later read a proclamation detailing the career of outgoing Police Chief Scott Waters for his 28 years of dedicated service to the city of Hamlet. Waters started as a patrol officer in 1991 and served in numerous ranks until his promotion to police chief in November 2014.  

Waters recently announced he will be retiring on March 29 of this year. North Carolina statute 20187.2A permits the city to declare the badge and service sidearm of the retiring officer as surplus and, upon request, both can be given to the retiring officer.

The department will donate Waters’ badge to him when he retires and “sell” his service weapon to him for the sum of $1.  Bayless pointed out that it is tradition for another officer to pay the $1, and this time was no different — as a former trooper with the N.C. State Highway Patrol, Bayless paid Waters’ $1.

Councilmen Jesse McQueen and Eddie Martin are also both former law enforcement officers.

“To the people, I love you, that’s why I do it. I am a public servant, put here by God,” Waters said. “My heart bleeds blue. I will deeply miss the men and women in law enforcement and I’m going to deeply miss the men and women in the Hamlet Police Department.”

In other business:

  • two new members were appointed to the Hamlet Depot Board, bringing the total on the board to 15.    
  • budget amendments from the mid-year budget meeting last Friday were approved.
  • a proclamation was read by Bayless in recognition of Arbor Day on April 5.  

City manager Jonathan Blanton said that the property declared surplus at the February council meeting will be auctioned off on govworldauctions.com from March 20 to April 3.  If anyone wants to inspect items, they will be at the public works department.