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New face fills vacant seat on Halifax council

Kristy Johnson is the new face on Halifax Town Council filling the Ward D position left vacant when former Councilman Phil Hammond moved to Oxford, N.C.

Council members appointed Johnson after reviewing submissions for the position during a special called closed session meeting Tuesday evening in Halifax Town Hall.

Johnson will fill the position until a special election is held Nov. 5.

Councilman Thomas Brown nominated Johnson on Tuesday evening, and hearing no other nominations, Mayor Richard “Dick” Moore closed the floor to further nominations.

The resolution to appoint Johnson was approved unanimously in a roll call vote. 

Moore thanked the three other citizens who expressed an interest and sought the position including Ron Reiter, Susan Granger and Phil Hollis.

He encouraged them to continue their involvement for the betterment of the town and to consider running in the November special election. 

The mayor said he would prepare a letter of appreciation to all who sought the appointment, and he instructed Town Manager Carl Espy to contact Judge Joel Cunningham to see if he would conduct a
swearing in ceremony for Johnson at the beginning of the March 12 town council work session.

Prior to going into closed session Tuesday evening, Planning Commissioner and former Halifax County Industrial Development Authority Executive Director Mike Sexton spoke to council about his positive work experience with Johnson when she served as authority operations manager from 2009-2011. 

Johnson told council while she and her family have only resided in Halifax for several years, she has made a point to be very engaged in downtown activities and at the Halifax Farmers Market along with serving on the town’s planning commission

She believes Halifax is a unique town with much to offer and great potential for the future, Espy said. 

Currently Johnson serves as the director of business development and operations at Riverstone Energy Center and serves on the Mentor Role Model board and the Halifax Young Professionals and Entrepreneurs Committee.

“I believe that my professional experience will be an asset to the town,” Johnson said in her letter of interest.

She said her experience as IDA operations manager and director of business development and operations at Riverstone has given her the opportunity to form excellent personal and professional relationships with community leaders, politicians, industry executives and tobacco commission staff, commission members and other granting agencies. 

She has also had experience maintaining a yearly budget in excess of $5 million and has managed $40 million in assets, according to her credentials.

“I am confident in my ability to fulfill the needs of the vacant town position,” Johnson said.

Also Tuesday evening, another candidate seeking the position addressed council.

Granger, an educator who works in Danville, cited her background in education, being co-owner of a downtown business, raising a family on North Main Street and being a resident of 30 plus years in the town as part of her qualifications for serving.  

According to the Espy, Granger expressed an interest in seeking the Ward D seat in the fall election.