An Archer Lodge councilman who helped the community become a town is stepping down because of his health.
Mayor Mike Gordon announced on Monday that Councilman Jeff Barnes had submitted a letter of resignation. Gordon did not cite a specific ailment, but said Gordon’s illness “may affect his decision-making, and he decided it’s the best time to step down.”
Barnes, a 58-year-old Archer Lodge native, has served as a councilman since 2009, when the town won incorporation. Town residents elected Barnes in 2011, and his four-year term expires in 2015.
State law says the Town Council will appoint someone to fill the vacancy. The appointee will serve out the remainder of Barnes’ term.
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Gordon said the town has 30 days to make the appointment, and he hopes the council can make a decision in early August.
Barnes grew up on a farm in Archer Lodge and graduated from Clayton High School and N.C. State University.
He joined the Archer Lodge Fire Department in 1972 and eventually served as chief from 1987 to 2000. He is also a past president of the Johnston County Fireman’s Association and the Johnston County Fire Chief’s Association.
A member of White Oak Baptist Church, Barnes is an active volunteer and board member at the Archer Lodge Community Center, the town’s longtime gathering place for recreation, events and music.
“He has been an asset to this community and this town his whole life,” Gordon said.
Barnes’ profile on Archer Lodge’s website says he is an avid hunter and fisherman who loves the outdoors. He’s a member of the N.C. Forestry Association and an active tree farmer and wildlife manager.
Barnes worked for Bobbitt Design Build for more than 30 years before retiring as vice president of construction. He used his background in design to oversee the construction of the Archer Lodge Town Hall in 2013.
Councilman Carlton Vinson said in addition to thanking Barnes for his service, it’s important to recognize his sacrifice in making the decision to step down.
“That in and of itself took great courage,” Vinson said. “I would like to applaud him for that.”