After the election in November, the Archer Lodge Town Council held its organizational meeting last week, swearing in three incumbent councilmen and the young town’s first and only mayor.
Councilmen Mike Mulhollem, Clyde Castleberry and Mark Jackson and Mayor Mike Gordon took their oaths of office before Johnston County Clerk of Court Michelle Ball. Since voters made no changes to the council at the polls, the council itself shook things up slightly, tapping Mulhollem to succeed Carl Vinson as mayor pro tem.
All but Jackson served on Archer Lodge’s incorporation committee in 2009 as the community became a town. Each councilman reflected on the short history of the town and where he’d like to see it go.
“It’s truly been an honor and a humbling experience to serve as the town’s mayor,” Gordon said. “Sometimes it’s a challenge on a daily basis, but when you do something good for someone else, it makes it feel worthwhile at the end of the day.”
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Castleberry received the most votes in the four-person race for three open council seats.
“It’s been an interesting six years,” he said. “We’re working to set up the path for the town.”
Despite being an incumbent, this was Jackson’s first election win, as he took over the seat vacated by Jeff Barnes when illness forced him to resign last year. Barnes was in the audience last week for the swearing-in ceremonies.
“I just want to say thanks to all the votes – whether you voted for me or not,” Jackson said. “I appreciate the opportunity to serve – that’s a big thing for me. I’m always trying to do something for the community.”
Vinson relinquished his six-year role as mayor pro tem and nominated Mulhollem to assume the post.
“I’ve been humbled and fulfilled by serving as mayor pro tem,” Vinson said. “That being said, it’s always good to move things around. ... You have to go back a long way to find a time in Archer Lodge where a Mulhollem wasn’t serving in a leadership role.”
Mulhollem accepted the position and pledged to continue to lean on his upbringing and experience to guide his decisions on the council.
“My parents set an example of service for the community,” he said. “All my life I’ve hoped to stand up to what I’ve learned.”
Drew Jackson; 919-553-7234, Ext. 104; @jdrewjackson