Block to take mayor’s oath on Jan. 26

Staff report

LAURINBURG — Laurinburg’s mayor-elect, Matthew Block, will not be sworn in in time to conduct next week’s meeting of the Laurinburg City Council.

On Thursday, city officials announced that Block has scheduled his swearing-in for 5:30 p.m. on Jan. 26 in the Laurinburg City Council chambers.

Block missed his original swearing-in date on Dec. 22 after informing the city that he would not be present due to an “unforeseen medical matter.”

Earlier this month, the Laurinburg cardiologist said he would be out of town for several weeks, which would prevent him from taking office until later in January.

The mayor-elect has not returned calls for clarification regarding the delay in his swearing-in.

Until Block is sworn in, Mayor Tommy Parker will continue to serve as mayor in accordance with state statute, which directs that: “All city officers, whether elected or appointed, shall continue to hold office until their successors are chosen and qualified.”

Block defeated Parker during the November municipal elections with nearly 60 percent of the vote. Block pledged that he would work to reduce utility rates and try to persuade council to devote its resources to a public recreation center rather than a city hall and police station. He said he also wanted to involve more citizens in the political process and find innovative ways to enhance economic development.

Block, who served as mayor from 2007 to 2011, also campaigned on his past performance — during which the city initiated input sessions for the public, formed the Laurinburg Beautification Committee, hired Ed Burchins as city manager, and increased the number of monthly city council meetings.

Staff report

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