City event to mesh music, tree lighting – Mount Airy News

City event to mesh music, tree lighting – Mount Airy News

DOBSON — The first day of a candidate filing period usually is accompanied by much activity, which was the case this week in Dobson.

“We had a very busy day in the Surry County Board of Elections (office) with 14 individuals filing for office,” county Director of Elections Michella Huff announced late Monday. That was the first day those seeking various local seats in Mount Airy and elsewhere in Surry officially could toss their hats into the ring for the 2022 election season.

However, one of those filing, Will Pfitzner — a candidate for a North Ward seat on the Mount Airy Board of Commissioners — has since withdrawn from the race.

Joanna Refvem also has filed to run as North Ward commissioner.

Meanwhile, three people who had announced their intentions to campaign for mayor also filed Monday: Jon Cawley, Teresa Lewis and the man now occupying that office, Ron Niland.

Cawley, 59, the longest-tenured member of the city council who has served since 2008, had announced in July that he intended to run for Mount Airy’s top elected position while making it clear he thinks Niland is doing a good job.

His decision to run for mayor dates to when David Rowe, who formerly held that position, resigned because of health reasons in October 2020.

Cawley has said he wants to have a different role in city government. While the mayor has no vote in its actions — except to break a tie — one thing that person can do is “tell our story,” Cawley said in July. The mayor serves as the face of the city and is its most-visible representative, he believes.

Niland, 66, made an official announcement that he would run for mayor during a council meeting last Thursday and followed up on that with his filing Monday.

“This is a transformative time in our city’s history,” Niland said Thursday, adding that he wants to continue the “great work” already begun and be part of Mount Airy’s vision concerning a number of projects.

Lewis also declared her mayoral candidacy months ago.

A former at-large commissioner in Mount Airy, she is a retired local businesswoman long associated with the WorkForce Unlimited staffing firm.

Lewis, 63, has listed her past experience in city government — including playing a key role in launching its recycling program about 10 years ago — as reasons that make her qualified to be in public office again.

She also has served on the boards of various community organizations over the years.

The filing of the three candidates Monday will force a primary in March for mayor of Mount Airy. This is required when three or more candidates seek a particular office.

Elections in Mount Airy are non-partisan.

Commissioner race

Since Cawley is not allowed to run for office and the commissioner seat he now holds, this has opened the door for others to file in the North Ward — where Cawley never faced opposition in three re-election bids.

And Pfitzner and Refvem wasted no time doing so on Monday when the candidates’ filing period opened at noon.

But Pfitzner, 28, said Tuesday that his …….


Event Sound/Lighting