ARCHDALE — After more than two decades of serving on Archdale City Council, a retired school teacher is the city’s newest mayor.
Lewis Dorsett was named mayor at the regular June meeting of City Council, when he was sworn into office as Archdale’s highest-elected official.
His appointment follows the retirement of Bert Lance-Stone, who served as the city’s mayor for more than 20 years. Dorsett has served on council for more than two decades, as well, dating back to the first of the millennium, when he and members of the current council helped stabilize the local government that lost three of its members that year.
Dorsett, who served as the councilman in Ward 4, retired in 2018 as a teacher at Trinity High School and serves on the board of the Archdale-Trinity Chamber of Commerce. Although sworn into office at the last meeting, Dorsett said last week that he will likely have an opportunity to do so ceremonially with his wife and family at a future meeting.
He assumes the position with the endorsement from the city’s retiring mayor, whom he once supported publicly when she was appointed as mayor in 2000. A council member at the time of her appointment, Dorsett supported a motion 21 years ago to make Lance-Stone mayor.
“I leave the city in good hands,” Lance-Stone said. “We have a good council that works together.”
According to state statute, a vacancy that occurs in an elective city office is to be filled by appointment of the city council. Any appointment would allow the person who fills the vacancy to serve until an elected successor takes office.
In cities where elections are conducted on a partisan basis, a person appointed to fill a vacancy in an elective office must be a member of the same political party as the person whom he or she replaces. In Archdale, council seats are non-partisan, so party affiliation is irrelevant.
This marks the second consecutive time Archdale’s mayoral seat was filled during the term of a retiring city official. Lance-Stone stepped in for J.J. Warren, who retired after 27 years of service to the city.
Defined by eras of remarkable continuity, the Archdale city government has enjoyed the stability of Dorsett and Councilmen Roger Blackwell, Trey Gray, Tim Williams and Larry Warlick. Given the transitions from Warren to Lance-Stone and now Lance-Stone to Dorsett, which gained the consensus public approval of council, it remains the next chapter will also be marked by stability.
Dorsett will presumably serve the remainder of Lance-Stone’s unexpired term, until the fall of next year, when Archdale’s general municipal election will be held.
Staff writer Daniel Kennedy can be reached at 336-888-3578, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.