15
Dec 11

Popular Southern Pines Mayor ends public service

An emotional Mike Haney this week ended a 14-year-career of public service to Southern Pines. The popular Haney, a member of the town council for ten years, was mayor for the last four. Haney chose not to seek re-election after –in his words, ‘Wrestling with the decision since the beginning of the year.” Haney who is 63, says he plans to devote more time to his growing business, Haney Financial Services, and to his family. He is being succeeded by David McNeill, who defeated fellow council member Chris Smithson in last month’s mayoral race. McNeill, a former Moore County Manager, and new council member Jim Simeon were each sworn in during this week’s town council meeting. Mike Fields, a Former Mayor who didn’t seek re-election ot the council, was instead appointed to serve the final two years of McNeill’s Four-year council term. “I think we are very fortunate to have someone like Mister Fields step forward again,” said McNeill. “I think it is very clear the citizens of Southern Pines know what they’re getting.” Smithson Lamented the fact the council didn’t conduct a more open search before appointing Fields. “My problem,” said Smithson, ‘is the process and not the person.”
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