Bonnie Whitaker was sworn in as the newest member of the Graham city council Tuesday night.
She will serve the remaining two years of the council term of Jennifer Talley, who was elected mayor in November.
Whitaker, a seven-year Graham resident, has served as the chairman of the city’s appearance commission and a member of the Historic Resources Commission, two of the city’s advisory committees.
Whitaker was selected unanimously last month by the other four council members – Talley, and councilmen Ricky Hall, Bobby Chin, and Joey Parsons – from 12 applicants who applied for the post.
She also becomes the first openly-gay member of the Graham city council or any local municipal board in Alamance County.
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A 25-year U.S. Air Force veteran who retired in 2010 as a Senior Master Sergeant, Whitaker, 59, he has lived in Graham for seven years. She said she “likes the small town feel” Graham offers.
She now works as a quality assurance representative for the Defense Contract Management Agency in Greensboro.
A Raleigh native, Whitaker graduated from UNC-Wilmington.
Whitaker lives on Greenview Drive in Graham with her partner of 17 years, Patty Hays. Hays held the personal Bible (originally her grandmother’s) that Whitaker brought on which to take the oath of office Tuesday night; the oath was administered by clerk of superior court Meredith Edwards. Also with Whitaker was her sister, Amy Whitaker of Clayton.
Whitaker lives in the Valleyfield subdivision off Lacy Holt Road in the southern part of the city. At her first meeting on the dais, Whitaker asked to be recused when an issue on parking on one of the cul-de-sacs in her subdivision came before the council from Judy Hall, Ricky Hall’s wife. Whitaker is the president of the home owners’ association. The Halls also live in the Valleyfield subdivision, and Ricky Hall was also recused from the cul-de-sac parking issue.
See earlier story (from February) on her selection: https://alamancenews.com/graham-city-council-names-bonnie-whitaker-to-fill-out-two-year-term/