Wednesday, April 17, 2024

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
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Mayor’s critics removed from Graham advisory boards

At the end of this month’s Graham city council meeting Tuesday night, gone from three of its advisory boards were three long-serving committee members, two of whom have frequently clashed with, or criticized, the city’s mayor, Jennifer Talley.

Jeanette Beaudry, who had served on both the Graham Historical Museum Board and the Historic Resources Commission, was not re-appointed to either advisory board. Beaudry previously ran several times for city council.

Talley’s husband, Chuck Talley, was re-appointed to the museum board, and a new applicant, James Mullen was added. Mullen is a retired banker.

New applicants Terry Correira and Jim Young were added to the Historic Resources Commission; Beaudry, the only incumbent member seeking reappointment, was not reappointed.

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Beaudry has served on the museum board since 2015 and the Historic Resources Commission since 2018.

The council also set in motion reducing the size of the Historic Resources Commission from seven members to five.

Read story on all council appointments:

Meanwhile, Eric Crissman, a long-time member of the city’s planning board and its current vice chairman, was also skipped over for reappointment in preference to adding a new member, James Stockert.

[Story continues below photos.]

Planning board chairman Eric Crissman, left, was not reappointed to the board after completing two, three-year terms. ETJ member Chad Huffine will be recommended for reappointment as an ETJ member of the city’s planning board, a decision that will be made by Alamance County’s commissioners.
Jeanette Beaudry has served on the museum board since 2015 and the Historic Resources Commission since 2018.

Reappointed to the planning board was John Wooten, who has served one term, and the council will recommend to the county commissioners that Chad Huffine, an extraterritorial member on the planning board, be re-appointed by the commissioners.

According to their applications, neither Mullen, Correira, Young, nor Stockert has ever attended a meeting of the advisory board to which they were appointed.

For his part, Crissman, interviewed the following day, noted it had taken him about seven years to get an appointment to the planning board when he was first appointed in 2017, and he had served for just over six years (two full terms).

“I’m glad to have had the opportunity to serve,” Crissman said. “I hope I made a difference.”

Asked about her thinking in removing her critics, Talley said that Beaudry and Crissman had shown “biases,” not only against her, but others, as well.

While she said she did not mind their criticism of her, she did not think it was beneficial to the city to have advisory board members with “their own agendas” and who didn’t treat all residents who came before their boards with fairness and an open mind.

All in all, Talley said her philosophy was “picking people I know and who I think would do a good job.”

As to Evelyn Graves-Curtis, who was also not reappointed to the Graham Housing Authority after one, five-year term, Talley described her as friend, but said she thought Robert Sykes would be a good member.

In materials provided by the city after the meeting, it appears that Sykes is already on the Graham Housing Authority, with a term that lasts until 2024.

On his application, Sykes lists service on the ABC Board, to which he was reappointed, for more than 10 years and on the housing authority board for “25 plus years.”

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