Laurinburg Councilman Herbert Rainer says he will give up his council seat at the end of August.
Rainer has named former County Commissioner J.D. Willis as his replacement on the board.
The long-time District 1 councilman made the surprise announcement at Tuesday’s Laurinburg City Council meeting.
“I have enjoyed my association with the council and wish the best for the city,” Rainer said.
Rainer, who has been on the board since 1997, said he felt it was time to step down. The resignation become effective Aug. 31.
“This is not a rushed decision,” Rainer said. “I have contemplated this moment for a while and since I recently retired, now I feel is time to step aside.”
Rainer’s term representing his district ends next year.
Councilman Curtis Leak, who also represents District 1, said Rainer’s leadership will be missed.
“Herbert wants to spend more time with his family and do some other things and that is understandable,” Leak said. “He has been on council a long time. During that time, he has always tried to do what is in the best interest of Laurinburg and his constituents.”
Mayor Tommy Parker also praised Rainer’s service to the city.
“I served for about 11 years with Councilman Rainer and have enjoyed it,” Parker said. “He was perceived to be very good and was always re-elected without any trouble. That speaks volumes about his service and the quality of his work. He will be missed without a doubt.”
Council is expected to consider Rainer’s recommendation at next month’s council meeting. Council can accept Rainer’s nominee or approve one of its own. But it has been the informal policy of council to accept the outgoing council member’s recommendation.
Willis, 64, said he welcomed the opportunity to serve again. Willis, a former chairman of the county Board of Commissioners, served on the Scotland board for 22 years.
“I would be honored to serve the city of Laurinburg and Scotland County again,” Willis said. “It will be good to get back into the political arena. If appointed, I plan to be a team player working for the betterment of Laurinburg.”
Parker said that he did not expect there to be opposition to the Willis appointment.
“I assume that he will be approved … I don’t see any reason he shouldn’t be,” Parker said. “He certainly brings a wealth of experience with him. I think he will be an excellent council member and look forward to working with him.”
“J.D. brings a lot to the table,” Leak said. “He will add another dimension to council. Not only does he have county government experience, but he has served on a regional economic development board.”
Willis also spent 10 years as the chairman of the social services board, served as the director of the Laurinburg Jaycees, is both a former director and former board member of the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce and served on the North Carolina State Family Planning Board.
Willis has also chaired the Scotland County ABC board and the Scotland County Economic Development Board. He has served on the Southeastern Economic Development Board.
He lives at 806 West Allen Lane with his wife, Marie. They have two daughters: Tameka and Cheavonne.