Discussion begins on potential successors
Explaining that she is moving out of Dare County, Brandi Rheubottom announced last week that she is resigning from the seat on the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners that she has occupied since late 2011.
And, while the Kill Devil Hills board has the option of appointing or not appointing a replacement to fill out the remainder of Rheubottom’s term — which ends next year — a decision on how to proceed may come as soon as next week.
In a letter to the town staff and the board dated Aug. 22, Rheubottom said her resignation would become effective “upon my change of residency,” which is expected to occur in October. She also indicated that she will continue to serve as the director of the Thomas A. Baum Senior Center located in Kill Devil Hills.
Rheubottom told the Sentinel that, due to a “personal issue,” she was moving to Powells Point in Currituck County, which would preclude her from continuing to serve on the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners.
Asked what she would miss most after departing the board, Rheubottom told the Sentinel that, “I think I’m going to miss being able to talk to people and be a liaison between people and the town. That was a lot more fun that I thought it would be.”
Her pending departure will leave an opening on the five-member board, and as Kill Devil Hills Mayor Sheila Davies noted, “I would like to think that the process [for deciding about a replacement] will be defined,” in the near future.
The last time someone was replaced in such a fashion on the town’s board of commissioners occurred in 2012 after KDH Commissioner Bob Woodard was elected to the Dare County Board of Commissioners. In that case, the town board replaced him with a respected and very well known quantity — unanimously selecting Bill Pitt, who had previously served as Kill Devil Hills Commissioner from 1997 to 2005. (Pitt passed away in 2016.)
As Davies put it, in that situation, the board felt an urgency to turn to someone like Pitt to replace Woodard because, “We were right in the throes of trying to get beach nourishment finalized.”
Conversely, when Kill Devil Hills Commissioner Paul Buske resigned that post in 2013, citing medical issues, the board decided not to select a replacement — in part because Buske’s term was expiring that same year.
“In this case,” Davies said, referring to Rheubottom’s departure, “I would not anticipate that we would wait.”
Noting that already, “there are certain names that have been tossed out that would be great prospects,” Davies added that she is personally leaning toward a more formal application process for selecting a replacement for Rheubottom.
In theory, the board could also resolve the matter in one evening by picking a successor without going through a more thorough process. The one requirement, Davies noted, is that “the actual decision on an appointee has to be done at a public meeting.”