Elkin’s top politico was recently elevated to second vice president of a major membership association representing 540 municipalities throughout North Carolina. Mayor Lestine Hutchens was elected to the position at the League of Municipalities annual conference held in Hickory last week. According to the League’s executive director, the board is comprised of municipal officials from across the state who are recognized as leaders among their colleagues. “I’m pleased with the new board our membership selected,” said Ellis Hankins, executive director of the league. “The board has capable public servants that will serve the league and our state well.” Mayor Hutchens said securing the position requires the official to be no stranger to public service. Hutchens has served the town of Elkin since 1992 as a commissioner and mayor. “I was very honored to have been chosen. I have been serving as a member of the league’s Planning and Environmental Committee for several years and chairperson this past year,” said Hutchens. “My involvement with that committee and on the board of directors made it possible.” Former Elkin Mayor Tom Gwyn also served on the board and as president. According to Hutchens, Gwyn encouraged her to work the League of Municipalities as a way of being involved in legislative issues that may have significant impact on Elkin’s citizens. If the league follows is history of natural progression of the position, next year Hutchens would be elevated to first vice president, and then president in the following year. Hutchens believes the position and involvement keeps Elkin in the forefront and helps protect the small town on the legislative front. “Our local legislative representatives do an excellent job but sometimes the full extent of what a law might do to Elkin is not always obvious. I try to be there to understand and with the league’s help to make the legislature aware of the effects of the laws before they are passed,” said Hutchens. Lloyd Payne, town manger of Elkin serves on the Planning and Finance Committee and Ray Parker, town attorney for Elkin serves on the Planning and Environment Committee of the North Carolina League of Municipalities.
Elkin Tribune-Monday, October 28, 2013