The Harnett County Board of Commissioners welcomed two new members and saw two others sworn in to their first full terms after previously being appointed to fill vacant seats on the Board. The County held a swearing-in ceremony for the four commissioners during this morning’s Harnett County Board of Commissioners Meeting, which took place in the Harnett County Commons Area in Lillington.
Incumbent District 2 Commissioner Mark B. Johnson and District 3 Commissioner W. Brooks Matthews were sworn in to their first full terms on the Board after both were appointed to fill vacant seats on the Board. Johnson joined the Board on July 15, 2019, following the passing of former Commissioner Abe Elmore, and Matthews joined the Board on Oct. 5, 2020, following former Chairman Howard Penny’s resignation to serve in the North Carolina House of Representatives. Both commissioners won their first elections for their seats on November 3.
District 4 Commissioner Lewis W. Weatherspoon and District 5 Commissioner Matthew B. Nicol joined the Board following victories in the November 3 General Election. All four newly-elected commissioners ran unopposed in November following victories in the March 3 Primary Election.
County Attorney Dwight Snow served as the Master of Ceremonies and Senator Jim Burgin provided the invocation. North Carolina Court of Appeals Judge Philip Berger Jr. administered the oaths of office, and Assistant County Manager Coley Price provided the benediction.
County Manager Paula Stewart congratulated the Commissioners. “I would like to congratulate the new Board members, and welcome them to the Harnett County team,” stated Stewart. “I anticipate that their skills and experience will be an asset to our Board, and I look forward to working with them.”
During the meeting, the new board also reorganized, selecting a new Chairman and Vice-Chairman. District 3 representative, W. Brooks Matthews, received the votes to assume Chairman responsibilities, and District 4 representative, Lewis W. Weatherspoon, received the votes to assume Vice-Chairman responsibilities.
Brooks Matthews expressed his appreciation for being selected as the Chairman. “I am honored to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Harnett County,” stated Matthews. “I’m looking forward to working with my fellow Commissioners to do everything we can to continue to move Harnett County forward as set forth by previous Boards.”
Weatherspoon also expressed his gratitude for being selected as Vice-Chairman. “I’m honored in the confidence instilled by my fellow Board members to elect me as Vice-Chairman,” stated Weatherspoon. “I look forward to working with the Commissioners moving forward for the good of Harnett County.”
District 2 Commissioner Mark B. Johnson was appointed to the Harnett County Board of Commissioners in 2019, and served as Chairman from September 2020 through December 2020. As a Commissioner, Johnson serves on the Mid-Carolina Aging Advisory Committee, Harnett Properties Corporation, Averasboro Township Tourism Development Authority, Cape Fear River Assembly Board, and the Sandhills Center for Mental Health DDSHS Board of Directors. He is a Navy veteran and had a 30-year career in public service with the State of North Carolina. Johnson continues to be an active member of his community. He co-founded the Dunn Area History Museum and volunteers regularly with the General William C. Lee Airborne Museum in Dunn. In 2019, Johnson was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine – the highest award for state service granted by the Office of the Governor. He was also named 2018 Dunn Man of the Year by the Dunn Area Chamber of Commerce. Johnson resides in Dunn with his wife of 39 years, Ruby. He has two sons, Matthew and Jeffrey.
District 3 Commissioner W. Brooks Matthews has over 40 years of experience in public education in Harnett County. In his career, he has served as a teacher, coach, athletic director, and principal at various Harnett County schools. Since 2014, Matthews has been Deputy Superintendent with Harnett County Schools. He is an active member of his community, having served on the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Board of Directors, Campbell University Alumni Association Board of Directors, Harnett County Habitat for Humanity Board of Directors, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Carolina: Robin Paige Club Advisory Board. Matthews is a long-time resident of Harnett County and resides in Buies Creek with his wife of 45 years, Rosa Maria. He has three children – Maria, Jennifer, and Heather – and six grandchildren.
District 4 Commissioner Lewis Weatherspoon previously held local elected office in the Town of Angier. In 2013, Weatherspoon was elected as to the Angier Board of Commissioners and served until 2015 before being elected Mayor. He has served on the CAMPO Executive Board, NC League of Municipalities Board of Directors, NC Mayors Association, the Executive Board of the Triangle J Council of Government, and the Harnett County Mayors Association. Weatherspoon resides in Angier with his wife of 38 years, Peggy Pollard Weatherspoon. He has three sons – Jaimie Smith, Brian Smith, and Brad Weatherspoon – two granddaughters and one grandson.
District 5 Commissioner Matthew Nicol has run a real estate business, Carolina Lakes Lakeside Realty, LLC, for the past 3 years in Harnett County. Prior to his career in real estate, Nicol joined the Unites States Army and served as a non-commissioned officer. Nicol resides in western Harnett County with his wife, Alyssa, and five children, Tyler, Hailey, Sam, Madelyn, and Charlee.