Terry Hobgood definitely will have a full plate thanks to the retirement of Benson Town Clerk Connie Sorrell.
Mr. Hobgood was officially sworn in during the board of commissioners bi-monthly meeting Tuesday night as her successor.
“I’m excited about the opportunity,” he said. “I’ve been here for four years now, so I get an extension of roles. Looking forward to the new role and the new challenges.”
Mr. Hobgood is not totally unfamiliar with some aspects of his new position. He’s filled in for the retiring Ms. Sorrell during board of commissioners’ meetings. But there’s always new things he will be faced with and for now, at least, he has no fears or apprehensions.
“I don’t know how challenging it will be, but I’ll find out,” he said. “I took minutes a couple of times when Connie was on vacation so its going to be the other paperwork and record keeping. But I think that’s in my wheelhouse with a library and museum background.”
While Mr. Hobgood will take over most of the clerical aspects of the role, he will also continue to serve Benson in his present position as the cultural arts and media director, a role he’s had since the town lost its economic development director.
“Hopefully, it will work well,” Mr. Hobgood said. “It will keep me busy, but I think we’ll figure it all out.”
Mr. Hobgood’s primary role will still be with the library and museum, the duties of the town clerk have been altered to fit the situation. The administrative and human resources duties are now going to fall under the duties assigned to :s seat (in the office),” Mr. Hobgood said. “But I’m taking over the official clerk duties.”
Mr. Hobgood is also breaking a sort of barrier as he takes over the job. He is one of the few male town clerks in North Carolina — something not lost on Mayor William Massengill.
“There are very few male clerks,” the mayor said. “I think there are some other ones in the state. We’re proud to be blazing the trail in Benson doing things before other people do it. It’s just another opportunity to do something different.”
This is Mr. Hobgood’s first foray into a public service-type role and he admits there’s a lot to learn. He also says he’s looking forward to the challenge that comes along with understanding those new duties. “I’m looking forward to learning all of it, I like learning,” he said. “I’m looking forward to getting into the historical documents and things such as that.”
Mayor Massengill says the expertise Mr. Hobgood has developed through his education and his current position will fit the needs of the town well. “I feel like he’s going to do a really good job,” Mayor Massengill said. “He’s already doing a lot of our written communication. And he’s got a degree in film and all that. A lot of that stuff is about archiving and saving. So I think it’s a really great chance to sort of mold some of his expertise together into the clerk role.”
Before she left, Ms. Sorrell offered some simple, but very useful advice to her replacement. “She’s been great,” Mr. Hobgood said. “The most important advice was to call her the second I have any questions, so I’m going to take her up on that.”