Wilhelmenia Rembert is a former County Commissioner of At-Large, who served as Vice President between 2004 and 2006, and a former member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board.
CHARLOTTE, NC — The Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners will vote to have Wilhelmenia Rembert temporarily fill the empty seat of county commissioner at-Large.
The seat is currently open due to the Board’s approval of a medical leave request from Commissioner General Ella Scarborough in February.
Rembert was up against three other candidates for the empty Greater County Commission seat left open by Ella Scarborough.
Stewards said she leads the field of finalists
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“Dr. Rembert, she, wow, she had such a depth of understanding,” Susan Rodriguez-McDowell, the District 6 commissioner.
Rembert is a former County Commissioner of At-Large, who served as vice-chairman between 2004 and 2006, and a former member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board.
The jury asked candidates questions from a set of 8 pre-determined questions covering the topics of budgeting, fairness, resident engagement, personal reflection and teamwork.
Each candidate had three minutes of opening and closing statements. Followed by questions, the members of the jury asked them questions which they had up to 7 minutes to answer.
“When I decided how I wanted to live my professional life, I chose the service profession, to give back to my community to serve individuals, families, communities, organizations,” Rembert said.
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The commissioners also considered Beverly Earle to be a former member of the North Carolina House of Representatives who served District 101, which covers Mecklenburg County, from 1995 to 2018.
“The many leadership positions I’ve held have prepared me for this position,” Earle said. “I have shown my ability to work with others on many levels. I can work across party lines, which is very, very important in politics.”
Also in the running was Mary McCray, a former at-large member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education. McCray said she served as chair of the board for seven years.
“I stand before you not to ask for another school board term, but as a former elected official who served the people here in Mecklenburg County,” McCray said. “I have the dedication, the time and the ability to help constituents who may have been overlooked.
Also in the running, Sam Spencer, expert in democratic communication and strategist. He also chaired the Charlotte Meckenburg Planning Commission for several years.
“I’m usually the campaign manager, I’m the communicator, I’m the guy behind the curtain. And I think leading from behind is very important,” Spencer said. “And right now when we have so many competing interests in government, and we honestly have people who want to burn it all down.”
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The stewards said it depended on how Rembert answered the interview questions.
“It’s process-driven,” said George Dunlap, Chairman of the Board of Meck BOCC. “There’s not a single question she didn’t answer. Some of the other candidates tried to answer some questions but didn’t go through the process.”
In response to an answer about how Rembert would manage competing needs within a budget, she spoke about her past experiences on the board.
“The advantage for County today is that they are certainly in a much better position than I was in when I was in those roles,” Rembert said. “And I had to build those budgets by asking the people who reported directly to me to assess what their needs were, not what their wants were, but what their needs were.”
The jury was also impressed with the clarity of his response to a question asking contestants to name one thing they thought would require the most additional resources if new resources were available.
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“Because you asked me to be specific, I want to do that and say I would choose affordable housing,” Rembert said. “And I would because of the growing incidence and prevalence of homelessness in our community.”
When discussing the candidate’s interviews, before submitting a recommendation, Dunlap said that answer made her stand out.
“When we asked you to give us one, many applicants gave us multiple ones,” Dunlap said. “Now there was a reason to ask that one thing because I would agree with all the candidates, certainly everything that was mentioned is important. But what we wanted to know was what that one thing was. ?”
The Board of Directors will ultimately vote to appoint Rembert as the temporary County Commissioner of At-Large until December 5, 2022. The new Commissioner will be sworn in at a ceremony on March 22 when the term is launched.
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