City council chamber to be named for Whitley
By Jefferson Weaver, The News Reporter
Although his name won’t be over the front door, the new City Hall in Whiteville will still honor one of the leading citizens of the community.
City council plans to name the council chambers in the new municipal building in honor of Mayor Horace Whitley, the longtime local leader for whom the now-demolished city office building was named. Whitley led efforts to obtain the 1938 Post Office for a new city hall. Whitley was mayor for 34 years. He died in 2006.
The Depression-era Post Office was used as the city’s main office building for 30 years before problems with seepage and mold became impractical to repair.
City Manager Darren Currie noted at Tuesday’s Council meeting that staff preserved the 10-inch metal letters that were installed across the Madison Street side of the old City Hall. The discussion about naming the building or council chambers in Whitley’s honor came up when Currie updated the council on progress of the new building project, noting that the board would need to make decisions on signage in the near future.
“It’s hard to believe we’re at that stage,” he said.
The building was originally scheduled to be finished in February, but poor soil conditions and Hurricane Florence delayed construction.
“We have had serious problems with the weather,” Currie said. The building is now expected to be finished this spring.
Mayor Terry Mann said he felt that at least the council chamber, if not the building, should be dedicated to Whitley. He noted Whitley’s dedication to the city’s progress as well as preservation of the town’s quality of life.
“To a lot of people he was Whiteville,” Mann said.
Council agreed in principle to name the chamber in Whitley’s honor. Details regarding the building are expected to be finalized at a future council meeting.
(Publisher’s Note: City Councilman Justin Smith is editor of The News Reporter. To avoid any conflict of interest, he has no role in Whiteville City Council coverage.)