Bermuda Run swears in new mayor, board members

Published 9:38 am Friday, December 27, 2019

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BERMUDA RUN – It was a time of transition for the town council in December’s meeting with one councilman moving up to become mayor, two newly elected council members taking their seats up front in town hall and two veteran councilmen stepping aside.

Rick Cross, who was appointed to the council in March 2017, was sworn in as mayor after running unopposed in the Nov. 5 election. Political newcomers Curtis Capps and Heather Coleman also took the oaths for office as council members.

John Guglielmi, who won a seat on the council in 2007 and finished his many years of service the last few months as mayor, bid farewell along with Jerry West, who was elected to the council in 2011.

Cross never envisioned becoming mayor after moving to Bermuda Run 12 years ago and then becoming a member of the planning board three years ago before his appointment to the council less than a year later.

“Little did I know I would be standing here tonight,” Cross said after officially becoming mayor.  “It seems a bit surreal, but I could not be more optimistic about what is going on in this town. With our comprehensive plan, starting in 2012, then (updating) it in 2017, our town wrote what we wanted to do and what we wanted to be.

“When I look back what we first started with, we’ve come a long way. We have a long way to go. And that’s exciting to me. We have a vision. We have strategies. We have people on our staff who move mountains to make things happen for us.”

Before bringing the new council members up front, Guglielmi and West were recognized.

Cross talked about how much he learned from both and expressed his thanks for their contributions.

Town Manager Lee Rollins remembered Guglielmi being part of the council in 2009 when he was hired and said he valued his thoughtfulness, leadership and being the eyes and ears of his constituents.

Rollins said that West’s experience in business brought a lot to the council, and he also appreciated his thoughtfulness and candor, saying both departing council members were always thinking about what was best for the town.

“Both have always impressed upon the rest of the council that there may be individual thought and there may veracious debate, but when it’s all said in done, it’s one council, and we all walk lock step in whenever that final decision is made,” Rollins said.

Mike Ernst, one of the returning council members who was appointed mayor pro tempore later in the meeting, said Guglielmi and West “brought so much knowledge to the council and did an outstanding job over their years of serving. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them and what they brought.”

Chris Fowler, the other returnee to the board, said he appreciated Guglielmi and West “working tirelessly. They had Bermuda Run in their hearts.”

Guglielmi said that it was “an honor to serve on this council. It has never been a job to me. It’s always been a privilege.”

West said he appreciated being a part of the council and “at this particular point in time, when you step away you have mixed feelings, but it’s time to hang it up and let somebody else have a shot at it.”

After a brief recess, Capps and Coleman were sworn in to their positions on the council – joining Ernst and Fowler from the previous board.

Capps, who is president/general manager of Parkway Ford of Lexington, said he has lived in Bermuda Run since its inception in 1999 and beyond, and that former mayor John Ferguson was one of his first friends when he came to town.

Coleman is president of Vista Realty in Winston-Salem and said that she was excited about the opportunity.

On the new council members, Cross said, “I spent a fair bit of time with each of them over the past month or so, and I could not be more energized by what I feel from them. I’m very excited for our 2020 and beyond council.”

Also in the meeting, the council appointed Cross to be Bermuda Run’s representative to the Transportation Advisory Committee, which is composed of elected officials from Davidson, Davie, Forsyth and Stokes counties, with Fowler being appointed as the alternate.