Log in Newsletter


Hope Mills inaugurates new board members, makes committee appointments


Hope Mills’ Board of Commissioners — which bid farewell to Mayor Jackie Warner and Commissioner Grilley Mitchell — welcomed in new Mayor Jessie Bellflowers and Commissioner Elyse Craver during Monday’s meeting.

Here’s what else commissioners addressed:

“Suffering in Silence” phone collection

What happened: Clara Hines, the town’s code enforcement officer, presented the “Suffering in Silence” phone collection program to the board. 

Why it matters: The “Suffering in Silence” initiative aims to support local residents who have experienced domestic violence. The program is operated through a partnership with the Hope Mills Police Department’s Victim Advocate. As part of the initiative, collection boxes have been placed in different public buildings to collect new and used cell phones. According to a town press release, the goal of this program is “to end the ‘Suffering in Silence’ experienced by many victims of domestic violence.” Collected cell phones will then be distributed by the Hope Mills Police Department’s Victim Advocate to individuals on a case-by-case basis as part of safety planning. The initiative’s goal is to collect 79 cell phones.

Hines told the board that this year in Hope Mills, there have been 574 calls relating to domestic violence.

Collection bins for the phones are located in the lobby areas of Parks & Recreation, Town Hall and John W. Hodges Public Safety Center. Cell phones may be new or used, and wiped to original factory settings. Chargers are encouraged but not required.

Bid proposal

What happened: As part of the consent agenda, the board unanimously voted in favor of a bid proposal from M&E Contracting Inc. to upgrade the town hall’s doors to make them ADA compliant.

Why it matters: The back doors of the town hall are not currently in ADA compliance. According to interim Town Manager Chancer McLaughlin, the contract from M&E Contracting Inc. will be $40,883, which is currently budgeted. M&E Contracting was the lowest bidder for the project.

Inauguration of new board

Jessie Bellflowers was sworn in as mayor. The oath of office was administered by Senior Resident Superior Court Judge James Floyd Ammons Jr. Elyse Craver, a new commissioner, was also sworn in by Ammons.

Bellflowers defeated incumbent Mayor Jackie Warner in November; Craver finished third in a 13-person race, the only non-incumbent winner.

Commissioners Jerry Legge and Joanne Scarola were sworn in by Ashley Wyatt, the town clerk. Tracie Marley, a notary public and Commissioner Bryan Marley’s wife, gave him his oath of office. Laticia Daniels-Black, a notary public and McCray’s sister, swore in Commissioner Kenjuana McCray.

Afterward, the board unanimously voted McCray to another term as Mayor Pro Tem.

Approval of liaisons and commissioners

The board also approved the appointment of commissioners to several board committees.

  • Bellflowers will be part of the Audit/Finance Committee, Mid-Carolina Council of Governments, FCEDC Municipal Advisory Meeting Liaison and Mayor’s Coalition.
  • McCray will be part of the Audit/Finance Committee, Prime Movers Committee, the new Cultural Arts Committee and new Economic Development Committee.
  • Craver will be part of the Nominating Committee, Parks & Recreation Advisory Commission and new Economic Development Committee.
  • Legge will be part of the Nominating Committee and Appearance Committee.
  • Scarola will be part of the Veterans Affairs Committee, Cumberland County Air Quality Ambassadors Committee and Transportation Policy Board. Scarola will also serve as the liaison for the Hope Mills Area Chamber of Commerce.
  • Marley will be part of the Historic Advisory Committee and Regional Land Use Appearance Committee.

Other business

  • Commissioners voted unanimously to accept the results of the 2023 Hope Mills Municipal Election.
  • The board unanimously approved the draft minutes from three closed session meetings from Sept. 18, Oct. 2 and Oct. 16.
  • During presentations made to outgoing elected officials, McLaughlin presented plaques to Warner and Grilley Mitchell, and thanked them for their years of service. Warner’s 12 years as mayor were highlighted in particular. 

The board will next meet at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, in the Bill Luther Boardroom at the Hope Mills Town Hall.

Contact Hannah Lee at hannahleenews@gmail.com.

The CityView News Fund is a nonprofit organization that supports CityView’s newsgathering operation. Will you help us with a tax-deductible donation?

hope mills, new board, swearing in, inauguration, suffering in silence