Forrest Fleming retired from the Morganton City Council on Monday, Nov. 4, after 12 years of service. The City honored Fleming with a public reception prior to Monday night’s City Council meeting.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to have worked with all the great City employees and to serve this community in this capacity,” Fleming said. “(City Manager) Sally (Sandy) has put together a great team, and all the people I’ve worked with have been great.”

A continuous flow of people filtered in and out of the City Hall lobby Monday evening during Fleming’s reception. During the reception, Mayor Ronnie Thompson, City Manager Sally Sandy and former City Councilman John Cantrell each gave brief remarks on Fleming’s service to the City.

“It is really an honor to get to take part in this and to tell Forrest thank you for his years of service, and for all that he has meant to our community, City employees and staff, and for all the decisions he’s made,” Sandy said. “And we want to thank him for all the work that he’s done on different boards and organizations that he’s served on representing the city – I truly appreciate that and appreciate him giving his time and efforts for all of us. It has been my delight and my honor to get to serve under Fleming.”

Fleming was first elected to the City Council to represent District 2 in 2007. He served three consecutive terms before retiring. In addition to his time on the City Council, Fleming has been a civil servant in many other ways.

Fleming has served on the City’s Finance Committee, Personnel Committee, Utility Committee, and the Street Committee, and has served on behalf of the City of Morganton in the North Carolina League of Municipalities, the National League of Cities, and ElectriCities of North Carolina.

During Fleming’s 12 years on the City Council, he embraced and promoted Morganton’s participation in the North Carolina Main Street Program, was a supporter of public recreation as a cornerstone of the community, served as chairman of the Soap Box Derby, served as a Western Piedmont Council Of Government Policy Board Member, and logged many volunteer hours for the Historic Morganton Festival and the Red, White and Bluegrass Festival.

Even though he has retired from the City Council, Fleming said he will still be active in the community through volunteering and continuing to serve on various boards and commissions.

“We have accomplished some good things in the past few years,” Fleming said. “Just to name a few: Morganton Heights Shopping Center, a soon-to-be new hotel in Downtown, a Longhorn Steakhouse, and, of course, the (North Carolina) School of Science and Mathematics, which will be opening in the fall of 2021. We all know there is still much to be done with the completion of the (North Carolina) School of Science and Mathematics, the Broughton Reuse Project, another new hotel, the completion of the connector road from South Sterling Street to West Parker Road, and several other economic development projects. As you may recall, our friend from the past, Gordon Queen, said, ‘Morganton will grow, whether you like it or not.’ And how true that is.”

Forrest Fleming, first elected in 2007, retired from the Morganton City Council on Nov. 4, 2019, after 12 years of service.

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