At the March 20 Hickory City Council meeting, Charlotte Williams officially took her oath of office and was sworn in as the new Ward 2 Alderwoman. A reception to honor Williams was held in the City Hall Atrium prior to the Council meeting.
Williams fills the Ward 2 seat that became vacant with the passing of Councilman Vernon Tarlton in January 2018. The term of the position expires December 2019. Given the length of time remaining on the term, Hickory City Council chose to utilize an open application process to make the appointment.
Williams was among eight highly qualified and passionate candidates who applied for the Ward 2 vacancy. After voting for the appointment on March 6 resulted in a tie between Williams and fellow candidate S. Ryan Edwards, City Council held a special meeting on March 14 to interview Williams and Edwards again. The two candidates were asked six questions and scored using point system developed by City Staff and approved by City Council. Williams' cumulative score of 317 edged out Edwards' score of 304, earning her the appointment by City Council.
Originally from the Chicago area, Williams graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and earned a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Early in her professional career with the City of Chicago, she served as the Assistant Deputy Mayor for Community Services in the Mayor's Office, and subsequently served as Assistant Commissioner of the Chicago Planning Department.
Williams and her family moved to Hickory in the mid-1990's. She began teaching at Lenoir-Rhyne University shortly thereafter, where she now serves as the inaugural Associate Dean of Engaged and Global Learning and as the Program Coordinator for the Human and Community Service major.
A dedicated community servant, Williams currently sits on the Habitat for Humanity and the Cognitive Connection Substance Abuse Program Boards. She previously held leadership roles as the Vice-Chair of the Hickory City Public School Board, President of the Women's Resource Center, Vice-Chair on the Council of Adolescents, and Secretary of the United Arts Council. Her work as Lenoir-Rhyne University's NC Campus Compact liaison recently earned her the NC Campus Compact Civic Engagement Professional of the Year Award. Williams has four grown sons.
"The City of Hickory is very fortunate to have someone like Charlotte representing Ward 2 on the City Council. She brings a unique perspective, as well as a wealth of civic, professional, and municipal experience," said City Manager Warren Wood. "We are looking forward to working with her in this new role, as the City continues moving forward during these exciting times."