Wesley Barker was sworn in as Carrboro's new town clerk during a March 1 Town Council meeting.
As town clerk, his responsibilities include maintaining records, preparing agendas and minutes for council meetings and keeping the council informed on state and federal legislation.
“I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as clerk of the Town of Carrboro on which I am about to enter according to my best skill and ability,” Barker said during the meeting.
The Ashe County native said he was most excited to explore a new area and get to know the people of Carrboro.
“What drew me to the town itself is just their acceptance of everyone," Barker said. "Their motto 'feel free' really spoke to me. Inclusion and equality are very important to me, and I thought it would be great to work for an organization that was so invested in that.”
Barker said he is looking forward to experiencing the arts and cultural events in Carrboro.
Along with administrative tasks, Barker said he wants to get involved with PRIDE in Carrboro and pick up initiatives that were put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Barker will also help to fill roles in several Carrboro advisory boards and as serve as an LGBTQ+ issues liaison to the Town Council. An important part of being town clerk is being accessible to the public, he said.
“What I'm really looking forward to is just getting to know folks in the community,” he said.
Mayor Damon Seils said the town clerk can also be an educational tool for community members, especially when people have questions about the community or related to work that Carrboro or the Town Council is working on.
Seils said he's excited that Barker will have the opportunity to help clarify the roles and happenings of Town Council to locals.
“I look forward to Wesley being involved in helping the council open up new lines of communication with community members,” Seils said.
And because Barker has experience working in other sectors of government, Seils said he brings a lot to the job. Seils noted past roles as planning director and work in the community, human resources and economic development on a state and local scale.
Barker will be supported in his new role by Deputy Town Clerk Mary Bryant, who said in an email to The Daily Tar Heel that she believes Barker will help the town navigate recent growth.
“Every day in the Town Clerk’s office seems to bring a new challenge," she said. "And I think Wesley and I together will make a strong, successful team for the Town of Carrboro.”
Since he began the job two weeks ago, Barker said he is still getting organized and meeting his new co-workers. He is also learning the systems and processes the Town uses for its record-keeping.
“I’m a very approachable person, and when everything opens back up, I’m available at Town Hall to meet with anyone,” Barker said.
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