Murfreesboro selects Hinton

Published 9:06 am Thursday, January 28, 2010

MURFREESBORO – With a background in Human Resources, John Hinton is highly skilled, among other things, in strategy, planning, training, recruiting and advocacy.

Apparently, those were the characteristics the Murfreesboro Town Council was looking for in appointing an individual to fill the Mayor’s seat in this Hertford County town.

At their regularly scheduled meeting here Tuesday, the council, by unanimous vote, selected Hinton as the town’s new mayor.

“I would like to thank the council for their vote of confidence,” said Hinton just after accepting the oath of office from Town Clerk Joleatha Chestnutt and then settling into his seat at the council’s table. “I promise I will work as a team player.”

Hinton said he considers himself a “caretaker of this position.”

“The Mayor, as well as the council, represents the people of this town,” he said. “I care for the people of Murfreesboro and I am in this position with no personal agenda.”

Hinton is no stranger to the town or its local government. He has served as Vice President of Human Resources at Chowan University since moving to Murfreesboro in 1997.

Prior to making that move, Hinton worked in Human Resources for 15 years with Settlers Life Insurance Company in Bristol, Va.

His roots run deep in the local area. His father, John Elliott Hinton, was a native of Gates County while his mother, Margaret Petty Hinton, was born in Halifax County.

“I’m back to my roots and loving every minute of it,” Hinton said later.

He and his wife, Debbie – a 1st grade teacher at Willis Hare Elementary School in Pendleton – are the parents of two sons; John S. Hinton, Assistant Manager of Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Rockingham, and Michael Hinton, currently enrolled in law school at Campbell University.

As far as his reasoning behind seeking the mayor’s seat, Hinton said he has always believed in being active within the communities in which he and his wife have lived. That fact is evident by his involvement with the Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce.

“I had a group of citizens approach me about throwing my name into the hat (for the mayor’s position),” Hinton said. “After much soul searching and discussing this with my wife, I came to the decision to seek the position of mayor.”

He continued, “I’m not a political creature by nature. I understand the role. My job is to work with the council, helping them by speaking with one voice.”

According to Murfreesboro Town Administrator Cathy Davison, four town citizens expressed interest in the position.

“They each filled out a questionnaire and council went over each one; then decided from there who they felt would be the best choice,” Davison said.

That choice was John Hinton.

The position became open in November of last year when, just one day after winning re-election, two-term incumbent Mayor Lynn Johnson resigned unexpectedly.

By law, the decision to replace the mayor was left to the town council.

Hinton’s term will expire on Dec. 12, 2011.