Greene to take over for Perkins as Harpersville mayor

Published 4:42 pm Thursday, August 4, 2016

Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins (right) has decided to not seek re-election after 12 years in office. Don Greene was the only candidate to qualify for mayor and will take office Nov. 7. (Photos by Stephen Dawkins)

Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins (right) has decided to not seek re-election after 12 years in office. Don Greene was the only candidate to qualify for mayor and will take office Nov. 7. (Photos by Stephen Dawkins)


Staff Writer

HARPERSVILLE – Harpersville will soon have a new mayor—but no election.

Mayor Theoangelo Perkins decided to not seek re-election for a fourth term in office, and Don Greene was the only candidate to qualify for mayor, meaning he will start in the position in November.

There will be only one change on the Town Council: Martin Dates was the only candidate to qualify for District 1, Place 2 (incumbent Shirley Middleton passed away in October 2015).

The remainder of the council members will stay the same as they will have no opposition.

With only one candidate qualifying for each of Harpersville’s elected positions, there will be no election on Aug. 23.

Qualifying ended July 19.

Greene had an unsuccessful bid for mayor in 2012 and said he did not intend to run this year until he learned Perkins, who he said has done an “outstanding job,” would not seek re-election.

Greene said he is a life-long resident of Harpersville and Vincent, and was Vincent’s mayor from 1980-84. He was stationed at the Vincent National Guard armory for 32 years, he said.

Greene said he thinks his experience planning with the National Guard and as an employee with the Shelby County Emergency Management Agency will be an asset to the town.

The incoming mayor said he wants to develop a comprehensive plan for the city while remaining fiscally responsible.

“If you fail to plan, you plan to fail,” Greene said.

Greene said the city will have to try to attract retail businesses.

“To get the retail, you’ve got to have the rooftops,” Greene said about the need for residential growth.

What Harpersville lacks in population, it makes up for in traffic coming through town on highways 280 and 231, Greene said.

Perkins, meanwhile, said he thought it was time to let someone else lead Harpersville, a city he believes is situated for continued progress.

Perkins was appointed to finish the term of former Councilman Billy Kelley, who passed away in 1998.

Perkins was elected to another term in 2000 and said he decided to run for mayor because the town and its government was facing turmoil.

“I felt like I could be a unifying figure,” he said. “I felt like I could unify the town.”

As part of that effort, Perkins said he is proud of community-building accomplishments such as establishing Harpersville Day and a library in the town.

There have been challenges during Perkins’ time as mayor, such as financial difficulties related to the national recession arising at the same time as the city’s municipal court being dissolved.

“I’m proud of being able to take the town through those tough times,” Perkins said. “We have over a half million dollars in reserve now, and we also have over $1 million in a fund for a community center.”

Other highlights of Perkins’ term include the development and implementation of personnel plans and procedures, bringing businesses to town, pushing for the replacement of a bridge between Harpersville and Vincent, and starting a city website.

“There are still some things I would like to see happen, but I think a good foundation has been laid,” said Perkins, who added that is grateful for cooperation and help from the City Council.

Though no longer mayor, Perkins will not have much free time. He will continue to pastor Liberty Christian Church, where he has been for over 13 years; drive a school bus for Vincent, which he has done for about 20 years; and practice real estate after earning a license within the past year.

Perhaps most importantly, Perkins said he will spend more time with his daughters, 9-year-old Makayla and 7-year-old Kinsley.

“As I prepare to leave this office, we have a professional and well qualified staff that is committed to serving the citizens of Harpersville,” Perkins wrote in a letter that was mailed to residents. “I love Harpersville and will continue to work to make our community better.”