In May of 1993, the Morganton City Council formally established the Morganton Human Relations Commission as an advisory board to advise the Council, the City Manager and City staff on matters involving race, discrimination and human relations.
The 11 members of the commission represent varied racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds and include at least one student member from Freedom High School.
Members serve staggered three year terms. Member nominations are sought from the public and suggested by the sitting commission and city staff. Selected individuals are appointed by the mayor.
The commission selects its chair and vice-chair. The city's Human Resources Director serves as the city's representative.
The goal of the Commission is to eliminate prejudice and practices of discrimination against individuals or groups because of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry or religious affiliation.
The Commission works to eliminate such prejudice and discrimination by keeping the officers and departments of the City of Morganton informed of developments in human relations and by developing initiatives to unite the peoples of the community.
The City of Morganton Human Relations Commission will:
- study relationship issues between peoples of different races, colors, creeds, national origins, ancestries and religious affiliations.
- invite the cooperation of these groups as well as individuals and help facilitate that cooperation.
- promote mutual understanding and foster equality and respect among all peoples regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry or religious affiliation.
Barbara R. Myers, Chairperson • Scott Ammalathithada • Ken Clarke • Wayne Giese
Graciela Narten • Erin Norell • Fred Roberson • Cecelia Surratt • Mary Wright
Ex Officio: Kue Chaw • Gary Leonhardt • Rev. W. F. McIntosh • Diann Tate
- Cheryl Dellinger, Director of Human Resources
- Sgt. Tico Moss, Department of Public Safety
- Dianne Stuart, Human Resources Specialist & Recording Secretary
Essie McDowell Thomas
2013 Citizen of the Year
- Nikki L. Costello
- Rev. Dcn. Michael L. Jenkins
- Rev. Jimmy C. White
2013 Citizens of the Year Banquet Video - April 30, 2013
Depending on the nominations received, not all categories are awarded each year. In 1999, the Commission divided the Young Citizen of the Year into two awards honoring a Senior High Citizen of the Year and a Young or Middle School Citizen of the Year.
Adult Citizens of the Year
- 2012 Kenneth S. Clark
- 2011 Carla P. Kincaid
- 2010 Herbert Coffey, Hugh & Melda Connelly
- 2009 David Burleson & Oscar Tate
- 2008 George Edward Brewer
- 2007 Deloris McDowell
- 2006 Jessica Howells
- 2005 Larry and Holly Johnson
- 2002 Robert Miller
- 2001 Dale Barrier
- 2000 Debbe Perry
Senior High Citizens of the Year
- 2012 Taylor Sharp
- 2010 Kahtryn Searcy
- 2009 Michael Scott
- 2008 Sarah Griffin
- 2007 Marcus Connelly
- 2006 Obie Carswell
- 2005 Anna Hipps
- 2004 Megan Smith
- 2003 Melissa Bernard & Candace Debnam
- 2002 Allison Hodges
- 2001 Tim Coleman
Middle School Citizens of the Year
- 2012 Garrett Halford
- 2011 Towyeng Lor
- 2009 Phillip Lehn
- 2008 Lamara Parnell
- 2007 Matthew Randall
- 2006 Crosby Reed
- 2005 Chelsea Hunt & Matthew Safford
- 2004 Dana Middleton
- 2003 Megan Barrier & Merideth Sain
- 2002 Allison Benfield
- 2001 Cayla Jablonski\
- 2000 Taylor Imboden
The Commission created the Citizen of the Year Award in 1995. The awards honor outstanding adult, high school and middle school volunteers who have made a positive difference in their school, community or neighborhood. A person may be nominated for service to a group, an organization or an individual.
Award recipients represent a wide range of interests and backgrounds but all share the same commitment to community and mankind. They have given of themselves by providing assistance for those in need of shelter and medical care, volunteering in rest homes and local ministries, organizing civic events and celebrations, and by volunteer service through their church, school or civic group.
Nominations are sought beginning in January honoring outstanding volunteer contributions from the preceding year. Forms are available at City Hall in the Human Resources Department, 438-5253, and at the Collett Street Recreation Center, 438-5350, and at www.ci.morganton.nc.us
Risk Management Coordinator
The Human Resources Department is located on the second floor of City Hall.