In November 2023, Reidsville elected the city’s first female mayor and on Tuesday night, she was sworn into office.
Vickie Fountain Nail never anticipated she would be sitting in the mayor’s office in the city she calls home. She’d contemplated running for city council over the years, but her health and other life obligations always seemed to get in the way. She campaigned hard in a three-way race, vowing not to take donations from anyone so she wouldn’t have any perceived ‘favors’ to return, and kept her eye on the city’s high office along the way. Now, with her health in a positive place it hasn’t been in many years and a clear vision for the city, Nail says she’s ready to hit the ground running.
“I just love this town too much to not be involved and try to make a difference,” Nail said in an interview with TheGeorgiaVirtue Tuesday. We had the opportunity to chat with the Mayor before her swearing in ceremony and spoke with her about what to expect in the coming months.
Among the priorities Nail plans to take on first:
Tackle the Budget
Nail’s number one goal is to get the budget in order and to examine the accounts to see exactly where money is being spent. She said only then can the city take a new direction on its expenses.
Improve Audit Performance and Eliminate Deficiencies
The city only just received the 2021 audit and she said there are some areas in need of improvement. She wants to ensure that city employees have all of the training and resources they need to do their jobs to the best of their ability.
Giving People a Voice
Nail said the current policy of requiring people to request to be on the council agenda two weeks before the council meeting is not in the best interest of the public. She said the floor will be opened for anyone wishing to address the mayor and council and if they ask questions, if the question cannot be answered on the spot, Nail will ensure the answer is provided to the citizen in the following days.
“I want this town to grow,” Nail told TGV. “And I want the citizens to be a part of that growth every step of the way.”
She also said a number of economic development ideas are in the pipeline, such as a buffet style restaurant, and she will continue to work to recruit businesses to call Reidsville ‘home.’
Before a jam-packed council chamber, Nail was sworn in by the Honorable Gloria Dubberly, Tattnall County Probate Judge. Her husband, Attris Nail, held the Bible, some 90-years-old, that once belonged to her mother – Mary Frances Yates Fountain. Inside was her father’s wedding band and the warden chip of her late brother, Ronald Fountain.
Nail thanked everyone for attending and offered brief remarks before the end of the ceremony, saying:
“I look forward to my first meeting and there will be a lot of things that will change. But the thing I want you to understand today, and don’t ever forget it: this is your house, and you and I pay taxes on this place, you’re welcome here any time, my door is always open. You want to see me? Call me. People say, ‘Oh you’re not going to have time for that.’ Yes I will. There’s never been a time that I don’t have the time when somebody needs to see me about something. I’m facing a challenge and I’m ready to meet that challenge.”
She closed with a verse from Corinthians 13:4-7.
Two returning council members sworn in
Also sworn in Tuesday evening were council members Donald Prestage and Verdie Williams. Both are returning city officials and will join council members Lindsay Bennett and Doug Williams as the city’s administration.
The city planning session is scheduled for Monday, January 8, 2024 at 5:00 p.m. and the regular city council meeting will take place at January 15, 2024 at 5:00 p.m.
You can watch the video of the swearing in below.