Local News

New Goldsboro Mayor Celebrates First Day On Job

Posted January 29, 2002 9:16 a.m. EST

— People in Goldsboro are meeting their first new mayor in more than 20 years. Longtime Mayor Hal Plonk died earlier in January. On Monday, a good friend of Plonk's, who has never run for office, put his retirement on hold to become a public servant.

Al King celebrated his first day on the job Monday, without ever winning an election. The Goldsboro City Council asked him to be mayor after deadlocking on who should replace Plonk.

"He said we need a mayor and I probably said, 'Well, I'll try to help you find one,'" King said.

A retired Air Force lieutenant colonel, King was the city's personnel director for 21 years. He is also Goldsboro's first African-American mayor.

"He had no problem with getting people to work out any problem they had on any kind of issues as far as employer-related stuff. I don't believe they could have found a better man," said Keith Smith, King's friend.

King has only one item on the agenda right now: to ease race relations.

"Deal with people as people, individuals; not because they're white, not because they're black, not because they're rich, not because they're poor, just because they're people and deal with the issues," King said.

Because King had already retired, he said he has nothing to lose.

"I didn't accept or need one penny of campaign finance. I made no promises to any individual, any group of individuals, to no one," he said.

King will take the oath of office next week. Right now, he does not plan to run for the seat in next year's election.