Matthews is governed by a Mayor and a six - member Board of Commissioners. A nonpartisan election for Mayor is held every two years. Commissioner elections are also nonpartisan and all seats are at-large. Commissioners are elected for two year terms. The next election is November 2019.
The mission of the board is to represent the public interest, promote quick, courteous response to residents' problems, provide leadership and direction to the Town's future and ensure the present and future fiscal integrity of the municipal government. The Town has a Council-Manager form of government. Under this form of government, the elected board sets policies for the operation of the Town. Currently serving on the board are (pictured below from left to right) Commissioners Chris Melton, John Urban, Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon, Mayor Paul Bailey, Commissioners Jeff Miller, Kress Query, and Barbara Dement.
Town Council meetings are held the second and fourth Mondays of every month at 7 p.m. at Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station Street. The public is given an opportunity to speak at every meeting for four minutes on any topic. A sign up sheet is in the lobby before every meeting if you would like to address the board.
Paul F. Bailey is serving his first term as Mayor of Matthews. Paul served on the Board of Commissioners for nine terms and the CMS Board of Education for one term before being elected Mayor in 2017. He has been serving the community since 1986 on the Matthews Transportation Board, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Park and Recreation Committee, and, being an Eagle Scout, has been active in, and supports, Mecklenburg County Boy Scouts. Mayor Bailey is a graduate of North Carolina State University with a BS in mechanical engineering and the University of South Carolina with a masters in mechanical engineering. Paul and his wife, Sherrie have three children and three grandchildren. They have lived in Matthews for 34 years. "As Mayor of Matthews, I want to maintain our small town appeal by supporting all of the great things that make us a desirable community. I look forward to guiding us in making smart decisions as we evolve and continue to be the greatest town in North Carolina.” - Mayor Paul Bailey
John F. Higdon is serving his third term on the Board of Commissioners and is currently Mayor Pro-Tem. John graduated from South Mecklenburg High School and earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University. For the last 22 years, John has been employed by Matthews-headquartered Conbraco Industries where he currently serves as Vice President of Engineering and Quality Assurance. John and his wife Penny have two children, Summer and Jed. The Higdon family has resided in Matthews since 2001 and attends Matthews United Methodist Church. John has volunteered extensively in the community including at MARA, Boy Scouts, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Ashley Creek Homeowners Association, Mecklenburg County Floodplain Task Force and the Matthews Appearance and Tree and Economic Development Advisory Committees.
Chris Melton is a native Charlottean and is currently serving a third consecutive term on Matthews’
Board of Commissioners. After graduating from West Mecklenburg High School, Chris attended Central Piedmont Community College. He has worked for more than 20 years with Johnson Controls (formerly SimplexGrinnell), receiving numerous awards for his service, including the prestigious President's Award in 2004, and Merit Award in 2018. Chris volunteers his time in the Matthews community, recently serving as Chairman of the Board of Directors for Matthews HELP Center. He also served as a member of the Executive Committee for Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity and was elected by his neighbors as President of the Brightmoor Homeowners Association for several years. Chris and his wife, Heather, have been married for just over 20 years, and have two teenage children, Hunter and Sarah.
Jeff Miller is a native of Chicago and has lived in Matthews for 16 years. He is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and was an executive chef in various large hotels in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Charlotte. He also speaks fluent Spanish. Jeff worked in management for 15 years at the Family Dollar Distribution Center in Matthews and is now the owner of Miller Time Property Management LLC. Prior to being elected to the Board of Commissioners, he was chairman of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board. Jeff is currently serving his sixth term on the Town Board.
John R. Urban, AIA, will be serving his fourth term on the Board of Commissioners, having served from 2009-2013, and 2015-present. John has been a Matthews resident for 20 years and works as a licensed architect and owner of Urban Architectural Group PA in Matthews. He is also active in the community serving currently on the boards of The Matthews Free Medical Clinic, The Matthews Historical Foundation, The Matthews Chamber of Commerce, and The QUAD - The Four Town Alliance of South Charlotte Communities. He also co-chairs The Red Brick Partnership for downtown Matthews and serves at Forest Hill Church. John and his wife, Terry have four daughters and two grandchildren.
Kress Query is a lifelong resident of Matthews, with a long history of service to the Town of Matthews, having served as Mayor from 1969-1974, and then as Commissioner from 1993-2015, including four years as Mayor Pro-Tem. Kress was appointed to the Mayor's Task Force on Education as well as the CMS Bond Oversight Committee. He is the past President and Charter Member of the Matthews Historical Foundation. He attended Matthews Elementary, East Meck High School, and is a graduate of Charlotte College (now UNCC). Now retired, Kress was President of ABT Metals. Kress is a recipient of the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the highest civilian award in North Carolina. He and his wife, Gwen, have three children and five grandchildren.
Barbara Dement is serving her first term as Commissioner. She served on the Town’s Planning Board for four years, ending her service on that board as the Chair in December 2017, to begin her role as Commissioner Barbara has served the community in various ways since moving to Matthews over a decade ago, including the role of Co-Director of Matthews Sister Cities Association. Born at Presbyterian Hospital (now known as Novant Health Presbyterian Medical Center) in Charlotte, Barbara was raised in the neighboring town of Mint Hill, and received her education in Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s public schools. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management and Communication from Wingate University. Prior to her current career as a Life Care Consultant at Plantation Estates, she worked for 32 years at AXA-Equitable, and served as Assistant Vice President in the New Business Division at the National Operations Center, where she was responsible for providing multi-site organizational and global leadership critical for achieving strategic goals. During her professional career, she has received multiple awards for outstanding leadership and team building. Together, Barbara and her late husband have three children: her daughter Jennifer, Ed’s daughter Shannon, and son Thomas.
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