The New Bern Board of Aldermen is made up of a Mayor and six Aldermen, each representing one of New Bern's six wards. The members are elected in a nonpartisan election and the current Board was elected in November of 2017 and will serve until the spring or early summer of 2022 due to the election delay associated with the Census.
Mailing address for Elected Officials:
PO Box 1129
New Bern, NC 28563-1129
To schedule an appearance or make an appointment with the Mayor or an Alderman,
please contact Brenda Blanco, City Clerk, at (252)639-2701 or by email by clicking here.
She is also the contact for proclamations and letters of recognition.
Jeffrey T. Odham
5003 Morton Road
New Bern, NC 28562
Jeffrey Odham was elected to serve as Mayor in July 2022. He previously served as Alderman of the Sixth Ward since December of 2013. Jeffrey is the son of the late B.T. and Joan Odham and a lifelong resident of New Bern. He married New Bern native Jeannie Haye Odham in June 2002. They have one son, Gavin. Jeffrey and his family are members of New Life Church.
Mayor Odham is a graduate of both New Bern High School and Craven Community College, where he earned an Associate of Applied Science in Business Administration. He joined Glidden Paint Company (now PPG) in 1997 as an hourly sales associate advancing in his career to his current role as Division Manager covering NC, SC and parts of GA. His responsibilities include the sales and operations through multi-channels of distribution in excess of $80MM annually. In 2002, Jeffrey and his wife became local entrepreneurs when they started a tanning salon known as Sunless Expressions, which they sold after the birth of their son.
As an elected representative, Jeffrey has always been an advocate of fiscal responsibility and smart growth. That proven combination has afforded our residents the opportunity to enjoy a high quality of life and one of the lowest tax rates in the region.
Rick Prill was elected as Ward 1 Alderman in July 2022. He is married to LoriAnn and has been a resident of New Bern since 2014. Alderman Prill holds a Bachelors in Political Science, a Masters in Public Administration, and is a Certified Public Manager. He has over 29 years' experience working as a City Manager in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. While serving as a City Manager, he held many other positions and responsibilities, including Municipal Clerk, Zoning Officer, Code Enforcement Official, Emergency Management Director, Recycling Coordinator, Acting Chief of Police, Chairman of Lakes & Streams Committee, and Community Development Representative. Alderman Prill's career also includes the position of Business Manager working in a Motorola R&D facility and General Manager with Home Inspection Professionals ("HIP"). He previously held memberships in the International City/County Management Association, New Jersey Municipal Management Association, and Association for Pennsylvania Municipal Management.
Alderman Prill has been active in the communities in which he has lived. He was a a former member of the Rotary Club and Kiwanis Club, holding the positions of Officer. He has been a member and officer of the Historic Downtown Residents Association. He has participated in the Great Trent River Raft Race, volunteered with Empty Bowls, MS Bike, and Clean Sweep. He has also participated in multiple Wounded Warrior and Tough Mudder events. He has restored a 118-year-old Queen Anne Victorian home.
Hazel B. Royal
Ward 2 Alderman
1601 New Bern Avenue
New Bern, NC 28562
Hazel B. Royal is a native New Bernian and a lifelong resident of Ward 2. As Alderman of Ward 2, Hazel represents “the voice” of the communities that she diligently serves and is committed to ensuring that all citizens have an inclusive government and that New Bern is the best city in which to live, work, and grow.
Alderman Royal is Executive Director of the nonprofit organization, Abundant Life Community Services, Inc., and has worked tirelessly to improve low-resource communities that are faced with disparities in access, quality, and the availability of basic services. Through collaborative partnerships, she has implemented critical services and resources to address healthcare, education, food insecurity, homelessness, disaster relief, and other essential support services that promote the well-being of all residents.
The impact of Alderman Royal’s leadership and contributions extend as well to civic participation including numerous boards and committees. She is currently the president of the East Coast Coalition of Pastors, an alliance of pastors seeking to unify the ecumenical community. She has served on the Board of United Way, Concerned Parents of Craven County, Neuse River Community Development Corp., Inc., Swiss Bear: Urban Design Plan, Duffyfield Revitalization, Pembroke Community Organization, Five Points Revitalization, City of New Bern Community Watch, Craven County Schools: Partners In Education, Ministers’ Wives and Widows Alliance, National Day of Prayer, and Parents At Work for Students.
Alderman Royal is a recipient of the NC Governor’s Award, Sun Journal 52 Faces Volunteer Recognition, Craven County Trailblazers Coalition Leadership Award, Vision Forward Community Service Award, and Making A Difference Community Service Award. She was also a nominee for Craven County’s Distinguished Woman and is to be featured for her community service in the Jacksonville Scene Magazine Women’s Empowerment Edition.
As an ordained minister, Alderman Hazel Royal serves as Administrative Pastor of Abundant Life Ministries alongside Pastor George E. Royal, D.MIN, her husband of 48 years. They have two children, Krishanda and George, II, five grandchildren, and two adorable great-grandchildren.
Alderman Royal has an AA Degree in Psychology and is currently pursuing a BA in Theology from Andersonville Seminary.
Robert "Bobby" Aster
Ward 3 Alderman
200 Baden Court
New Bern, NC 28562
Johnnie Ray Kinsey
Ward 4 Alderman
824 Halifax Circle
New Bern, NC 28562
Johnnie Ray Kinsey was elected to serve as Alderman of the Fourth Ward in November of 2009. He was born and raised in New Bern. He is the husband of the former Alfreda Mills, and they have been married since 1983. They have one son, Sean. Together they own and operate Kinsey Fitness Center since 1982. Alderman Kinsey has been recognized at the state, national, and international levels for his exemplary performance in the sport of amateur/professional bodybuilding.
Alderman Kinsey has served in various professional arenas including Neuse River Council of Government where he was employed as a Job Developer. He also served as a Case Manager for the "Sentenced to Read" program. Throughout Mr. Kinsey's professional tenure, he has maintained his commitment to serving his community. He is an active member of Foundation Life Fellowship Church.
Alderman Kinsey is quoted, "My goal is to meet the needs of the people that I represent not just in Ward 4, but throughout the greater New Bern community. I look forward to meeting with citizens, listening to their concerns, and working toward viable solutions for a better New Bern. My desire is to be an accountable public servant."
Barbara J. Best
Ward 5 Alderman
845 NC Hwy 55 W
New Bern, NC 28562
Barbara Best was elected to serve her first term as Alderman for the Fifth Ward beginning in December 2017. As a lifelong North Carolinian, Alderman Best was born in Elizabeth City, NC and moved to New Bern, NC as a young child. Mrs. Best is married to Stephen H. Best of New Bern’s Pleasant Hill Community. Together they have raised four children, Anthony, Nakeshia, Crystal, and Taylor. Alderman Best and Stephen proudly serve as loving grandparents to two grandsons, Alex and Christian, and one grand-daughter, Kayleigh.
Before appointment as Alderman of the Fifth Ward, Alderman Best served the City of New Bern as Senior Tax Clerk and Interim Tax Collector leading her to gain over 20 years of financial and customer service experience. She retired from the City of New Bern Tax Division in June 2014. Throughout her career, Alderman Best graciously served the citizens of her resident ward and of greater New Bern.
Alderman Best continues to make it a priority to serve the community. She currently serves on several organizations including: the Martin Luther King Jr. Outreach Ministry, Pleasant Hill Community Association Inc., National Night Out Committee, and North Carolina Adopt-A- Highway Program.
Alderman Best quoted: “My goal is to be an advocate for the citizens of New Bern, not just Ward 5 but throughout the greater New Bern communities.” She believes that the Mayor and Board of Alderman must focus on issues which impact the community and all citizens. “It is most vital that we work together and serve citizens with dignity and respect. I am calling all of you to come together. Be present, be heard, take action and let’s work together to create a harmonious city that can only become even greater than it already is!”
Bob Brinson was elected to serve as Alderman of the Sixth Ward in May of 2022. Bob grew up in New Bern and graduated from New Bern Senior High School. He is married to Amy Sebastian Brinson, and they have three grown children.
Alderman Brinson is a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science, and the University of Oklahoma, where he earned a Master of Public Administration. After his graduation from West Point, Bob was commissioned in the United States Army in the Aviation Branch. His military career took him all over the United States and around the world. When it came time to transition out of the military, Bob once again made New Bern his home.
Bob and Amy are members of Union Point Church. Bob has been active in the New Bern community by serving as Vice Chairman of the Craven County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council, as Treasurer of the Craven County Veterans Council, and as Judge Advocate for American Legion Post #539. He is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #2514, the New Bern Chamber of Commerce, and the New Bern Military Alliance.
||Michael Scott Davis
Davis Hartman Wright, PLLC
209 Pollock Street
New Bern, NC 28560
Michael Scott Davis was appointed to serve as the City Attorney in 2001. His office is located at 209 Pollock Street, one block from City Hall. Scott has two children, Mary Scott and Michael.
Mr. Davis graduated from New Bern High School in 1983. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree in International Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1987, and subsequently received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Wake Forest University in 1989. From 1989 to 1991, Mr. Davis was employed as a management consultant with FMI Management Consultants in Raleigh, North Carolina, the country’s largest consulting firm specializing in the construction industry.
Mr. Davis received his Juris Doctor degree from Wake Forest University in 1994. While in law school, Mr. Davis clerked for former New Bern City Attorney, A.D. Ward. Mr. Davis returned to Mr. Ward’s law firm upon graduating from law school in 1994. Mr. Davis was a partner in the firm of Ward and Davis, LLP from 1999 to 2007. He is currently a partner in the law firm of Davis Hartman Wright, PLLC.
In serving as the City Attorney, Mr. Davis manages all of the City’s legal affairs. He represents the City in any litigation and claims filed by and against the City; gives day-to-day legal advice to City officials and employees; and drafts ordinances, rules, resolutions, contracts, and policies.
Brenda E. Blanco, MMC, CMC, NCCMC
P.O. Box 1129
New Bern, NC 28563
Brenda Blanco began her career with the City of New Bern in 2002. After serving in two other positions, she was appointed to serve as Deputy City Clerk in November 2014 and in July 2016 began serving as City Clerk. She has earned the designations of Master Municipal Clerk and Certified Municipal Clerk from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks ("IIMC") and the designation of NC Certified Municipal Clerk from the NC Association of Municipal Clerks. She is a member of both the IIMC and NCAMC and serves as the NCAMC District 2 Director, on the Executive Board and Finance Committee, and has served on many other NCAMC committees. She also serves on the NC League of Municipalities' Board of Directors for 2022/2023. Ms. Blanco was bestowed the honor of being named the 2021 North Carolina Clerk of the Year for her professionalism and devotion. She was also one of the 220 Clerks named to the 2021 Municipal Clerks Honor Roll out of approximately 35,933 clerks in the United States.
As City Clerk, Ms. Blanco provides administrative and informative services to the Board of Aldermen, its Committees, Boards, and all City departments, as well as the citizens of New Bern. Pursuant to NCGS 160A-171, the City Clerk notices, prepares the agenda, and attends all Board of Aldermen meetings. She is the safekeeper and preservationist of meeting minutes, resolutions, ordinances, bylaws, contractual and civic agreements, and all other official documents. Pursuant to state statute, the City Clerk is responsible for acquisition and cataloging of historical records. These records are available to the City and the public for research and administrative purposes. She serves as Secretary to the Police Civil Service Board. The role of the City Clerk contributes to good and efficient government by conveying for action the decisions of the Board of Aldermen and ensuring accurate information and recordings of the Board's proceedings.
The City Clerk prepares proclamations and congratulatory letters on behalf of the Mayor. To request a proclamation or congratulatory letter, please contact the City Clerk 30 days prior to the event to be recognized. She is also the point of contact for scheduling the Mayor for conference welcomes, ribbon cuttings, and any other events. Requests for public records are also submitted to the City Clerk. Ms. Blanco's office is located on the first floor of City Hall at 300 Pollock Street.
Ms. Blanco also oversees City-owned real property that is sold pursuant to the upset bid process under NCGS 160A-269. These properties can be viewed at City Owned Property For Sale. For questions about the upset bid process, to see if a property is still available, or to place a bid, please contact the City Clerk. Sale of properties located within the boundary of the Redevelopment Commission has been suspended at this time. Other specific surplus properties outside of that boundary are available for bid.