Meet the City Council
The City Council acts as the legislative body in establishing policy and law for the City of Graham. The Mayor and Council members are chosen through city-wide nonpartisan elections. The Mayor, elected to a two-year term, serves as the presiding officer at City Council meetings. The four Council members are elected to staggered four-year terms. The board appoints a professional city manager, who provides policy advice, directs the daily operations of city government, handles personnel functions, and is responsible for preparing the budget.
Mayor Jerry Peterman is a lifetime resident of Graham. The Mayor believes that he has a duty to the citizens of Graham to represent them in an open fashion with their best interests in mind. Being active in the community of Graham keeps the Mayor busy and gives citizens access to him and the City. In addition to his Mayoral duties, Mayor Peterman is on the Executive Board of the Alcovets, a founding member of the Veterans Parade Committee, member and former chair of the Mayor’s Committee for Persons With Disabilities, Graham High School Boosters Club, along with being the liaison for the Appearance Committee, the Audit Committee, and several other boards for the City of Graham.
Mayor Pro Tem Chip Turner, is a lifetime resident of Graham and graduate of Graham High School. He served his country in the Army National Guard from '71-'77. He retired in 2004 from the North Carolina Department of Transportation after 30 years of service. He is in his third term and tenth year serving the citizens of Graham on Council. For decades you could find him officiating sports from the mountains to coast. When Chip is not talking City business, sports, or the ins and outs of NCDOT, you can find him on a mower. He loves the outdoors and landscaping. Chip is quoted as saying, I love giving back "to the town that has given so much to me, I've been here my whole life."
Melody Wiggins graduated from Appalachian State University in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Recreation Administration and a Minor in Business Administration. She served three municipalities as Director of Parks and Recreation over her 35 year career in local government. She retired from the City of Graham in 2017.
Jennifer Talley, mother, business woman and graduate from Elon University, returns to serve on the Graham City Council after 10 years. She and her husband own and operate EP Gates Construction and are dedicated to revitalizing and the historic preservation of downtown Graham. She looks forward to working for the citizens of Graham.
Ricky Hall spent the past 25 years in Local Government as a GIS Specialist and Tax Mapping Specialist. He has 20 years experience of serving on various local government boards in North Carolina and Virginia. He moved to Graham in 2004 with his wife Judy. He is now retired and enjoys traveling, woodworking, and attending bluegrass music festivals.