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City Council

Vision

Belmont will be a vibrant, multi-generational community that incorporates small-town charm and heritage with an entrepreneurial spirit.

Mission

City of Belmont provides visionary leadership and high-quality city services to create a community of choice for our residents, visitors, and employees.

Core Values

  1. Uphold the Professionalism and Ethics Expected of Elected Officials
  2. Practice Mutual Respect Towards Fellow Council Members and City Staff
  3. Lead with Honesty, Vision And Responsibility
  4. Maintain Balance and Open-mindedness in Executing Duties
  5. Demonstrate Fairness and Accountability to All Residents and Stakeholders of Belmont

Mayor Charlie Martin

Phone
704-825-5211

Email
cmartin@cityofbelmont.org

Charlie Martin

Position
Mayor

Family
Mayor Charlie Martin is a longtime resident of Belmont. He is married to Dot Martin and has 5 children.

Education
He is a graduate of Belmont Abbey College and currently serves on the Alumni Board. He previously served on the Gaston County Parks and Recreation Commission, the Gaston County Travel and Tourism Board, and the Stowe Family YMCA Board.

Career
Mayor Martin worked in the insurance business for over 35 years as an agent and manager and business owner.

Volunteer Positions
He is a 2-time president of the Gaston County Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and a past area vice-president of the North Carolina Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

Mayor Pro Tem Jim Hefferan

Phone
336-575-3792

Email
jhefferan@cityofbelmont.org

Jim Hefferan

Position
Mayor Pro Tem

Family
Jim Hefferan has been a Belmont resident since 2012.  He was born and raised in Dearborn, Michigan, where his parents still reside.  He has a sister who lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and a number of aunts, uncles, and cousins living in Michigan, New York, and North Carolina.

Education
Jim received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with highest distinction from the University of Michigan.  Jim received a Juris Doctor magna cum laude from Wake Forest University.

Career
Jim is currently in his second stint as an attorney at the law firm of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.  Jim also spent five years as a law professor in Charlotte, including two summers teaching at Vilnius University in Lithuania.

Volunteer Positions
Jim previously served on the Planning & Zoning Board and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.  He was also a member of the Comprehensive Land Use Plan Update Steering Committee.  Jim currently serves on the Gaston County Animal Care and Enforcement Advisory Board and is a reader at Queen of the Apostles Catholic Church.

Hobbies & Interests
Jim is a passionate fan of Wake Forest sports, especially football.  He has not missed a Wake Forest football game, home or away, since 2000.  Jim also loves to travel.  He has visited 40 states and over 25 European countries.  His favorite cities to visit are Madrid, Lisbon, and Budapest.

Martha Stowe

Phone
704-678-3925

Email
mstowe@cityofbelmont.org

Martha Stowe

Position
Councilwoman

Family
Martha is a native of Lincolnton, North Carolina, but has lived in Belmont since 1978.  Her mother was a former teacher and her father was a health inspector and fire chief.  She is happily married to her husband Sam and her family includes Amanda, Shawn, Rusty, and Samantha plus three grandchildren Hayden, Hailey, and Benjamin.

Education
Martha is a proud Wake Forest University Graduate, and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.

Career
Martha is currently a math teacher at Mt. Island Charter after teaching 15 years at South Point High School before her retirement.  She was named Gaston Gazette NIE Teacher of the year 2005-2006 and the First Presbyterian Church Educator of the Year 2001.

Volunteer Activities
Martha is active in the community with:
Keep Belmont Beautiful
Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden Board of Visitors
Connect Gaston Greenway Planning Board

She is also a former Elder at First Presbyterian Church, where she served on the Education Committee.

Councilman Ryan Schrift

Phone
814-233-7151

Email
rschrift@cityofbelmont.org

Ryan Schrift

Position
Councilman

Family
Ryan Schrift has been a Belmont resident since 2009. He lives with his two sons Ollie & Lincoln.

Education
Ryan earned a B.A. in Accounting from the department of business and economics at Washington and Jefferson College and minored in Philosophy. He received his Accredited Investment Fiduciary designation in 2011.

Career & Volunteer Positions
Ryan is the Managing Director of R.J. Schrift Private Asset Management, a Belmont based financial planning and investment advisory firm.

In addition to his role on Belmont City Council, Ryan has been been recognized on both the local and state level by the Junior Chamber of Commerce for assisting in the development of young professionals and has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for local non-profits.

Ryan attends Queen of Apostles Catholic church and is a member of its finance council.

Awards & Accomplishments

Schrift has been recognized with:

  • 2019 Gaston County Jaycees 10 under age 40 Award
  • Gaston Lifestyles Magazine Feature 5 under age 40 Recognition
  • Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Vision Award as Entrepreneur of the Year
  • North Carolina Jaycees “Charles Hawkins” Award as a top president in North Carolina

Since being elected to office Ryan has worked to relaunch the main street program to keep downtown vibrant, as well as focused on economic development, long-range planning, and updating the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Richard Turner

Phone
704-685-3139

Email
rturner@cityofbelmont.org

Richard Turner

Position
Councilman

Family
Belmont City Councilman Richard Turner is a 21-year resident of Belmont. Married for 22 years to his wife Marie, they have 3 children attending Belmont Public schools.

Past Positions
Prior to being elected to Belmont’s City Council he served Belmont and its citizens for 2 terms on Belmont’s Planning and Zoning Board and Belmont’s Park and Recreation Advisory Board.

Career
He has served Belmont Central Elementary in several roles including President and Vice-President of the schools PTO. While serving as Vice-President, he wrote a successful grant application that brought much needed playground equipment to the school. He has also served Page Primary School as the School Improvement Team (SIT) representative.

Accomplishments
As Chairman of the Park and Recreation Board, Richard identified the vacant city owned property on Brook Street as a site for a much-needed city park and was instrumental in developing the concept and bringing it to a reality.

Recognition
Recognition of his concern over growth and its impact on roads and traffic issues led to him being nominated to serve on the GCLMPO (Gaston, Cleveland, Lincoln Metropolitan Planning Organization) which addresses the transportation needs of these counties. As Belmont’s representative to the GCLMPO, Richard will ensure that our current and future needs as a community are always on the radar of this Metropolitan Planning organization.

Commitment
Richard is committed to the preservation of the Historic homes and mill’s that gives Belmont its unique charm and character while also recognizing the need to allow for complimentary growth. Finding the balance in these 2 elements will ensure that Belmont continues to be a place that people want to call home.

Marc Seelinger

Phone
919-302-4791

Email
mseelinger@cityofbelmont.org

Marc Seelinger

Position
Councilman

Family
Marc grew up in a small town outside Raleigh and moved to Belmont with his wife to raise a family. They have one son, Winston.

Education
Marc graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with degrees in Economics and Chinese and a minor in History.

Career
As the Senior Information Strategy Analyst at a leading property and casualty insurer, Marc conducts a variety of trending and insights analysis to better understand and respond to the constantly changing business environment of insurance. He brings a data-driven business perspective to council to help navigate the challenging decisions Belmont will face in the years ahead. In addition, Marc operates a small rental business with his wife, Cherry.

Community Involvement
An active member of Queen of the Apostles parish, Marc serves as a member of the parish finance council. He is also a member of the Gaston County Jaycees. Prior to being elected to city council, Marc was also a member of the Belmont Parks and Recreation Citizens Advisory Board, where he also served on the steering committee that produced the new 10-year Parks Master Plan.

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