It was a fast year of public service for Councilwoman Vanessa Maddox who will serve her last meeting as a Town Council member this week.
Maddox joined the council last November following a special election to fill Kelly Burk’s unexpired council term following her election to the mayor’s seat. Maddox re-election bid this November, however, was unsuccessful; she finished in fourth place in the race for three council seats. It was a quick turnaround from one campaign to the other, she noted, as the dawn of 2018 saw her jumpstart her re-election bid just six weeks after taking office for the first time.
“I recommend no one ever attempt that again,” she said. “No one.”
Looking back, she said it felt as though she was drinking directly from a fire hose when she began. “But as the days and weeks went on I started to pick up things slowly but surely. And then as soon as I got into a rhythm where I was comfortable it was time to run again,” she said.
She cites her favorite moment as a council member when the Council Chambers were packed with residents protesting the Meadowbrook commercial development application. The hardest? When Council Chambers were also crowded with passionate citizens, but this time for the HHHunt memory care facility application, which she supported despite some neighborhood pleas to deny it.
With her council career winding down, Maddox says she has some exciting things in the hopper. She expects her first book to be published next summer, about her life in politics from 11th grade on, and how that prompted her run for Town Council. She is also reprising her “Live from the Minivan” YouTube show, and all her guest slots are almost filled.
She also hasn’t ruled out a future run for political office, council or otherwise, but Maddox says she will wait until her youngest son, who is 14 years old, goes off to college.
Maddox does not plan to sit quietly on the sidelines until then and wants to encourage others to take the political office plunge like she did.
“I still want people, particularly women, particularly women of color, to know that if I can do it, they can do it. I want every person to consider running for public office at some time in their life,” she said.