While he has agreed to serve as mayor until an election is held in March 2022, Joe Pitt will not seek re-election.

He was appointed to fill an unexpired term in July 2017 and then won a full term that November.

Pitt made the announcement during the mayor’s comment section of the agenda near the end of the July 12 town council meeting following the council’s unanimous vote to postpone the mayoral election until March 8, 2022, because of a delay in receiving results from the 2020 Census.

Reading from a prepared statement, Pitt said it is his belief that the town’s elected officials should serve the shortest terms possible.

“Although this is difficult, I believe this is still true,” he said.

The mayoral election was originally scheduled for November.

Pitt said that by agreeing to serve until the March election, others thinking about seeking the office will have more time to give thought to the issue.

“This will give any councilmen more time to think about what they might want to do in the future,” he said. “I do look forward to serving in other capacities as needed.”

During Pitt’s tenure, the town has expanded downtown events and seen what is expected to be some small population growth when the census data is released. The town also has experienced a surge in the construction of affordable single-family homes as well as the construction of an income-based apartment complex on the old Hilma Country Club golf course.

During his term, the town — like every other in America — has battled the effects of COVID-19 on the economy.

And like many other communities, Tarboro also dealt with the removal of a Confederate monument that had been located on the Town Common.

Unlike many communities, Tarboro’s monument was removed without demonstration or unrest.

The Telegram reached out to all eight current council members and posed the question: “With Joe’s announcement that he will not seek re-election as mayor, do you have any plans to run? Have you given it any thought?”

At press time, only Ward 4 Councilman C.B. Brown had responded, saying “No, not at this time.”