Veteran Ahoskie Town Councilman O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. (center) stands with his fellow Council members - front left, Maurice Vann, Elaine Myers, Malcolm Copeland and Winfred Hardy - after he announced his resignation at Tuesday’s monthly meeting. Staff Photo by Cal Bryant

Archived Story

Suiter resigns from Ahoskie Council

Published 11:50am Tuesday, October 16, 2012

AHOSKIE – One veteran town official is leaving and another will take his place.

Tuesday morning, longtime Ahoskie Town Councilman O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. announced his resignation from that elected board after 25 years of service. That announcement came during the Council’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting where Suiter said his resignation would be effective at the close of the next Council meeting (Tuesday, Nov. 13).

Then, Suiter put a motion on the floor to nominate Linda Blackburn to fill the remainder of his current four-year term, which expires in November, 2013. That motion passed without objection of the five-member Council.

Blackburn served eight years (2003-11) as Ahoskie’s Mayor. She was defeated in the November, 2011 municipal election by current Mayor Brien Lassiter.

“During my time here I’ve had the pleasure to serve with six mayors, none that I found to be more dedicated and knowledgeable than Linda Blackburn,” said Suiter, who is currently the Mayor Pro Tem of the Council. “She knows everything we’ve got going on here and with that I would like to make a motion to nominate her to fill my unexpired term.”

As for her reaction to once again becoming a member of Ahoskie’s town government, Blackburn said she would be happy to serve.

“I’m thrilled to have this opportunity and humbled that Buck trusts my judgment to fill his seat,” Blackburn stated. “I’m following a man who has been a mainstay on this Council. Because of his banking background, Buck was the financial guy to turn to for advice. He was the Council’s go-to guy when it came to making budget decisions or making deals on loans. He brought so much to this Council and I feel it’s an enormous legacy to follow.”

She continued, “I love this town and I’m not going anywhere. It’s a wonderful place to be and I’m honored to have this chance to serve this wonderful town again.”

As far as to what led him to resign, Suiter said there were “a whole lot of reasons, but I guess the main one is that I feel that this is the right time. I’ve enjoyed my many years of service here and I’d like to thank the citizens for allowing me to serve them.”

Suiter said the town has made a lot of strides in improving its infrastructure over the years, and that fact is no more evident than the current-day projects.

“At the present time we’ve got a lot of things happening,” he stated. “Under Tony’s (Hammond, the Town Manager) leadership and the many outstanding department heads now in place, the future is certainly bright for Ahoskie. Even though I won’t be on the Council, Tony, I’ll be checking on the (town’s) fund balance every now and then.”

“I’m sure you will, Mr. Suiter,” Hammond replied with a chuckle. “I’ll keep you on the mailing list.”

Suiter’s colleagues on the Council seized the opportunity in a public setting at Tuesday’s meeting to offer personal sentiments on their professional relationships with the board’s elder statesman.

“It’s been a pleasure working with you, Buck,” said Councilman Maurice Vann. “I wish you the best and, as they say, with every ending there’s a new beginning. I hope you enjoy this new stage of your life.”

“We’ve got a good team here in Ahoskie, and for a long period of time that team included you, Buck Suiter. You’ll definitely be missed,” stated Councilman Malcolm Copeland.

“You be sure to do what you said you’ll do about keeping a check on that fund balance,” Councilwoman Elaine Myers said.

“I’ve enjoyed working with you for a number of years,” Councilman Winfred Hardy said. “I hope you enjoy yourself.”

“He always had a smile, always was concerned about how you were doing,” said Town Clerk Joleatha Chestnutt. “Mr. Suiter would make my day by stopping by my office on occasion just to see how I was doing, that meant a lot to me.”

Suiter first joined the Council in 1983, appointed to fill an unexpired term. He was elected to the same seat later that year and earned reelection through 1991 at which time he had to resign due to work-related commitments – traveling statewide through his position with what was then Centura Bank.

He was appointed back to the Council in 1994 to fill yet another unexpired term and has served continuously, through numerous elections, since that time.

When asked to share his best memories of being a Council member, Suiter didn’t hesitate to answer.

“What we have going on right now,” he stressed. “I give Tony a lot credit for moving Ahoskie forward. We went for so long – longer than I thought we should because of our conservative nature – and didn’t make any improvements to our town’s infrastructure, to include public buildings, the wastewater plant and our recreational facilities to name just a few. You know me, as a banker I don’t like all this debt, but these improvements were long overdue and Tony did his homework and guided us in a way where we can handle the debt service payments without compromising our traditionally strong financial health. This town is in good shape and its future is bright.”

Born in Northampton County, it was the banking business that brought Suiter to Ahoskie from Nash County. There he had previous municipal government experience as he served a four-year term on the Nashville Town Council.

“I fell in love with Ahoskie when I first moved here,” Suiter said. “I made a promise back then that regardless of what happened after I got here, I was going to retire here.”

Suiter’s financial career included 37 years of service with Centura Bank, retiring in 1997 as Executive Vice President.

He was originally employed with Planters National Bank until merger between Planters and Peoples Bank on Nov. 1, 1990 to form Centura. His job responsibilities included overseeing branch operations over a large part of North Carolina.

  1. concerned

    ToTheOnlyOne:
    Sir/Madam, I’m am not not trying to be holier than thou. Please remember that you were the first one to use a biblical scripture reference. Look back down at your post on 10/18 @ 10:27 AM. Now you criticize me for using scripture, which you did first.
    Now please reread my post on 10/18 @ 12:27 PM. Here I apologized to everyone without conditions. If you would reread my last four posts I have not specifically refered to any elected official by name or title. You are the one that continues to reference the title of a specific official.
    All Ive tried to convey is that I have certain beliefs: (1) Elected officials should be held to a higher standard; (2) The sanctity of marriage.
    You have been vilifying me for having these beliefs. You’ve called me mean-spirited, rigid, judgmental, wicked, shameful, and clinging to the past, for having these two beliefs.
    Again I apologize to everyone involved. I should not have specifically referenced anyone in my earlier posts. That was wrong, without any qualifications or conditions. That was wrong of me.
    But Sir/Madam I can not and will not apologize for my beliefs.

    Suggest Removal

  2. TheOnlyOne

    “Concerned”

    Oh, I understand completely what you did here. No need to throw more Bible at me, you may hurt your shoulder.

    You fly the Christian flag as if your opinion the be-all-end-all for how the citizens of this town should behave, and when they don’t, you gossip and publicly scandalize them. Then you “apologize” with an insult attached.

    I don’t know you and hope I never will but I do that you’re no Christian. You’re an insecure person who probably either knows the mayor or some of the people involved who believes it’s OK to come here anonymously and say wicked things you would never say to their face.

    You’re a shameful example of what this town has really become. The mayor’s behavior did nothing to make it worse, and you do nothing to make it better.

    Suggest Removal

  3. concerned

    To TheOnlyOne:
    I just apologized, and now YOU call ME mean-spirited!
    Again, I still believe that elected officials should be held to a higher standard, and I still believe in the sanctity of marriage. If that is being judgmental, rigid and mean spirited, so be it. If having these beliefs means I’m clinging to the past, so be it.

    Suggest Removal

  4. concerned

    To TheOnlyOne:
    You are right. You know I still believe that elected officials should be held to a higher standard and I still believe in the sanctity of marriage. Silly me! I guess I’m too old fashioned.
    So to everyone I APOLOGIZE.

    Suggest Removal

  5. concerned

    TheOnlyOne: Proverbs 6:32

    Suggest Removal

  6. concerned

    I am not Linda Blackburn. In fact I voted for Brian Lassiter. I am most angry with myself because I was duped in believing him when he said he was an honest man that would work hard for the citizens of Ahoskie. It appears his HARD work was only for one citizen in Ahoskie.
    We have a county commissioner who is a pervert, womanizers on the school board, and a mayor who is an adulterer and a double home wrecker. Don’t we have any government officials with good moral values? It’s disgraceful the type of role models being portrayed to our youth.
    Ironically, as for Mayor Brien Lassiter, he is still employed with the District Attorney’s Office, even though he has admittedly committed the crime of “Alienation of Affections”. Go figure?!
    One would think that at least one of these officials would have the common decency to step down from their position. Unfortunately in this county the term “decent official” is an oxymoron.

    Suggest Removal

  7. ThomasJefferson

    Well isn’t this a case of the Pot Calling The Kettle Black. I have yet to meet a non adulterer in the HC area. Must be something in the water!!!!

    Suggest Removal

  8. concerned

    Mayor Brian Lassiter is the person that should have resigned. He is a two-timing low-life. He’s a man who is an adulterer and a double home wrecker. He has no no morals, no character, no integrity and no shame. This is not the person that we the citizens of Ahoskie should have as our spokesman and our leader. Having him as our mayor makes us all look bad.

    Suggest Removal

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