Felton, Horton sworn inPublished 6:43pm Sunday, November 17, 2013
GATESVILLE – “I will faithfully discharge the duties of my office as a County Commissioner, so help me God.”
With that, Billy Felton of Eure took his seat at the Commissioners’ table inside the Gates County Courthouse last week and will fill out the remaining one-year term of the late John Hora.
Felton was appointed, without objection, by the Gates County Board of Commissioners following the recommendation of the Gates County Democratic Party. Also taking the oath of the office the same day was the county’s new Register of Deeds, Cathy Horton.
For the Register of Deeds appointment, the Commissioners followed the state’s General Statutes by naming the candidate nominated by the county’s Democratic Party. The commissioners acknowledged the receipt of the nomination (Horton) from the Party by unanimous vote.
Horton served as the assistant to Register of Deeds Sharon G. Harrell, who announced her retirement last month due to medical reasons. Harrell, first elected in 1992, succumbed on Friday after fighting a long and courageous battle with cancer.
Gates County Clerk of Court Nell Wiggins administered the oath of office to both Felton and Horton.
Felton was accompanied by his wife, Brenda, who held the Bible while he took the oath.
“I’d like to thank the (Gates County) Democratic Party’s Executive Board for placing my name in nomination and thank the Board of Commissioners for showing their support and accepting that nomination,” said Felton. “All the people here, I’d like to thank you all for the support you’ve given me. I received numerous calls from throughout the county, and I appreciate that support. I promise all of you that I will do the very best I can to make Gates County continue to be the best place in the world to live.”
Horton was also thankful for the opportunity she has been given, despite the circumstances in which she rose to the position.
“I promise to do a good job for you, for many years. I look forward to working for the citizens of the county,” Horton remarked after taking the oath of office.
“Today is a day of great joy, but equally of sadness as we think of the Hora family and the Harrell family. But this county must move forward,” stated Henry Jordan, Chairman of the Commissioners.
“I would like to commend the Democratic Party’s Executive Committee for the service they rendered in this issue and for the professionalism shown in this process. They are to be commended for making this process open to the public. I thank them for what they did and I believe we heard very clearly from the Eure community on what they wanted,” said Commission Vice Chairman Jack Owens.
“We can never replace Mr. Hora, but I believe the nomination of the Democratic Party is a worthy recommendation,” Jordan stressed.
Commissioner Linda Hofler made the motion to approve Felton as the Eure District Commissioner. On a second from Commissioner Kenneth Jernigan, that motion was approved by a 4-0 vote.
“Welcome, Billy….we look forward to working with you as a team,” said Owens. “You have some big shoes to follow behind. We are delighted to have you onboard, to represent your District and all of GatesCounty.”
“I welcome Billy to this table,” stated Jernigan. “They moved me to Mr. Hora’s chair (at the table) and I cannot fill his shoes either, but I will do all I can for what I think is the best for this county and our citizens.”
“I also welcome Billy to this board,” said Hofler. “We’ve had a good chemistry in the past and I’m sure that will continue. This board may not always agree on everything, but we are respectful of each other and I feel Mr. Felton will follow along those lines.”
Jordan recognized the presence of Hora’s widow, Betty Jean, at the meeting.
“I need to acknowledge the great service that Johnny Hora provided to this county,” Jordan said. “Thank you Mrs. Hora for sharing him and all that you did to support him while he was serving this county. Billy, I welcome you and look forward to working with you and the other commissioners as we move this county forward.”
Felton is a private businessman, the owner of a land surveying company. He is also active within his community, joining the Eure Volunteer Fire Department upon its opening in May of 1980.
He and his wife are the parents of two adult children, Amy of Raleigh and Danny of Gainesville, VA.