NCACC appoints HC official

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 30, 2004

AHOSKIE – Whether it’s on his home turf or a hundred miles away in the state capital, DuPont Davis doesn’t mind working for the betterment of Hertford County and North Carolina.

Davis, a 16-year veteran on the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, was appointed earlier this week to a one-year term on the Board of Directors of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners (NCACC). His seat on that Board was one of five special appointments made by new NCACC president J. Breeden Blackwell of Cumberland County.

This isn’t the first time that Davis has been summoned to serve as a state official. In 2002-03, he served as NCACC president, marking only the second time since the NCACC was founded in 1908 that a Hertford County citizen has held this prestigious position (Fred Jones of Winton served from 1965-66).

&uot;I’ve enjoyed working with the NCACC,&uot; said Davis, an Ahoskie businessman. &uot;It’s a group that works hard to reach a common goal – that of making our entire state a better place to live and work.&uot;

Davis said of all the issues facing the NCACC, Medicare and Medicaid top the list.

&uot;Our counties have to budget for Medicaid and that takes a lot of money right off the top,&uot; he stated. &uot;In Hertford County, our Medicaid share is right at 20 percent. I think it’s even higher in Bertie and Northampton.&uot;

The point he was making in stating those numbers is that in financially distressed counties, such as those in the northeastern part of the state, taking at least 20 cents off each dollar a county takes in doesn’t leave a lot to divide among the numerous other services offered to citizens.

&uot;Easing the burden that our counties have to pay for Medicaid was a top priority for me when I served as the NCACC president and it remains one today with president Blackwell,&uot; noted Davis. &uot;During my term as president, I found it very helpful to network with other states as well as the National Association (of County Commissioners) in order to lobby the Federal government to pick-up more of the Medicaid tab. It worked, but we still are seeking to shift more of that burden on the Federal government. They are the ones who mandate it.&uot;

Another goal of the NCACC is education.

&uot;We’re working towards a goal of developing a better understanding between our association, our 100 county governments and the state and local boards of education,&uot; he stressed. &uot;Our top issue in that is working with our education officials in finding ways to pay the bills for the ‘No Child Left Behind’ legislation. Again, here’s a federally mandated program, a good one I might add, but President Bush didn’t send any money down to the local level to pay for it.&uot;

The NCACC Board of Directors and its Executive Committee, both composed solely of elected county officials, make policy decisions to guide the Association and its staff through the year. The board consists of five officers (Executive Committee), 18 district directors and five at-large commissioners. Davis is one of the five at-large Board members.

Hertford County is part of the NCACC’s District 2 contingent. That District also includes Beaufort, Bertie, Martin and Pitt.

&uot;We meet every two months, unless there is a special called meeting,&uot; said Davis.

To date, Davis has served on nearly every committee under the wing of the NCACC -Legislative Goals, Environmental, Education, Taxation and Finance and Mental Health committees.

When asked if his service to his county and District may pave the way for a political future in Raleigh, Davis was quick to reply.

&uot;No, simply because I will not run against Robert (Holloman, the District’s State Senator) or Howard (Hunter, the local member of the State House of Representatives),&uot; he stressed.

But what if either Holloman or Hunter decided to retire from public life.

&uot;That’s a different story,&uot; stated Davis. &uot;I might consider it more seriously in that situation, but right now I’m concerned for the citizens of Hertford County and what I can do, locally and on a state level, to make things better here at home.&uot;

Founded in 1908, the NCACC is one of the most successful and active statewide local government associations in the nation. The NCACC was established for the betterment of county government in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s 100 counties are vibrant and essential partners with state government in providing services to the state’s more than eight million citizens.

As the form of government closest to the people, counties offer a unique perspective that makes them critical players in decisions affecting their citizens. The NCACC serves as the counties’ advocate before the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government.

Boards of commissioners in every county are eligible for membership in the Association. Collectively through the Association, they strive to preserve and protect the authority and ability of county governments to deliver the services for which they are responsible.

The Association employs a professional staff to run the day-to-day operations and to provide expertise in the areas of lobbying, fiscal and legal research, communications, intergovernmental relations, information technology, field visits and risk management services.