Respect is for county citizens

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 10, 2005

R-C News-Herald Editorial

An issue worth discussing was raised during Monday’s meeting of the Northampton County Commissioners.

During the discussion of appointing a chair of the board, Commissioner James Boone brought a complaint about what he deemed a lack of respect by some members of the Board.

His statement brought an apology from Chairwoman Virginia D. Spruill who said she did not intentionally show any disrespect for any Board member and that she apologized if Boone was hurt by any action she may have taken.

As grown people should, the two agreed to carry on from this point forward and Boone voted with the majority to return Spruill to the post of chairwoman.

Commissioner Fannie P. Greene said she thought it was a valuable lesson and that each Board member should show respect to the others.

Greene certainly is correct.

There seems to be rampant disregard for duly elected public officials by elected officials in the Roanoke-Chowan area. It can be seen in almost every county throughout the region.

There are 10 elected county officials in Bertie County, 10 in Hertford County, 10 in Gates County and 12 in Northampton County. In each county there are duly elected boards of commissioners and boards of education. The citizens of their respective counties elect all of them.

Each of them were elected by the people of their respective counties. They should be treated with the respect due the citizens who elected them.

They are representatives of the people, therefore to be disrespectful of that official is to be disrespectful of the people who elected him or her.

We have said before in this space that Northampton County Board of Education Chairwoman Catherine Moody is a good example of boardsmanship. She is tolerant of those who disagree and is fair to those who appear before the Board.

Likewise, Hertford County Board of Education Chairman David Shields is an example of how board members should treat each other.

Some board members may not have voted for people who sit with them or on the other board in their county. Despite their personal distaste for each other, the people of the Roanoke-Chowan area deserve people who will respect them even if they don’t like the people they elected.

The Northampton County Board of Commissioners agreed Monday to work more diligently towards this aim. They should be commended for such a step.

Others throughout the region should follow this positive step. They should learn to be tolerant and respectful even when they don’t agree.

To disagree, one doesn’t have to be disagreeable.