Uhuru saga ends

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006

JACKSON – The Uhuru saga may have come to an end.

The Northampton County Commissioners voted unanimously Monday not to revisit the issue of providing funding for the community development corporation for at least six months.

That motion came about after Commissioner James C. Boone (D-3rd) had moved to provide Uhuru Community Development Corporation of Rich Square with $100,000 in funding.

&uot;I want us to stay focused and be mindful that Northampton County has special needs population and poor people who must be advocated for,&uot; Boone said.

The commissioner added that he felt there were a lot of people in Northampton County that did not know about services that were available to them and those people would not necessarily seek help from the county.

Boone said he wanted the board to assist the community development company in raising the standard of living in the county. He then moved to provide the funding.

Commission Chairwoman Virginia D. Spruill (D-2nd) asked if there was a second, but none was voiced. She said there was no second needed under the board’s rules and opened the floor for discussion.

Commissioner James Hester (D-1st) said he wondered why Uhuru CEO Anthony Clark had not made the request personally.

Boone said others on the agenda had not made personal requests, but that had not been an issue.

&uot;That’s not answering my question,&uot; Hester said.

Spruill said she wasn’t clear about whether Clark himself was actually requesting the funding.

&uot;Not that I know of,&uot; Boone said. &uot;As far as I know, he doesn’t know that I’m making the request.&uot;

Boone said poor people in the county needed service and Hester said he agreed. He added the board was sworn to serve the people of the county and Hester again indicated his agreement.

&uot;Sometimes we don’t know what we’re sworn to do,&uot; Boone said. &uot;We lie like hell in elections that we’re going to help, but we don’t.&uot;

Commissioner Fannie P. Greene (D-5th) said she had been on the board for four years and to her knowledge had never received a request from Clark.

&uot;I have a concern that you have asked and they haven’t,&uot; she told Boone.

Boone said no commissioner had called him to ask any questions about Uhuru after any of his numerous requests for support for the organization.

Spruill called for a vote and the motion failed by a 4-1 vote.

After the motion failed, Commissioner Robert V. Carter (D-2nd) said rules of the board didn’t allow a defeated motion to be discussed for six months or until a new board is seated, whichever is first.

He then moved to not allow the issue to come up for six months. Greene offered a second.

&uot;You don’t need to do that,&uot; Boone said.

The board voted 5-0 to restrict the issue from the agenda for six months. That restriction prevents the Board from considering a motion for the county to make a special appropriation to Uhuru for the next six months.