Davis honored for service

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NEW BERN – Dupont L. Davis has been serving the people of Hertford County for two decades.

At the most recent meeting of the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners, he was recognized for his 20 years of service as a Hertford County Commissioner.

“It’s been an honor to serve the people of Hertford County,” Davis said. “For the people of my home county to have faith that I can do the job has been humbling.

“As I say all the time, we as the board of commissioners, are running a business for the people of Hertford County,” he continued. “Our job is to do that the best way we can and realize we are a low-wealth county. We try to make the best of what we have.”

Davis was first elected to the Hertford County Commission in November of 1988. Since that time he has been chosen as chairman of the board for 10 times, been recognized as Commissioner of the Year and served as President of the N.C. Association of County Commissioners.

“It feels great to have been part of the association for all these years,” Davis said. “I have met people from Manteo to Murphy. I never aspired to be Commissioner of the Year or President of the NCACC. The people of the association have been kind to me.”

Davis is the longest-serving active commissioner in the Roanoke-Chowan region, having been elected to five terms. He is running unopposed for election to his sixth term in November.

His efforts have earned him the respect of his fellow board members and the staff of the Hertford County government.

“It is an honor to serve with someone who knows the ins and outs of local politics,” said Hertford County Commission Chairman Howard J. Hunter III. “He has taught me a lot and has introduced me to a lot of people I did not know.

“Dupont Davis has been an asset to Hertford County and to the state of North Carolina,” Hunter closed.

Hertford County Manager Loria D. Williams said Davis had the distinction of being one of few people who were willing to serve and were chosen to serve for 20 years.

“In my experience, you don’t often find individuals who are willing to serve in this capacity and whose constituency has the faith in them to keep them in office for that number of years,” Williams said. “It shows the considerable respect people from his community have for him.

“Commissioner Davis has worked for the betterment of Hertford County as a whole,” she added. “In my three years here, I have come to know Commissioner Davis and his heart has and always will be to put the citizens of Hertford County first in his decision-making processes. That has served him well and allowed him the tenured service he’s come to realize and know.”

Williams also said Davis’ support for her and other county leaders helped them do their jobs better.

Assistant County Manager Pat Weaver has served all 20 years that Davis has been on the Hertford County Commission. She said he had been an asset to the board all that time.

“It’s been a pleasure working with Commissioner Davis for the past 20 years during his tenure on the board,” Weaver said. “Mr. Davis is very enthusiastic and extremely concerned about the well-being of Hertford County citizens.”

In addition to working for the citizens of Hertford County while in the county, Davis has been a fixture in Raleigh working with the North Carolina General Assembly. He said that had been a natural evolution of his political career.

“Most of the people in the House and Senate I have worked with as fellow county commissioners,” Davis said. “I am always there to beg for Hertford County. I tell them there are two things you can give a poor person – money or a job. I’m always asking for both for Hertford County.”

Davis said he remembered telling former North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt that he was proud of his children and sending them away to college, but saying there were no jobs for them if they wanted to come home.

“He mentioned that when he made his speech on Nucor,” Davis said. “He told me I could tell my children to come home now.”

Davis was honored with a plaque for his service by NCACC Executive Director David Thompson, who is a former Hertford County Manager.