They represent the right people

Published 10:46 am Thursday, November 13, 2008

When I went to the Bertie County Board of Elections to cast my vote in October (yes, I’m one of those one-stop folks), there wasn’t a single Hertford County Commission race on my ballot.

Likewise, I didn’t get the opportunity to vote for the two seats that were open on the Hertford County Board of Education. I had an opinion, of course, since I cover the Hertford County school board. I like J. Wendell Hall and that goes back to the years I have known him and even the time I worked for him. I also like David Shields and I like the current members of the board and the camaraderie they’ve developed.

Having said all of that, I didn’t get to vote on offices in Hertford County because I don’t live there. That means that when Howard J. Hunter III and John D. Horton, chairmen of the Hertford County Commissioners and Board of Education respectively, convene their meetings, they aren’t going to be representing my thoughts and my convictions. They’ll be representing the constituents that elected them.

On the other hand, I voted for Bertie County Commissioners Norman Cherry, L.C. Hoggard and Charles Smith. I don’t mind saying that since they were running unopposed. I likewise voted for three candidates in the school board race, though I’ll refrain from saying who here.

When those boards convene, I certainly expect they will have my best interest and that of the other citizens of Bertie County at heart. Even though our commissioners run in districts, I whole-heartedly agree with Commissioner Hoggard’s assessment that all five commissioners represent the entire county because it takes the whole county to elect them.

That subject has come to my mind frequently in the past year or so as I have seen person after person berate Windsor Mayor Bob Spivey for only being concerned about Bertie’s County Seat.

It really bothers me when a man is attacked – and the mayor has been on numerous occasions – for doing the job he was elected to do by the people in his town. The people of Windsor likely don’t care what the folks in Powellsville and indeed in Hertford County think. They didn’t elect Bob Spivey so that he could worry about it either.

Bob Spivey was elected to serve the citizenry of Windsor and he has been doing that for more years than most of us can recall. He obviously does it well since he has been reelected to his post many, many times.

When we direct our anger at people in political office, we should at least direct it at those who represent us and who have some accountability to us. I haven’t seen a single person in Windsor who thought Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn ought to represent their interests. She certainly shouldn’t. She is accountable to the citizens of Hertford County’s largest town and to no one else.

If I have a problem with anything, I’ll be looking for John Pierce, the mayor of Askewville (where I live). If the problem is larger than the town’s jurisdiction, I’ll go looking for Norman Cherry or L.C. Hoggard. I’ll do that because those people represent me.

Thadd White is a Staff Writer and Sports Editor for the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald. He can be reached via email at