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‘Government champion’ bows off HC Board

WINTON – Don’t expect John Pierce to slip quietly into retirement.

When Pierce gaveled Monday night’s Hertford County Board of Commissioners meeting to a close, it signaled an end to his four years on the county’s highest elected branch of government. Pierce, seeking reelection to another four-year term, was defeated by political newcomer William “Bill” Mitchell in the May Primary.

“These four years have flown by,” said Pierce, the board’s vice-chairman who was honored Monday night by his fellow commissioners and afforded an opportunity to “chair” his final meeting (Mitchell will be sworn in on Dec. 1).

Pierce used his special night to thank those who have helped him along the way.

“First, I need to thank God for keeping me strong so I could serve the people of this county,” he said. “I never missed a meeting nor was I late for a meeting in my four years.

“I’d also like to thank our county manager, Loria Williams; she has done a marvelous job,” Pierce added. “The same can be said for Mrs. (Patricia) Weaver (assistant county manager) and Mr. (Chuck) Revelle (attorney to the board).”

Pierce continued, “But it’s to the people of Hertford County that I owe my biggest thanks. Without their support, I wouldn’t be here.”

Pierce promised that he would not go home and, “roll under a log.”

“You appoint citizens to our various boards; I would like to be considered for some of those board appointments,” Pierce noted, addressing his fellow commissioners.

Pierce’s service did not go unrecognized by his peers.

“You and I came on this board at the same time and it has been a privilege serving with you,” board chairman Howard Hunter III stated.

“We’ve spent some good times together,” added veteran Commissioner DuPont Davis.

“You have brought a lot to this table,” said Commissioner Curtis Freeman. “You have brought a wealth of knowledge to this board. I hope you don’t decide to go home and sit in a rocking chair. I hope you remain active and continue to voice your opinion.”

Revelle said Pierce impressed him because he always sought answers before making decisions.

“Your tolerance and understanding are to be commended,” Revelle noted. “You asked questions and made sound decisions.”

Williams agreed, saying, “You had the knowledge to do the job. We will miss your spirit of cooperation and collaboration. You are a champion of local county government because you have always represented the best interests of Hertford County citizens.”