Davis lobbies for ESC office

Published 9:11 am Thursday, February 5, 2009

WINTON – An Employment Security Commission office is needed in Hertford County.

That fact was driven home by Hertford County Commissioner DuPont L. Davis Monday morning during the regular meeting of the board.

Davis said he is working with others in the county to have the office reopened in Hertford County and a meeting has been scheduled to “brainstorm” for ideas as to how to get it returned.

The Employment Security Commission office in Ahoskie closed in April of 2008, but leaders of the county have been fighting ever since to have the office reopened to the public.

In Monday’s meeting of the Hertford County Commissioners, Davis announced a new effort to continue the fight.

“We want an ESC office in Hertford County,” Davis said.

He then asked Economic Development Director Bill Early to come forward and talk about the issue.

Early said his research had revealed that Hertford County is the only one in North Carolina which does not have an ESC office located in the county or at least in a neighboring county.

“We are the only county in the state with that distinction,” he said. “We believe that will help us as we try to get the office reopened.”

Davis said it wasn’t in the best interest of the citizens of Hertford County to have to drive as far as they do to reach an ESC office.

“Our citizens have to drive through Gates County to Elizabeth City, through Northampton County to Roanoke Rapids or through Bertie County to Williamston,” he said. “That isn’t right.”

Davis said a meeting has been scheduled at 10 a.m. Tuesday, February 10 at Roanoke-Chowan Community College to try to have the office brought back to Ahoskie.

Thus far, Davis said Hertford County Board of Education member J. Wendell Hall, George Snyder of Rivers Correctional and Walter Dorsey of the Mid-East Commission have agreed to participate in the meeting

He has also invited the other members of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners, Representative Annie W. Mobley (D-5th) and State Senator Ed Jones (D-4th).

Rep. Mobley has been an outspoken proponent of having the office in Hertford County reopened and has promised to fight to have it returned.