Census aids Bertie funding

Published 6:28 pm Saturday, May 16, 2009

WINDSOR – Take the 2010 census seriously.

That message was given to and by the Bertie County Commissioners at their meeting May 4.

Akilah R. Ensley, a partnership specialist from the United States Census Bureau, appeared before the commissioners stressing her desire to help the county make sure that each of its citizens are counted in April of 2010 when the census is taken.

“An accurate census is beneficial to the county,” Ensley told the board, “especially because of the funding that comes down from the federal government based on census data.”

Ensley gave the information on the census: that it is a count of everyone residing in the United States; will be held April 1, 2010; is required by the constitution and will be conducted by the delivery of questionnaires.

Commission Chairman Norman M. Cherry Sr. asked if he understood from a previous information session that the census was not only for citizens.

Ensley replied, “The census is for everyone residing in the United States whether by citizenship or their own means.”

Commissioner J. Wallace Perry asked if something was occurring at the present time and Ensley said it was address canvassing. Perry said some of his constituents had been concerned about the (census bureau) vehicles and suggested their canvassing should be made better known to the general public.

Bertie County Manager Zee Lamb said the undercount of the Bertie County population had always been a problem and that he hoped to see a more accurate count next year.

“There are funding streams that are per capita,” he said. “The difference of a couple hundred could be bad.”

At Lamb’s direction, Bertie County Planning Director Traci White put together a sample Complete Count Committee for the board of commissioners. The list included community groups, education, media, municipal representatives, county government, services and churches.

Commissioner Charles Smith made a motion to appoint the committee with Commission Vice Chairman L.C. Hoggard III offering a second. It passed by a unanimous vote.