Council’s actions are commendable

Published 9:47 am Thursday, November 5, 2009

Government, at any level, is supposed to be open and honest with the best interests of the citizens are the forefront.

Such was the case in Ahoskie during the last two meetings of the Town Council.

It came to the council’s attention at their meeting on Oct. 22 of nearly $500,000 worth of cost overruns on a construction project at the Ahoskie Creek Recreational Complex. That amount of money was of great concern to the council members, especially considering that the town had already borrowed $1.1 million and received a $500,000 state grant to complete this phase of the park’s development.

But instead of a “knee-jerk” decision and pulling the plug on what has the potential to be one of the best parks in all of eastern North Carolina, council members rolled-up their sleeves and went to work in an effort to save the project.

After debating the issue, council members instructed the potential contractor to look for cost-saving measures. For their efforts, well over $500,000 was found, including an immediate savings of $307,500. That news was shared at Tuesday’s council meeting.

What was learned in this case of municipal government civics is that by working together in an open and honest effort yields reward.

The members of the Ahoskie Town Council (Malcolm Copeland, Ronald Gatling, Elaine Myers, Buck Suiter and Maurice Vann), Mayor Linda Blackburn, Recreation Director Dennis Everett and Town Manager Tony Hammond are to be commended for saving this project.

Because of their efforts, the recreation-minded children and adults of Ahoskie, Hertford County, the Roanoke-Chowan area and even those who will perhaps visit later as part of a youth or adult tournament are the real winners.