Ahoskie hires Chestnutt

Published 9:16 am Thursday, January 20, 2011

AHOSKIE – Town of Ahoskie officials didn’t look very far in finding a replacement for one of their most beloved and trusted employees.

On Wednesday, Joleatha Chestnutt was appointed Ahoskie Town Clerk, replacing longtime employee Evelyn Howard who will retire Jan. 31. Howard spent 30-plus years with the town, serving as Clerk, Finance Office and Assistant Town Manager.

Chestnutt, an Ahoskie resident, begins her new job on Feb. 7. She currently serves Town Clerk for Murfreesboro, a position she has held since October of 2008. She was Deputy Clerk for the town upon her hiring in July 2006.

“We feel extremely fortunate to get someone of her qualifications; she can hit the ground running with her previous knowledge as serving as a Town Clerk over in Murfreesboro,” said veteran Ahoskie Councilman O.S. “Buck” Suiter Jr. who served on the search committee to find a replacement for Howard. “She already lives in Ahoskie and we’re happy to have her; she was real interested in the position.”

Two other Ahoskie officials were also pleased with the hiring.

“Joleatha already has completed many of the certifications required for a position of this nature and she’s well on her way at the present time in receiving her municipal clerk’s certification,” Ahoskie Town Manager Tony Hammond said. “Her goal in life was to become Town Clerk in the town she’s from. That goal has now been reached.”

“It’s always difficult to replace someone of Evelyn’s stature,” Ahoskie Mayor Linda Blackburn noted. “I was so delighted to learn that we were fortunate enough to not only hire a person with such an impressive list of job-related credentials, but one who is an Ahoskie resident as well. With her vast amount of previous experience she’ll be able to walk right in and perform the job.”

Ahoskie’s gain leaves a void in nearby Murfreesboro.

“I will miss Joleatha.  I invite you to join me in offering her continued support as she pursues a larger arena and closer to her home,” said Murfreesboro Town Administrator Lee Capps in an e-mail sent to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald on Wednesday morning.

Capps said Chestnutt’s last day in Murfreesboro will be Feb. 4.

“She already has assured the Mayor, Mr. (Lloyd) Hill (Administration Councilman) and me that she will offer assistance even beyond Feb. 4th or a few hours after work if required to assist our needs and to assure compliance of the various functions of her current responsibility,” Capps added.

Chestnutt is a graduate of Gates County High School and Roanoke-Chowan Community College where she earned an Associate’s Degree in Office System Technology. She previously worked with CADA and was an Executive Assistant for the Hertford County Partnership for Children. She was the first black female to hold the position of Town Clerk in Murfreesboro.

She is a member of Nebo Baptist Church. She is married to John Chestnutt and the couple has one daughter, Alexis.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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