Hester resigns

Published 10:25 am Tuesday, April 3, 2012

JACKSON — The Rev. James Hester, Chair of Northampton County Board of Commissioners, has announced his resignation from the board.

Hester, who has served nearly two terms, made the announcement by reading a prepared statement at the end of the board’s regular meeting on Monday. His resignation is effective April 30.

Hester confirmed in February to the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald that he was not seeking a third term. His current term was due to expire the first Monday in December.

Hester began his statement by addressing the county’s citizens and his colleagues.

“For the past seven years and three months I have served as a county commissioner for Northampton County,” he read. “During those years and months I have tried to fulfill my responsibilities to the best of my ability. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to represent my district and for the privilege of serving with my fellow commissioners. I shall always remember and be humbly grateful for the trust and confidence the citizens of this great county have placed in me.”

He continued, “I greatly appreciated the assistance that our county manager, Wayne Jenkins, has given to me and this board of commissioners as we have dealt with the governing of our great county. His wisdom and expertise have given us insight to the needs of the citizens of this county.”

Hester concluded his statement by saying, “I have decided to submit my resignation as representative of District One in Northampton County. This decision has not come without much prayer and thoughtfulness. I am at peace with my decision and ask that it become effective April 30, 2012.”

Hester’s fellow commissioners seemed taken aback by the effective date.

“Wait, April 30th?” asked Commission Vice Chair Virginia Spruill.

“Yes,” Hester responded.

Commissioner Robert Carter questioned if a motion was in order for the resignation.

Jenkins responded there was not.

Spruill questioned if the date could be later than April 30. Hester said it could not.

“You know that breaks us, you know that, don’t you?” Spruill said.

“This decision has not come without much prayer and thoughtfulness,” Hester said.

“Let me tell you Reverend Hester, it has been a pleasure to have shared this board with you,” Spruill said. “You have been an inspiration to all of us. I admire your thoughtfulness, looking at things fairly and being objective (on) decisions.”

“I appreciate that,” Hester said.

Carter also expressed his gratitude to Hester.

“I enjoyed working with you,” Carter said.

Carter asked Attorney Charles Vaughan if there would need to be some study on the matter considering Hester’s absence would leave an even number of commissioners on the board.

Vaughan said he would have to investigate it.

Following the meeting Hester declined to elaborate on his decision to resign.