Thankful for new roles

Published 9:58 am Thursday, December 6, 2012

Bertie County Commissioners Ronald D. Wesson (left) and John Trent (third from left) take the oath of office Monday morning. The Bibles were held for them by their respective wives, Dr. Patricia Wesson and Beverly Trent. The oaths were administered by Bertie County Clerk of Superior Court John C.P. Tyler (far right). Staff Photo by Thadd White

WINDSOR – Two newcomers took their place among the Bertie County Commissioners Monday morning.

John Trent and Ronald D. Wesson were each sworn in for their first term as a member of the board by Bertie County Clerk of Superior Court John C.P. Tyler. The oaths were administered at the beginning of Monday’s regular meeting.

Bertie County Manager Morris Rascoe, who led the meeting until J. Wallace Perry was elected Chairman, offered each man the opportunity to speak to the near capacity crowd.

“Let me begin by thanking all of those tireless citizens: friends, neighbors, campaign workers, and just plain folks who worked so diligently to make my election possible,” Wesson said. “I thank you all for sharing my desire for leadership change and for working so hard to make it happen.”

Wesson said he retired seven years ago and began working to serve the citizens of the county through the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary and various boards and scholarship efforts.

“I have welcomed the opportunities to serve,” he said. “I believe that it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. I look forward to this opportunity to work for you and with you to help build a better Bertie.”

Wesson also thanked his predecessors, L.C. Hoggard III and Norman M. Cherry Sr. for their years of service on the board and said it will be up to the new board to take Bertie to higher heights, as Cherry had said previously.

“That 80 percent of the electorate who sent me here, sent me here with a crystal clear mandate… they want more open and transparent decision making from their elected officials and they desperately desire more opportunities to work and thrive here in the county that they love,” Wesson said. “They expect the newly Mr. Trent and I to work with our fellow Commissioners to get the job done. No excuses… and to be more diligent stewards of their hard earned tax dollars.

“Over this last year I’ve met with citizens all across Bertie; in living rooms, in farm fields, in fire stations and on street corners and I’d like to thank all of you once again for your suggestions, for your criticisms, and for your vote of confidence,” Wesson said. “It now becomes my task to work as hard as I possibly can to make you proud.”

Trent began his statement by thanking the two men who asked him to seek office – James Pugh and Robert Gilliam.

“This has been the best adventure that I could have imagined,” Trent said. “My committee that I formed proved that a small group of determined people can make a difference. Our political platform was simple and we never altered from our mission statement, “to make life better for the people of Bertie County.”

Trent also thanked Monica Lassiter for her work as a poll worker and campaign manager.

“The people of Bertie County deserve to be ahead of their times, to have choices,” Trent said.

He continued, “To my wife, Beverly, who has stood by my side during the hard times and good. When my partners in Florida said I was crazy to move to Bertie County and give up what we had built, I love you for believing in me when others did not. Bertie County is my home and it will be my resting place.

“On November 6, the people of Bertie County voted for change,” he added. “The grass roots that made this county great made that change. To the people of Bertie County, I say thank you for your support and confidence.”

Trent also expressed his appreciation for Cherry’s service and wished him well in the future.

“To the sitting board, I am here to work with you for the people of Bertie,” Trent closed. “As county commissioners, we work for the better of all people.”