POWELLSVILLE – The Bertie County Board of Commissioners are looking to open the line of communication between the local government and its constituents by bringing their meetings to different communities within the county.
Last week, the commissioners conducted the first of several planned meetings outside of Windsor at the Powellsville Fire Department were they were met with a packed room of citizens who were curious about the matters of county business.
Powellsville Mayor Thomas Asbell welcomed the commissioners on behalf of the town and its citizens.
“We appreciate this and this is a wonderful opportunity for each one of us to get to know each other,” he said.
Commission Chair J. Wallace Perry thanked Powellsville for their hospitality.
“We welcome all citizens here to take part in your government,” he said.
During public comment, the commissioners heard from citizens speaking on an array of topics from vicious dogs to the need for a fire hydrant.
Earnest Carter, a life long resident of Powellsville, addressed a problem he said was present in the county and all over.
Carter said he was attacked on March 8 by a pit bull dog while walking up town to peel potatoes for a fundraiser. The attack left Carter with an injury to his arm that is still being treated.
“Before and since then I’ve been aware of people being attacked by these vicious dogs,” he said. “I don’t what the problem is lately, but you hear more about it all the time.”
Carter added something needed to be done to strengthen the laws on people keeping vicious animals.
He added the Powellsville Town Board has passed some laws that took care of a dog issue in town. He asked the county to toughen their laws as well.
Willie Outlaw also spoke about the dog problem. He also said he had a run in with a vicious dog, but was not attacked.
Clamon Brown spoke about the need for a fire hydrant near his home on Brown Road of NC 42. Brown said there are six houses that are a mile from the nearest hydrant.
Powellsville Fire Chief David Powell explained Powellsville Fire Department is the only fire department in BertieCounty that utilizes the out-of-town hydrants. If there was a hydrant at the intersection there would be six homes that would drop from a 9H to a 6 insurance rating.
John Davis commended the commissioners and thanked them for coming out in the communities.
Davis said the board, with a two new commissioners, has worked well together.
“I think there is a feeling of excitement in Bertie County,” he said. “We’re starting to look at things different and, gentlemen, that is because of your leadership.”
Later in the meeting, Commissioner Ronald “Ron” Wesson spoke to the audience about the board appointment process that the board has recently made changes to in order to open it up to all citizens.
“We’ve made it so any citizen who is interested, who believes they’re qualified and has the time and energy to spend on the board; you can nominate yourself to say, ‘yes, I’m interested and I have something to offer’,” he said. “We will certainly take that into consideration when we look at making the board appointments. It’s just a way of opening it up so that citizens all across can participate and be a part of your county government.”
Upcoming “on the road” proposed meetings for the commissioners, include:
May 20 – Askewville Town Hall, 7 p.m.
June 17 – Kelford Community Building, 7 p.m.
July 15 – Colerain Volunteer Fire Department, 7 p.m.
August 19 – Blue Jay Fire Department, Indian Woods, 7 p.m.
September 16 – Aulander Community Building, 7 p.m.
October 21 – Midway Community Building, Merry Hill, 7 p.m.
November 18 – Mt. Ararat Church, Windsor (Snakebite Community), 7 p.m.