On the road – again

Published 8:56 am Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Following the success of scheduling their second monthly meeting at various municipalities and communities around the county in 2013, the Bertie County Board of Commissioners are prepared to do it again in 2014.

Last year, beginning in April, the board met at eight sites: Powellsville (Town Hall), Askewville (Town Hall), Kelford (Community Building), Colerain (Volunteer Fire Department Training Room), Indian Woods (Blue Jay Fire Department), Aulander (Community Building), Midway/Merry Hill (Community Building), and Snakebite (Mt. Ararat Baptist Church).

Back at its June 2 meeting of this year Commissioner Ronald D. “Ron” Wesson expressed his support for the off-site meetings and stated that the gatherings seemed to have larger turn outs than those held in the regular meeting room in Windsor. Wesson also said the remote meetings seemed to be well received by the community.

During discussion at that time, Chairman J. Wallace Perry requested that if the board approved these meetings in 2014 that they not be held in churches; though only one meeting was held at a church last year: the one in December at Mt.Ararat.

Following further discussion the commissioners voted to entertain the idea again of continuing this practice, and at their June 16 meeting in Windsor the commissioners set the schedule they will use beginning July 21.

“As you’ll recall, we discussed a couple of times re-instating your third Monday night meetings out in various parts of the county,” County Manager Scott Sauer reminded the commissioners.

The meeting schedule would begin with the selected sites starting the third Monday in July.

“We have proposed the following sites: Colerain Volunteer Fire Department, Lewiston-Woodville Volunteer Fire Department, Trap Volunteer Fire Department, Blue Jay Fire Department, and Aulander Community Building to take us through November,” Sauer said, as he rattled off the communities. “We have also, as a reminder, included last year’s schedule so you can see the other portions of the county that we haven’t covered.”

Seeking variety, the board hoped to meet at sites not selected the previous year. A 2013 schedule was attached, but it also showed that Indian Woods and Aulander were back on the 2014 proposed schedule.

“We were there last year,” said Perry, referencing the old schedule.  “So we need to put Perrytown in one of those spots.  I want Perrytown Fire Department added.”

Removing Indian Woods and Aulander would create openings in October and November. Those substitutions began the ‘schedule-shuffling’ and led to the most humorous moment of the night.

Commissioner Ronald D. “Ron” Wesson asked that Askewville be added to the schedule.

“Since we skipped them last year,” Wesson stated.

“No, we went there last year,” said Commissioner John Trent.

Wesson continued to dispute his fellow board members.

“I think you mean Powellsville,” Wesson said.

“No,” the other commissioners seemed to by now concur. “We went to Askewville also.”

“The mayor of Askewville was there, the guy who runs (a local business) was there, and we met at that place where you vote,” said Trent.

With snickers and muted laughter now rising from those seated in attendance at the meeting, Commissioner Rick Harrell brought the impasse to a conclusion by holding up the 2013 schedule where the Askewville Town Hall meeting was noted in plain view on the sheet as the May meeting.

“I hate to say it, but with age your memory starts to lag,” said a smiling Trent, as the entire gathering erupted in laughter.

“I think you’re talking about y’all,” laughed Wesson, as the comic turn came to a conclusion.

Sauer brought the brevity to an end and the meeting returned to re-working the schedule.

The first change was moving Lewiston-Woodville’s original date from August to November, where Aulander had been; and Roxobel taking over the August date.  The second action was Perrytown moving into the October slot originally posted for Indian Woods.

“There’s nothing there in my district (District 2) at all,” said Harrell, feigning disappointment.

Harrell probably brought out a valid point because, perhaps overlooked, on the schedule: Colerain was also a meeting site in 2013.

The county manager then called for a vote and the commissioners unanimously approved the revised meeting schedule, which is as follows (all beginning at 7 p.m.):

7/21/14: Colerain VFD Training Room, 106 N. Main St.

8/18/14: Roxobel VFD, 204 S. Main St.

9/22/14: Trap VFD, 213 Valentine Farm Rd., Colerain

10/20/14: Perrytown VFD, 850 Perrytown Rd., Colerain

11/17/14: Lewiston-Woodville VFD, 103 W. Church St., Lewiston-Woodville