Historic moment

Published 8:37 am Tuesday, December 16, 2014

GATESVILLE – History was made here last week.

The long-time male stranglehold on the lead seat of the Gates County Board of Commissioners was broken when Linda Hofler was elected by her peers as board chair.

Hofler, the Hobbsville District representative on the Board, is in her first term, elected as a Commissioner in 2012.

She succeeds Henry Jordan as board chair. He served in that position for two years.

According to now retired Gates County Commissioner Sherwood Eason, Hofler is the first woman to hold the position of chair. Eason, who served 34 years as a Commissioner (21 as chair), said of the county’s two previous female Commissioners – Frankie Eure and Marsha Langston – neither was ever elected as board chair.

“I thank my fellow commissioners for their vote of confidence. It will be my privilege to serve as Chair,” Hofler said at the Dec. 1 meeting where the board traditionally votes in their leadership for the coming year.

“I also need to thank Commissioner Jordan for his service. He will be a hard act to follow,” Hofler added.

She continued by saying, “As I watched this morning as our new commissioner was sworn in, I remembered from two years ago when I was first sworn in and a couple of promises I made to myself and made to the citizens of Gates County. I still hold true to those promises…that government should be transparent, the citizens need to be informed of the issues we’re dealing with and the reason we make on those issues. I also think we need to treat everyone with dignity and respect, listen to their suggestions.

“We all want the best for Gates County…those sitting here on this board and those in the public. Thank you and I promise to do my best,” she concluded.

Commissioner Ray Freeman III (Gates District) is the board’s newest member. Returning to board are Commissioners Jack Owens (Gatesville District) and Billy Felton (Eure District).

In the process to elect the board’s leadership, Felton nominated Hofler for the chair’s seat. That nomination was seconded by Freeman and the vote was unanimous.

Owens, the current vice-chair of the board, was nominated by Freeman to retain that seat. Felton offered a second and the ensuing vote was unanimous.

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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