Dual roles

Published 4:15 pm Sunday, February 1, 2015

AULANDER – With the election of new members of the Bertie County Board of Commissioners last November and their taking office the following month, some appointments needed to be made on the various county and regional boards and committees upon which Commissioners must serve.

Those posts were filled at the regularly monthly evening meeting of the Board held Jan. 20 at the Aulander Community Building.

“We had significant turnover on our board,” said Commission chairman Ronald D. “Ron” Wesson. “We had three new members come on board and some of those positions held by former Commissioners J. Wallace Perry, Charles Smith, and Rick Harrell will now need to be filled by current Commissioners (Tammy Lee, Ernestine ‘Byrd’ Bazemore, and Stewart White).”

Wesson said he wanted a different approach with the 2015 appointments: rather than voting on the appointments, he preferred his fellow Commissioners seek out those committees and boards where they might best fit.

“I think it’s always a good idea to say to Commissioners, ‘Where are you most interested in serving?’ ‘Are there any boards that you think you could make a significant contribution to’?  There has been some discussion individually, but we’re going to do this tonight in open session,” Wesson stressed.

Wesson said there were some boards where a commissioner’s presence was required by statute and others where the service appointment on a particular panel was by request.

Appointments were as follows, nominated, seconded, and voted upon unanimously:

Commissioner John Trent succeeds Perry on the Bertie-Martin Regional Jail Commission.  It’s his second appointment as he currently serves on the Vidant Bertie Hospital board.

White succeeds both Smith and Harrell on the Economic Development Commission.

Bazemore succeeds Smith on the Department of Social Services board, and will now serve a term (her second) on Juvenile Crime Prevention Council; she had previously served on that board as one of its directors. She also accepted an appointment to a third board: the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee, which oversees rural transportation systems in Bertie and several adjacent counties.

Lee accepted appointment to the dual boards of the Albemarle Regional Health Services, as well as the East Carolina Behavioral Health, finance committee.  She will also succeed Perry on the Tri-County Airport Authority.

Wesson – who already serves on the Windsor Township Development board and is the Bertie representative on the Mid East Commission – will serve on the Moses V. Gilliam Center Advisory Board, which operates, among other things, the computer lab as part of the Windsor-Bertie Chamber of Commerce.

Wesson thanked his fellow Commissioners for their dedication and assured them that their hard work would be appreciated by the citizens of Bertie County.

As a postscript, Wesson said he wanted to make those present, as well as others, aware that citizen involvement is also needed – and desired – on all these task force groups.

“Some of these same boards will have openings coming up,” Wesson said. “So you can look online (at the county’s website: www.co.bertie.nc.us) and see the openings coming up.  There are none this month, but we typically do; so if you have any interest in serving, please put your name in the hat.”