Trio seek County Commissioner seat

Published 10:31 am Thursday, March 10, 2016

Last in the series

When Hertford County registered voters cast their ballot for the March 15 Primary, one of decisions they will make will be to choose among three candidates vying for the Democratic nomination for District 2 Board of Commissioners’ seat.

Ronald Gatling

Ronald Gatling

Historically, the winner of Democratic primary wins the general election as there is no challenge from a Republican candidate.

The District 2 seat is currently held by Ronald Gatling, chairman of the Hertford County Board of Commissioners. He recently spoke at a Candidates’ Forum held by the African American Caucus of the Herford County Democratic Party in Murfreesboro.

Gatling said he understands what the economic downturn has done to the citizens of Hertford County.

He said the board has kept its budget to $25 million, while increasing revenue by $2 million while lowering expenditures and keeping the tax rate at .84 cents, much lower than the $1.06 rate it used to be.

“We have kept the services you expect intact,” Gatling said. “We have funded every department so that you receive the services you need.”

He added, “I want to continue to do that so that we can move Hertford County to a better place.”

He listed several projects in the county, such as water projects, playground projects, and several others the county has fully or partially funded for the people of the county.

Scott Outlaw

Scott Outlaw

Scott Outlaw is also running for District 2 County Commissioner. He is a lifelong resident of Hertford County and has a BA in criminal justice from Chowan College.

He is a retired law enforcement officer with 30 years experience – 20 with the Ahoskie Police and 10 years with NC Division of Motor Vehicles with the License and Theft Bureau.

He is also a 21-year volunteer with Ahoskie Town and Rural fire departments and a 10-year volunteer with the Ahoskie Rescue Squad.

He is married with three children and a member of Ahoskie First Baptist Church.

As to why he’s running for county commissioner, Outlaw said, “I want to restore confidence back in county government by promoting economic development to create jobs and reduce the tax burden on the citizens.

“To create and solicit jobs,” Outlaw said, “we must invest in education to have a job pool for perspective employers to hire our citizens and not bring in outside labor.”

Darren Smallwood

Darren Smallwood

Outlaw added, “I believe that all the citizens need a voice in the decisions made by the county leaders, not just a select few. I want the citizens to feel secure in the emergency services they receive, i.e., law enforcement, fire and rescue.

“I want the quality of life to improve in this county for future generations,” he said. “I feel that being retired I will have plenty of time to devote to the business of helping this county return to solid fiscal planning for the good of all taxpayers.”

Darren L. Smallwood Sr. is also running for District 2 County Commissioner. Due to his work schedule, he could not be contacted in time for this primary preview.

In a political advertisement that appeared in this newspaper, Smallwood wrote, “A new face with a new vision; safer streets, stronger community.”