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New day dawns

JACKSON – A new era in local county government began here Monday morning.

During a ceremony held in the courtroom of the historic Northampton County Courthouse, two new members of the Board of Commissioners respectively raised their right hand and accepted an oath to serve the citizens.

Geneva Riddick Faulkner of Rich Square and Charles R. Tyner Sr. of Conway are each fresh off their victories during November’s General Election. Both were victorious over incumbent commissioners Virginia Spruill and Joseph Barrett in the March Primary, advancing Faulkner and Tyner to the General Election where neither faced opposition.

For Faulkner, Monday was part two of something new in her life. She married Shawn Faulkner last week and the couple had just ended their honeymoon on the day before she took office as a county commissioner.

“I appreciate the support I received during the election,” said Faulkner after taking the oath of office from Northampton County Clerk of Court Laquitta Green Cooper.

“I trust and believe that together we are going to work to bring Northampton County beyond where we today,” Faulkner continued. “We want to be in a situation where our citizens are happy and our children are safe, and for our children to be well educated and supported by our county government.”

Faulkner added, “We know we have a lot of elected officials that are joining Rev. Tyner and myself in changing the landscape of what we have currently. We want to work together; we want to be stronger; we want to be happier in our citizenship and our government support.

“Anything that I do within the scope of my position (as a commissioner) I will do my best to do so. As a personal extension, anything I can do for you personally I will be happy to do so,” she concluded.

Accompanied by his three grandchildren as he accepted the oath of office, Tyner said his job as a commissioner is not about him, but rather future generations of Northampton County citizens.

“My grandchildren were with me today because this is not for me; I’ve hit retirement; I get Social Security; I have a church; I can make it,” Tyner stressed as he addressed a large group seated in the courtroom to witness the swearing-in ceremony.

“But what about our children and our grandchildren,” he insisted. “We should want what’s best for them and for all of Northampton County,” he added.

Like his fellow new commissioner, Tyner said he appreciated the support received during the election cycle.

“How appreciative I am to represent all the people of Northampton County,” he said. “Let me assure you that I come to this board of commissioners to do good. I owe no one anything; I just want to do what’s right. We all know that Northampton County is a great county, but I’m here today to tell you that there are things we must do, there some things that I will bring to the table that will make changes to Northampton County. Let me assure you that I’m just one vote; if all other commissioners say no, then that’s fine, but it will be in the (board meeting) minutes (of the way he voted).”

Tyner pointed out that he spent 25 years as a school administrator and served one, four-year term on the county’s Board of Education.

“I worked with parents in every community of this county,” he noted. “We know right now there is a need for better education in our county. I will assure you I will put forth every effort I can to make sure the children of this county are educated.

“Let me also assure you that I will think outside the box to bring in new industries; to bring in opportunities for the people of Northampton County,” Tyner added. “Statistics show that 50 percent of people who live in Northampton County work outside of the county. I will do all I can within my power to bring some of those folks back home so they can eat supper at night with their family and with their children.”

Tyner said he would make his telephone number available to county citizens.

“Call me at any time; I’m here to help Northampton County be all it needs to be,” he remarked. “Citizens, I’m on your side. I want our citizens to have the best services that they can receive from Northampton County government.”

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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