Neighborhood Fellowship

Published 12:22 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2017

AHOSKIE – The clean-up was more than on the grounds; it also included what its organizer called an ‘hour of enlightenment’.

At a special gathering – beginning with his own neighborhood – Ahoskie Town Councilman and Mayor Pro Tem, Rev. C. David Stackhouse invited his constituents to attend an open forum where they could not only learn about municipal government, but ask questions and interface with neighbors about citizen responsibility and civic pride.

“It’s real people, having a real dialogue, and doing what’s right,” the Councilman said afterward.

Stackhouse was joined in what was a picnic atmosphere – complete with grilled hot dogs – by fellow Ahoskie Councilman Charles Reynolds, Ahoskie Police Chief Troy Fitzhugh, and Hertford County Sheriff Dexter Hayes.

Residents engage in dialogue with the town councilmen on a variety of issues at Sunday’s neighborhood fellowship gathering..

While the forum took place just a stone’s throw from the Councilman’s home on Malibu Drive, several other residents from across Ward-B sat, or stood, under a makeshift tent and voiced some of their concerns.

“This is just the first fellowship I hope to engage in,” Stackhouse said. “Next month I want to hold one at the VIP Club in Ahoskie (North MLK Drive), then in September on Pine Street, and then on McGlohon Street in October.

One bit of news the citizens were delighted to hear from the Councilmen present was regarding the re-opening of the town’s Gym located off Main and Academy Streets from 9 a.m. to noon for the rest of the summer vacation period.

“Once school starts, we will be altering the hours so the gym will be available in the afternoons after school,” Stackhouse said.

He also said the recreation user fees ($35 for residents and $45 for non-residents) will be reduced to a flat $20.

“This will cover the cost of a jersey for all the player-participants and funds to pay the referees,” he said.

Some concerns that were voiced particularly had to do with the town’s water and sewer charges.

“Why is my water meter locked,” one resident wondered. “I think it’s more than safety.”

Another theme for the gathering was “Be Clean in 2017”, one of Stackhouse’s pet projects to tidy up the streets and homes around the town.

“Cleaning and maintaining our communities is the ultimate,” he acknowledged, “but the idea is to clean up where we live; to have pride in where we live.”

For some citizen concerns, the Councilman admitted he had no ready answer.

“Anything I don’t know, I will try to go and find answers to it,” he confessed.  “I want to try and improve the town’s morale.”

The gathering – attended by some 40 persons over the hour and a half that it lasted – covered subjects from speed bumps to deer, to doing better with a clean community.

“The idea is to be pro-active,” Stackhouse concluded. “We have to be doing something in order to get something done.”