Faulkner and Tyner mark one year on board

Published 12:40 pm Thursday, December 7, 2017

JACKSON – It’s been a year since Geneva Faulkner and Charles Tyner took their seats to serve the citizens of Northampton County. Both were elected to serve a four-year term on the Board of Commissioners during last year’s election, and both are serving in the position for the first time.

Faulkner and Tyner took a moment to reflect on the last twelve months here Monday during the Board’s last meeting of 2017.

“Today marks a year I’ve been serving as county commissioner,” said Faulkner during the Board comments portion of the meeting.

Faulkner, who represents District 2, continued her remarks to acknowledge that the Board still had much more to accomplish, citing issues such as economic development and improvements in the facilities and homes of the county.

“Those that are coming through [the county] who may think of this as a wonderful place to live and raise a family, it may change their view if they see a lot of those dilapidated homes on those main highways,” Faulkner explained as just one example of her point about improvements.

“I know there’s a lot of work to be done, and I’ve got three more years here, at least, to try to help get some things moved along,” she told the citizens, emphasizing a commitment to continued progress.

She concluded her brief remarks by expressing gratitude, saying, “I appreciate the vote of confidence from the citizens and I thank the board members for the positive work relationship we’ve been able to have.”

When it was Tyner’s turn to speak, the commissioner of District 1 also emphasized the importance of working towards improving life within the county.

“What have I done to make life better in Northampton County?” Tyner said he asked himself as he looked back over the last year. “There’s much that we’ve needed to do, and I’m willing to pull up my sleeves to make sure we do as much as possible.”

Tyner also mentioned a recent News Herald article which reported on the Tier status of the Roanoke-Chowan area. Tier designations are assigned by the North Carolina Department of Commerce and are based on factors such as unemployment rates, household income, population growth and property value per capita.

Northampton County, along with its surrounding counties, maintained its previous designation as Tier 1, the lowest of the rankings. This was a point of concern for Tyner.

The commissioner also expressed concern over the county’s tax rate, which is the highest among the four counties of the Roanoke-Chowan area.

“There absolutely have got to be some changes,” Tyner said. “If we want to make Northampton County better… innovative kind of things have got to take place.”

But though he acknowledged areas they still needed to work on—such as continuing to improve county access to water—he also focused on things which will be a positive for the county. The Atlantic Coast Pipeline, he said, would help recruit more industries to the county to bolster economic development.

“I’m learning county government. I’m learning what it’s all about. I guess it’ll be a learning experience through the next three years,” Tyner said. “I just want the citizens to know we’re trying to do the very best we can for Northampton County. We’re going to move forward.”