Process begins to fill vacancy on Bertie board

Published 5:54 pm Tuesday, December 8, 2020

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WINDSOR – A recommendation has been made to fill the seat of outgoing Bertie County Commissioner Ernestine Byrd Bazemore.

At their regularly scheduled meeting here Monday night, the Bertie County Democratic Party (BCDP) announced their choice to fill Bazemore’s remaining two-year term on the board of commissioners. Bazemore was elected in November as the new State Senator representing Bertie, Northampton, Beaufort, Martin, Vance and Warren counties

BCDP chairman Wesley Dudley said that James Lee is the choice to fill Bazemore’s unexpired term.

In accordance with NC General Statute 153A-17, the Bertie County Democratic Party met to recommend an individual to fill the term. Commissioner Bazemore represents District 5, meaning an individual currently residing in that area could express their desire to serve.

“The Bertie County Democratic Party encouraged individuals residing in the Snakebite / Indian Woods district who wanted to serve as a county commissioner to submit a letter of interest,” Dudley told the board at Monday night’s meeting.

He said that letters were received from Lee, along with those from Carl Bond, Ron Roberson, and Michael Williams.

“We conducted a fair and impartial interview session with each of the candidates, via Zoom, and each of the candidates presented themselves well,” Dudley stated. “We asked questions that ranged from the areas of finance, strategic planning, legalities, and why they wish to serve as a county commissioner.”

Dudley then explained that officials with each (voting) precinct were charged with deliberating with their constituents and then casting a vote for one of the four candidates.

Dudley said that Lee, who resides in the Snakebite area of District 5, received over 76 percent of the vote.

“We understand that the General Statute only allows us, more or less, to serve as a consultant [in the process],” Dudley noted. “We do understand that this is nothing more than a recommendation and that you, as the board of commissioners, have the final say.

“We do hope that due to our fair and impartial process that you do acknowledge the voice of the people in the community who took part in this process,” Dudley concluded.

It is not known when the remaining four commissioners will vote to fill the seat. The state statute allows them 60 days to do so.

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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