Riddick reelected Board Chair; Craddock will serve as Vice Chair

Published 3:41 pm Tuesday, December 27, 2022

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GATESVILLE – Dr. Althea Riddick will remain as the chairperson of the Gates County Board of Commissioners.

As is customary at the first meeting of each December, the board conducts “organizational matters” pertaining to the leadership of the five commissioners.

At their meeting on Dec. 5, Riddick was nominated by then vice-chair Linda Hofler to serve another 12 months as chair of the board. There were no other nominations and a motion was approved to formally select Riddick as the board’s chair.

Riddick then opened the floor for nominations for vice chair. Newly elected Commissioner Emily Truman nominated Commissioner Jonathan Craddock. There were no other nominations and a motion was approved to formally select Craddock as the board’s vice chair.

“We are going to start another new year,” Riddick stated. “It is our desire to move forward as a board. We may disagree, but not disagreeable. We’re going to follow Roberts Rules of Order. We’re going to follow all the [state] General Statues and administrative code and any other regulatory things we have to do.

“We’re going to move forward in this county with the things we’ve already put in place,” Riddick continued. “We have a lot of work to do and we need the citizens to understand that we need you to move forward with us.”

She encouraged county citizens to contact her with their concerns.

“If you don’t know me, get to know me,” Riddick stressed. “I don’t bite…I do bark. It’s our intent as the governing body to moved this county forward in a way that we can all be proud to say we live here.”

Riddick suggested changes to the starting time of the board’s monthly regular meeting, traditionally held on the third Wednesday of each month. She requested that time be moved from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. in an effort to allow citizens, for those whose jobs end at 5 p.m., more time to arrive at the meetings.

She added there will be special board meetings (workshops) held on the first Wednesday of each month. Riddick suggested that those meetings, which are open to the public, begin at 6:30 p.m.

On a motion from Hofler and a second by Craddock, both measures were approved.

In another organizational matter, the board had to fill a vacancy on the Department of Social Services Board. The Board of Commissioners appoint one of their own to the DSS Board. That individual is Jack Owens, but Owens was defeated by Truman in November’s General Election. The current Board of Commissioners are required to fill that seat.

“I recommend that Brian Rountree [newly elected as a Commissioner] serve on the DSS Board,” Riddick suggested. “Why am I making that nomination? We need another male on that Board. We need another African-American on that Board. We need a person that can get to those meetings and be engaged on that Board. That’s the way I see it.”

Truman said she was interested in taking Owens’s place on the DSS Board. She cited her experience in working with mental health and health services.

“But I do understand your reasoning to appoint Commissioner Rountree,” Truman said, “but I do say that I was interested in that [DSS Board] based on my skillset. I feel like I have something to offer based on my training with crisis intervention, mental health and wellness, and working with senior citizens and juveniles through my job.”

Three Commissioners voted to appoint Rountree to the DSS Board (Riddick, Hofler, and Rountree). Two Commissioners voted to appoint Truman (Craddock and Truman).

According to the outcome of the vote, Rountree won by majority and it was officially motioned, with a second, that he fill that seat. That vote was 5-0.

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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