Commissioners Meet with State Representatives: We All Bared our Political Souls | Eastern North Carolina Now

No Mr. Chairman: An abject point of fact is that Beaufort County has never had a Republican majority of the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

    This reply was on the literal 'tip of my tongue' to the Chairman's just stated admonishment of real Republicans' political attitudes as opposed to Democrats', when he immediately shut down the meeting allowing no reply to his sophistic statement. Chairman Jerry Langley made his point, now I shall make mine.

    To be completely honest, and most certainly not to the surprise of anyone that actually follows Beaufort County's government: The meeting ended in an uproar. Well, so much for the Chairman's admonishing comments: 'There has long been a Republican majority on this board of county commissioners after the Democrats were always in control, and we let you have your majority, and we were always civil. This meeting is adjourned.' Then the BANG of the gavel, and the Chairman abruptly left the Commissioners' court.

    At that unpredicted point at the meeting's conclusion: I was incredulous, Commissioner Hood Richardson was near apoplectic, and NC Senator Bill Cook, who is also from Beaufort County, had a look on his face of: 'What intellectual planet are you from Mr. Chairman?'

    The meeting had already been a substantive 'give and take' between the commissioners, and their elected representatives to our county's North Carolina body politic, which is a very good thing. As many of you know, I have been doing this for a long time - representing constituents as a county commissioner - and over those long, nearly 18 years, I have sat down with many fellow commissioners, and many state representatives. Yesterday, I may have had an epiphany: These guys actually get it - they understand governing at the level that I do - that Hood does. Well, at least the Republicans do.

    At one point in the discussion, I sensed frustration in the voice of first term representative Paul Tine, 6th District, when he spoke: "When we meet with other county commissioners from other counties, they usually have a list of agenda items that they want us to take on, and those commissioners have a consensus on those issues."

    My intuitive retort to the good Representative, "Well Paul, welcome to Beaufort County."

    In short defense of Paul's comments, he may be use to boards of county commissioners who work in a more bi-partisanship manner to get things done, which in Beaufort County has always meant to the principled minority: 'Do it our way!'

    On our agenda for this discussion, we had items ranging from Ferry Tolls, a big issue, to Public debt financing, an ever bigger issue (think the county commissioner denial of a jail G.O. bond referendum). During the entirety of the meeting, county commissioners and our state representatives engaged in some rather direct dialogue on sensitive issues from school safety issues (ending schools as 'free fire zones') to Merit pay for teachers to School vouchers, even to one point that Chairman Langley thought it wise to admonish NC Senator Bill Cook for his approach in the expression of his Conservative ideals on one of the agenda issues, I do believe it was the Teacher pay issue.

    Obviously, Chairman Langley took political umbrage with NC Senator Cook's political zeal in doing his part in solving a very large issue here in North Carolina - an ineffectual, yet well funded, public education system. The education industry has long been the domain of partisan Democrats in North Carolina.

    In North Carolina's public school system, there has long been a certain political patronage, whereby Democrats have been rewarded within that structure for playing the partisan game effectively to the benefit of Democrats holding the control - those elected and those on the receiving end of the funding largess. Those of us, who are students of this inarguable reality, also know that you will not begin to correct North Carolina's education inadequacy until you breakup this political /funding codependency of the Democrats. That means realigning North Carolina's education administration bureaucracy into one that is more streamlined to making profoundly better decisions within the construct that take the 'lion's share' of North Carolina's treasury, and is so integral in our People's future development into model citizens with purposeful lives.

    NC Senator Bill Cook, a Republican, understands this significant truth; Chairman Langley, a Democrat, does not.

    This obvious sense of friction between two polar political opposites may have been fully exacerbated by the core of the last issue of that day's meeting - Public debt financing. Senator Cook, as a Conservative, fully believes in his sworn allegience to his oath to the 'North Carolina Constitution, but not inconsistent with the United States Constitution.' For the Senator, his oath is solemn, and no Certification of Participation (COP) enacted under the Basnight Senate will deter this Senator from reverting back to the constitutional provisions of North Carolina's constitution, which will demand that elected representatives allow the People the Democratic prerogative to determine, by referendum, whether to encumber themselves with large financial obligations - like a proposed larger than needed county jail and sheriff's office here in Beaufort County.

    For some reason Democrats like: Jerry Langley, Ed Booth, Robert Belcher and Al Klemm don't get it.

    I just wish I could have tacitly expressed this immutable point at the conclusion of this 90 minute meeting, but Chairman Langley did symbolically bang his gavel and 'storm out' of the room, effectively shutting down the meeting. Surely, from a representative perspective: How smart do you really have to be to fully understand this one truth? There has never been a Republican majority on this Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners, or Democrat Langley would not have had this measure of control for so long. King chairmen only remain king as long as commissioners allow it. Obviously, the four functioning Democrats on Beaufort County's board of commissioners have long felt inclined to make this so.

Considering that Beaufort County may build a new jail /sheriff's office: What should be the best course?
7.51%   Build a modern jail/S.O. in the southwest corner of the county
43.3%   Build a modern jail/S.O. behind the courthouse in the county seat
49.2%   Do not build a jail/S.O. anywhere
746 total vote(s)     Voting has Ended!

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