Archived Story

County officials will assess board’s jail vote

Published 1:53am Thursday, March 14, 2013

Beaufort County Manager Randell Woodruff and County Attorney Billy Mayo were tasked by the Board of Commissioners to determine if the board followed its rules of procedures when it voted last month to locate a new jail at the Beaufort County Industrial Park.
That vote came during the board’s retreat at the N.C. Estuarium. Commissioner Hood Richardson walked out of that meeting.
“The commissioners have a set of rules that we are supposed to operate under. I would look for the manager and county attorney, with the permission of this board, to do an assessment of the way the jail vote was taken at the recent retreat as it relates to our rules, the rules the commissioners operate under, and see how that jail vote actually fit the rules and come back and report to us at the next meeting,” Richardson said at the board’s meeting Monday.
Richardson made a motion for Woodruff and Mayo to make the assessment.
Commissioner Stan Deatherage, who seconded the motion, said, “If we start taking votes at retreats … we’ve going to have to do either one of two things. Well, we’ve really only got to do one thing. I think we need to have the cameras there so that everybody can see what’s going on. … I think at the next retreat we have the cameras lined up to go, or I’m not going to be there.”
At the end of Deatherage’s remarks, board Chairman Jerry Langley called for a vote on Richardson’s motion as Deatherage attempted to resume comment on the matter.
“I think the man should be allowed to speak, Mr. Chairman,” Richardson said.
“I don’t care what you think, Hood,” replied Langley.
“I know you don’t care what I think. That’s why you’re operating outside the rules every chance you get,” Richardson said.
Again, Langley called the question and Deatherage began speaking but was interrupted by Langley, who called the question for a third time.
“I’ve still got the floor. I’ve got a certain amount of time,” Deatherage said.
“I’m calling the question,” Langley replied.
“There’s a certain amount of courtesy that goes with these meetings and it’s not being extended,” Richardson said.
“You have talked all evening long,” Langley said to Richardson. “You’ve been allowed to talk all evening long.”
Richardson replied, “I’m a commissioner. I’m allowed to talk.”
“All in favor of this motion, raise your right hand. All opposed. Now, let’s move on,” Langley said.
The vote was 4-3 for the motion, with Republicans Richardson, Deatherage, Al Klemm and Gary Brinn voting for it. Democrats Ed Booth, Robert Belcher and Langley voted against it.

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