Ballance ‘drafted’ to fill Sears’ slot on Hyde board

Published 9:53 pm Wednesday, April 25, 2007

By Staff
Preparing to help county fix problems
News Editor
Eugene Ballance, Hyde County’s newly nominated commissioner candidate, says he didn’t chase the nomination.
A native of Ocracoke, Ballance was nominated Monday to finish the remaining term of late Commissioner Nathan Sears, who died in a Virginia hospital earlier this month after a lengthy illness. The Hyde County Democratic Party’s executive committee chose Ballance over Corky Pentz, a hotel owner on the island.
Commissioners are expected to appoint Ballance to the board at their next meeting.
Ballance, a lifelong commercial fisherman, says this week isn’t the first time he has followed a course he hadn’t expected to navigate.
But after graduating from Campbell University, Ballance said, he “took advantage of (then) good crabbing prices.”
In keeping with his choice to make a living on the water, Ballance has served on several advisory committees of the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission.
The program, funded in part by the General Assembly, focuses on research, education and outreach programs that help make the state’s coast and its resources sustainable.
In his new role, Ballance said, he hopes to help Hyde County “solve problems.”
Ballance said he thinks the remainder of Sears’ term is “about 15 months or so.”
The vote count from Monday’s meeting of the executive committee was not available Tuesday.
Mason said county Democratic Party Chairwoman Janet Sears Russ had the tally, but attempts to reach her Tuesday were not successful.