Live at the forum

Published 7:56 pm Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Candidates for the county commission have taken the stage at Beaufort County Community College.

On economic development in Beaufort County:

Hood: we’re doing economic development totally wrong. Writing a check has not worked.

On economic development, Robert Belcher: We need to focus on businesses with 10-15 employees.

belcher, cont.: One thing we have that other counties don’t is plenty of fresh water.
Dixon agreed: concentrate on smaller biz, focus on what is already here.
J. Langley: We don’t have the trained personnel. Focus on preparing workforce @ BCCC

On a new Beaufort County jail

Gary Brinn: I want to see the money before I agree to anything.

Langley: Why do we need to landlock a jail again? It doesn’t need to be where our present jail is sitting.

Belcher: in favor of a new jail, may have to raise taxes to pay, not opposed to placing it outside the city. He suggested the industrial park that is currently growing weeds.
C. Harding: There’s no doubt about it. We need a new jail. I don’t have the answers. I wish I did.

Dixon: I think it’s important that we don’t waste time. We’ve been talking about this for more than 20 years.

McRoy: with the economy the way it is now, can’t raise taxes.

Richardson: the truth of the matter is, majority of persons in jail are there because of drugs.

Richardson: if you build that jail anywhere but the courthouse, you will contribute to the death of Washington. Look @ what happened to Belhaven when you moved the school.


Audience question: how will you fix the election system to better represent voters?

Belcher: I think we need to try again to challenge limited voting.

Wayne Sawyer: Aurora is the red-headed stepchild. We need to go back to districts. There is a common sense solution to the problem.

Richardson: it’s a good thing I’m here because I’m the only one who knows the answer to this. We spent about $40,000 of your money studying this. You have to guarantee the vote of two blacks.

Langley: I like the system. Before limited voting came about, we had 4 commissioners running everything. Now, we have 4 democrats & 3 republicans


Beaufort County Commission candidates final remarks:

Brinn said his first order of business, if elected, would be to file a lawsuit to get rid of limited voting.

Richardson advised voters to take a good look @ candidates because they’ve made mistakes. Richardson said to especially look @ Brinn: Why is he attacking me? You need to stop & look @ how bright this guy is about politics.


Three school board candidates have taken stage: Bill Sprenkle & Carolyn Walker, district 7, and Procter Kidwell, district 5

Walker said it was a shame that so many of the commissioner candidates left without hearing what school board candidates had to say. “Politicians have left the room. Now, what we have left are those who care for our children.”

Tidwell: talk is cheap. A better job can be done. We need to look out for our children and grandchildren.

Sprenkle: I want to focus on reading, writing and arithmetics. Strongly encourage parental involvement. I’m not aware of any teacher who has been trained to be a parent.

Walker: Children of Beaufort County need a fair shake. If you’re not a volunteer, you need to be. You don’t need to be a parent. You just need to care.

Tidwell said he decided to run after seeing the sex education material used in the school system.