Board nixes health-related contract

Published 11:03 am Friday, April 5, 2013

By a split vote along party lines, the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, during its meeting Monday, disapproved a contract related to a healthful-living campaign.
Republicans Hood Richardson, Stan Deatherage, Al Klemm and Gary Brinn voted against Commissioner Ed Booth’s motion to approve the contract. Democrats Jerry Langley (board chairman) and Robert Belcher joined Booth, a Democrat, too, in voting for the motion.
The county is part of a nine-county region working toward improving the health of residents in those nine counties. The contract called for the county to pay up to $2,500 to Pitt County for its assistance in helping Beaufort County implement the program.
The coalition — known as the Region 10 Community Transforming to Make Healthy Living Easier — has a program that focuses on tobacco-free living, healthful eating and active living. Pitt County, through its health department, would have assisted the Beaufort County Health Department in implementing the program, if the commissioners approved the contract.
Richardson said, I’m not voting for it because I just think it’s another one of those go-to-meetings government programs that so many people are involved in, and all of sudden you wake up one day and find out you’ve got something you didn’t want — how did this happen? Well, it happened because of these meetings. I’m just not going to vote for it.”
Deatherage said, “I’m going to join Hood on that because I think very soon all this money is going to run out. I don’t want to be a party to helping it run out. We’re talking about two issues. Smoking is bad. We know that. Eating healthy is good. We know that. I think there’s enough stuff on TV to tell you what to eat, what not to eat and what not to smoke, which is everything.”
In a related matter, the board unanimously approved an agreement between the state and the Beaufort County Health Department concerning services, programs and records the department must provide or maintain.
“This document basically governs how the health department operates,” said Klemm.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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