Buzzeo seeks seat on Board of Commissioners

Published 5:51 pm Saturday, January 4, 2014




Ronald W. Buzzeo believes his experiences in business and law enforcement provide him with qualities a county commissioner should possess.

Buzzeo, a Republican, is seeking a seat on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners.

During his campaign, Buzzeo said, “I plan to listen a lot, talk little.”

Buzzeo explained the factors motivating him to seek a seat on the board.

“I’m concerned about a number of issues here in the county. … Seeing some of the things that are going on, they way they treat some business folks who appeared there, the need to bring jobs into the county, the need to support education, but keeping in mind we’ve got to keep a low tax rate because we have a lot of people here who are retired or are seniors,” Buzzeo said in an interview Friday. “In looking at this whole thing … I can bring something based upon my background — business, law enforcement, pharmacist.”

Buzzeo said he’s concerned with the proposed closing of Vidant Pungo Hospital in Belhaven.

“I’m concerned about the lack of paramedics and the way the county just brushed Vidant (Health) off,” he said, referring to a decision by the Board of Commissioners late last year not to accept about $500,000 in grant funds from Vidant Health to help pay for enhancing the county’s EMS effort by adding more paramedics to it. Buzzeo said the county and Vidant Health should have worked out a compromise on the issue.

“I know I don’t know all the answers. I don’t presume to know all the answers, but I’m a good listener. I intend to get around the county, more than I have been, to listen and hear what people have to say on their needs,” Buzzeo said.

Experience as a former law-enforcement officer, including with the federal Drug Enforcement Agency in supervisory positions, provides him some insight when it comes to jails, Buzzeo said. His business inspects county jails and state prisons.

“I feel … there needs to be improvements to the jail we have. … Whether we need a new jail or not, I don’t know at this point in time. It’s something that I’m really going to have to get my teeth into. I’m really going to have to study the issue. I don’t want to say right off the bat I’m against something,” he said.

Buzzeo wants to study the jail issue further.

“If we do need a new jail, what’s it going to cost us?” he asked.

Buzzeo said the county needs a strong, effective education system, including Beaufort County Community College, which produces academically strong students and is attractive to industries and businesses considering moving to the county. Buzzeo also believes a good school system should find out what it’s doing right when it comes to educating students and replicate those programs and ideas that are producing the desired results in the classroom.

“I now feel it is time that the current Board of Commissioners has a member who has the experience to serve all the residents of Beaufort County and one who does not forget that he is their representative,” Buzzeo wrote in his platform statement and biography.

“People should vote for me for several reasons. One is my background. Two is the need to support the educational system we have here, the need to bring jobs into the county, the need to keep our taxes low. … I understand the need for cooperation. I understand the need for consensus. I understand the need for open communication. … I think all those reasons are why I am asking people to vote for me,” Buzzeo said.

Buzzeo, who served as president of the International Narcotics Enforcement Association, and his wife Judy live in Chocowinity.




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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