Down East Seniors welcome longtime commissioner

Published 2:48 pm Friday, November 11, 2016

The Down East Seniors Club held its Nov. 9 meeting at the Blind Center of North Carolina in Washington. President Ed Hamrick led the meeting. Jim Hackney played for the singing of “God Bless America,” and Mike Gwynn gave the invocation. Dick Paul provided humor.

Bill Cates announced that the club will ring the bell for the Salvation Army at Walmart on Dec. 5. He passed around a sign-up sheet.

Chip Ide reminded the club about the Dec. 21 Christmas party and said he would pass around a sign-up sheet at the next meeting.

Frank Stallings introduced Hood Richardson as the speaker. Richardson, a long-time county commissioner, said government increasingly tends to provide more things for people than in the past. He attempts to apply business principles when making decisions on county issues. He said the county now has 350 employees, so it is a large employer. Education and medical care are two of the largest costs in the county budget. The Belhaven area lost emergency medical care when their hospital was closed, but they are still working to have the hospital reopened. The District Attorney’s office is working to reduce the time between criminal case arrests and trial. This is reducing the jail population and thus the need for a larger jail. He also discussed the request for new cars by the sheriff’s office.

Mark Eakes won the 50/50 drawing.