Town seeks representative for B&G board

Published 5:53 pm Wednesday, December 14, 2016

BELHAVEN — The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain is seeking an advisory board member from Belhaven.

At Monday night’s Board of Aldermen meeting, Donyell “DJ” Jones, executive vice president of the Coastal Plain branch, spoke to the board about the need for representation for Belhaven on the county’s advisory board.

The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain has a 22-member board of directors that oversees the five-county, 10-club operation. However, smaller advisory boards are appointed in each county to offer better representation.

Beaufort County has a Belhaven unit and two Washington units.

“We understand as an organization that we can’t do this alone,” Jones said Monday. “The last thing we want to do is close a club because when we close a club, it affects kids.”

The Belhaven unit has struggled in months past and is undergoing a period of transition, potentially involving a revamp and partnership with Northeast Elementary School.

Alderman Steve Carawan brought up representation for Belhaven on the county’s advisory board at a previous meeting in September.

“We need a Belhaven voice,” Jones said. “It’s a lot more meaningful when one of you from the Belhaven community comes to knock on the door.”

Jones said the Belhaven member does not have to serve on the Board of Aldermen, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain just wants to find the right person for the position.

“The town really does have a longstanding commitment to the Boys & Girls Club,” town Manager Woody Jarvis said. “I think we evolved from being a subunit of the Washington club to being part of a larger club.”

The Board of Aldermen voted to table the discussion until a later meeting, but Alderman Yvonne DeRuiz said she would like to see someone appointed by February. The rest of the board present agreed. Carawan and Mayor Adam O’Neal were absent from the meeting.