Edwards, Gillette reelected to chair, vice chair

Published 6:12 pm Wednesday, February 16, 2022

The Southampton County Board of Supervisors dealt with organizational matters at its Jan. 25 meeting, led by the election of its own chair and vice chair. Jerusalem District Supervisor Dr. Alan W. Edwards and Capron District Supervisor William Hart Gillette were reelected as chair and vice chair, respectively.

Michael W. Johnson

Leading up to these board votes, County Administrator Michael W. Johnson said, “State statutes require each local governing body to resolve certain organizational matters at your first meeting each year, and the first organizational matter is the election of your chairman and vice chairman.

“I will say, if the board fails to designate the term of office, it is presumed, by law, that (chairman and vice chairman are) elected for a one-year term or until a successor of each has been elected,” he continued. “The chairman and vice chairman may succeed themselves in office.”

Johnson then shared details on the responsibilities and benefits that belong to these two elected officers for Southampton County.

“The chairman is the presiding officer at all board meetings and further serves as the board’s representative at all official and ceremonial functions,” he said. “The chairman is entitled to vote on all matters coming before the board unless otherwise disqualified by a conflict of interest.

Alan W. Edwards

“The chairman signs all meeting minutes, official resolutions and other legal instruments as authorized by the board,” he continued. “The vice chairman is authorized to discharge any duties of the chairman during his or her absence or disability.”

Johnson noted that in addition to their annual salary of $5,500 as members of the board, these top elected officers each earn an additional annual sum — $1,800 for the chair and $1,200 for the vice chair.

Johnson then opened the floor for nominations for chairman, and Newsoms District Supervisor Lynda T. Updike promptly nominated the sitting chairman, Edwards.

There were no other nominations, and the vote for Edwards was unanimous, excepting Drewryville District Supervisor Dallas O. Jones, who was not present for the meeting.

William Hart Gillette

Franklin District Supervisor Robert White promptly nominated Gillette to return as vice chair, with the board then voting to reelect him.

Next, the board voted to adopt a resolution establishing its 2022 meeting schedule. The board will continue to meet at 6 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month, except for in December when the meeting will be moved to the third Tuesday to avoid a conflict with the week of Christmas.

The board then voted to adopt a resolution establishing its 2022 holiday schedule.

Finally, the board addressed appointments of its own members to three different groups.

For the budget finance committee, it was determined Gillette and Berlin/Ivor District Supervisor Christopher D. Cornwell Sr. will continue serving.

The board opted to make a change to the school board liaison committee, which had included Boykins District Supervisor Carl J. Faison and Jones.

Edwards mentioned that Jones is recovering from a serious illness.

Then Gillette said, “Mr. Chairman, this is kind of a unique situation — Mr. Jones being absent, and we’re not too sure exactly when he might be back. I think that it might be best to fill his spot on that committee, and I would move that Chris Cornwell serve this year with Mr. Faison on the school committee.”

The board approved this, and Johnson later noted to Cornwell and Faison that the committee would be meeting Feb. 28 at 6 p.m.

Edwards lastly brought up the planning commission, on which he serves as the board liaison. He asked if anyone wanted that spot.

“We’ll continue with you,” Updike said, and the board vote echoed this.