ASHEBORO — The Randolph County Board of Commissioners voted Dec. 5 to maintain their current organization, with Darrell Frye continuing as chair and David Allen as vice chair.
County Manager Hal Johnson presided over nominations and voting for chair. The vote was not unanimous as Hope Haywood was a “no.” However, Allen’s vote for vice chair was unanimous.
The commissioners then elected to retain Ben Morgan as county attorney, Dana Crisco as clerk and Sarah Pack as deputy clerk. Most of the commissioners’ duties on various boards remained the same.
Prior to the reorganization, the board recognized Debra Hill as NC Tax Assessor of the Year. She began working for the Randolph County Tax Department in 1982 and has led the department for a number of years.
As Hill approached the front to receive an award from Frye, she noted, “And I’m not retired,” referring to those retiring from service to the county normally receive honors from the commissioners.
Also honored was Jonathan Scarlett, who won the Reserve Supreme Champion Doe and Reserve Got To Be NC Doe at the NC State Fair, with his doe, Marshmallow, that he raised. There were a total of 250 does entered.
Although she was not present at the meeting, Louise Duncan Brewer was recognized for reaching her 100th birthday on Dec. 3.
•Superior Court Judge Jimmy Hill swore in officials elected in the November election. Taking the oath were Allen, Frye and Haywood as commissioners, and for Soil & Water Conservation district supervisor were William T. Alston, Carrie Guess-Slatosky and Brian Ward.
• The public comment period was divided into those commenting on the Confederate statue in front of the Historic 1909 Courthouse and those speaking on other topics. Alan Pugh, who was recognized by the board as having served as county attorney, requested that public libraries be opened on Sunday afternoons. He noted that only Franklinville’s library opened its doors on Sunday.
Tim Saunders had two requests. First, that citizens serve as poll workers during local elections. Second, that people talk to each other regardless of what political party they belong to. “We need people to get along,” he said.
Lester Rivenbark asked the commissioners to “take a stand against drugs” by passing an ordinance that would ban medical marijuana in Randolph County. He said there are efforts in the NC Legislature to pass a law that would legalize medical marijuana.
DeAnna Hurley Chamberlain thanked the commissioners for funds that were made available to fire departments.
The commissioners then allowed 15 minutes for comments on the Confederate statue.
Tammy Coley read a resolution by the United Methodist Church Conference that asked for the statue to be moved to another location. The Conference, Coley said, believes “Confederate symbols don’t represent” today’s values but perpetuate a system of slavery and white supremacy. She said those who erected Confederate statues in the early years of the 20th century supported white supremacy. “We call on the Randolph County commissioners to seek racial healing and remove the Confederate monument.”
Dwain Roberts ceded his time to Kinney Ramsey, a lieutenant commander of the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans. He said state law says the statue should stay. He added that those who want it moved want to “hide history.” He noted that the statue was erected in 1911, the 50th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.
Charlie Lyons began reading a resolution by First United Methodist Church of Asheboro that asked the commissioners to reach a peaceful resolution of the issue. “Randolph County should be known as an inclusive county,” he said. He then ceded the floor to Ann Hoover to read the remainder of the resolution.
Hoover read, “The county continues to struggle with racial inequality. The time has come to relocate the statue. We support the resolution passed by the Asheboro City Council (asking that the Confederate statue be moved).” The First Methodist resolution went on to suggest that a committee be formed to study the issue and report back to the commissioners with a recommendation to relocate the statue “to an appropriate place.”
Eli Harmon said those who want the statue moved are expressing a “Bolshevik” ideology. “It’s moral and ideological rot,” he said.