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NCACC Youth Summit

Board of County Commissioners meeting and interview with County Commissioner Fondella Leigh
by

Charlesa Leigh

on 21 August 2015

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Transcript of NCACC Youth Summit

2015 NCACC Youth Summit
Image by goodtextures: http://fav.me/d2he3r8
Charlesa Leigh
Perquimans County
Perquimans County Board of Commissioners
Interview with County Commissioner Fondella A. Leigh
The Perquimans Board of Commissioners includes: County Manager Frank Heath, Commissioner Wallace Nelson, Commissioner Kyle Jones, Chairwoman Janice Cole, Vice Chairman Edward Muzzulin, Commissioner Matt Peeler, and Commissioner Fondella Leigh.
Board of County Commissioners Meeting
On Monday, August 3, 2015, I attended one of the monthly Board of Commissioners meetings. The Board of Commissioners was seated at the front of the room. Chairwoman Janice Cole called the meeting to order, County Manager Frank Heath said the prayer, and everyone stood for the pledge. Citizens of the county would stand at the podium in front of the board to propose their ideas, questions, and concerns for county projects. Once they had shared all of their information, the members of the board would then discuss their ideas, concerns, and questions and vote in favor or oppose the idea. I enjoyed going to the Board of Commissioners meeting because it gave me the opportunity to experience how important decisions are made in our county government.
On Saturday, August 8, 2015, I had the chance to sit down with Commissioner Fondella Leigh and ask a series of questions about her position as a county commissioner.
Interview Q & A
What sparked your interest in becoming a county commissioner?
"At first, I actually didn't want to be a county commissioner. After I spoke with the pastor at my church, I considered it. However, I pulled back again once my mother passed away, but after taking everything into consideration, I decided that I would like to be part of the commissioners."

How long have you served on the Board of Commissioners? Do you plan on running for re-election once your term expires?
"I was sworn in December 14, 2014 and serve a 4 year term. I probably will run for re-election if I see a few things change in the county."

What are some of your duties as a county commissioner?
"We are involved in all things that deal with county government; such as approving budgets for the county and department heads.

What are some of the county's biggest issues?
"Some of the biggest issues I've seen so far include lack of jobs, attracting businesses, building the athletic complex, and hardly any citizen involvement."
Interview Q & A (cont.)
What role does the Board of Commissioners play in trying to find a solution to the issues?
"We meet twice a month in order to try to find sensible, cost-effective solutions."

Have you had to face any tough decisions in your position?
"Yes. A board member mentioned the construction of the athletic complex although there was a previous discussion about funds not being available. I decided not to vote in the matter. I was content with tabling the discussion even though the athletic complex was something I really wanted to see."

What do you enjoy most about being a county commissioner?
"I have the opportunity to meet new people, go to different boards, and learn more about county government and how it operates."

Would you encourage young people to get involved with county government?
"Absolutely! It's important to me for young people to get involved because you all are the ones coming in after us. It gives you a chance to have a voice in the community you live in."
Full transcript