Better Governing Now » Jerry Langley Elected Chairman of the Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners


Jerry Langley Elected Chairman of the Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners

Hood Richardson, the longest serving commissioner sitting upon this current dais, did tonight what he has seldom done during his nearly 20 years as a county commissioner, he played king maker, or, better put, chairman maker.

Jerry Langley, moments after the vote to replace Gary Brinn with himself: Above.     photo by Stan Deatherage
    Here tonight, December 7, 2015, at the general meeting of the Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners, former chairman of the Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners, Jerry Langley, was elected to serve as the Chairman this night, and will serve until the next December general meeting, 2016. The vote to elect Commissioner Langley was 4 to 3, but not without much political positioning to effect this outcome by the slimmest of margins. The voting for chairman: 3 votes for Gary Brinn (Frankie Waters, Gary Brinn and Ron Buzeo), 4 votes for Jerry Langley (Ed Booth, Robert Belcher, Jerry Langley and Hood Richardson).

    Now, the king making position of the grizzled happy warrior, Richardson - Republican Cum Laude, making a Democrat chairman of the Republican dominated Beaufort County Board of County Commissioners ... and does it portend a more drastic, possibly dramatic future 'shoe to drop'.

Commissioner Hood Richardson explains himself: Above.     photo by Stan Deatherage
    Hood Richardson remarked at the outset of the election of the chairman process: 'I request that I be relieved from voting for chairman since I do not believe that any of you (fellow commissioners) possess the quality of character for me to vote for'.

    Strong words by Commissioner Richardson, but the long standing commissioner will argue that he has just cause to speak that way.

    When posed the question as to why one long standing county commissioner would usurp the status of this short standing commissioner, Commissioner Richardson offered these words:

    "It has been a year that I have been excluded from any discussion with these nominal Republicans, and they have done as they pleased without any input from me. Take a look at the way they have voted as group and it proves that they are no Republicans, therefore, I am not bound by any party ritual to vote only for a Republican for chairman, especially a nominal one".

Gary Brinn, moments after learns he will not be chairman for the next year: Above.     photo by Stan Deatherage
    Then Commissioner Richardson, quantifiably, the most knowledgeable commissioner sitting on that board, and, in all truth, more knowledgeable, in aggregate, than all of the other Republicans sitting on the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners, had this to say:     "Quite a while ago, Brinn told me, 'I will never vote for you for anything, not for any board or commission, nothing.'"

    For people who are smart and wise, and have the temerity to live and govern in a manner that suggest that innate knowledge of ego, they tend to judge others by the way they are treated. It is as if they are the ongoing, never wavering foil to an ever changing environment, and they view that world juxtaposed against their knowledge of a quantifiable self - an ego comprised of working skills and the resultant wisdom of age.

    Furthermore, Commissioner Richardson may be many terrible things to some people: boisterous, acerbic, domineering, etc, but one thing Richardson is not is opaque. The man will tell you how he feels, and will argue splendidly for his representative position, but his communicative style is as much about being transparent as it is direct. It is something one needs to know about Hood to deal with him, to negotiate with him, and influence him, and to do so, you better show the man respect, and you better have the better argument to win it. I know this well since I served with him for 16 years as a county commissioner.

    And therein 'lies the rub': No Republican respect for the far smarter man; a man who could provide valuable insight to help these nominal Republicans to find the threshold to the process of learning what it means to govern as a Conservative, or even a Conservative/Moderate. Commissioner Richardson is rightfully frustrated in the pure sense of understanding clarion truth. Regardless of the man's personality traits - whether an anathema to some or one who possesses the well measured resolve to act on Conservative principles to others, he is, and has well proven to be a valuable resource to Beaufort County. That is just the way is, like it or not, the man is a Conservative if he is nothing else.

    Now consider this: Is the larger question that may be looming here: Is this the first salvo of the Conservative commissioner, or has he made his salient point well enough?

    Only time will tell.

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