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Greene, Youse seek seat

CONWAY – Two candidates seeking to represent Northampton County’s fifth district were part of a candidate forum here last week.

Incumbent Democrat Fannie P. Greene and Unaffiliated challenger Charles “Chuck” Youse were among five candidates for Northampton County Commissioner who gathered to speak to voters at the Ashley’s Grove Community Building.

By virtue of her name being drawn out of a hat, Greene went first in the forum.

She stressed her roots in Northampton County as being part of her appeal as a commissioner.

“I’m a native of Northampton County,” Greene said. “I attended elementary and high school in Northampton County. My roots are here in this great county.”

Greene said she attended Virginia State University and Central Michigan University. She will complete her master’s degree in public administration in June of next year.

“I am qualified to hold this very important position,” she added. “I’ve served four years and I’m proud of the work we’ve done so far.”

Greene said she ran on a platform that included economic development, recreation, education and public safety. She said those four were still important.

She touted the addition of the Advanced Vehicle Research Center, the Northampton County Cultural and Wellness Center, and the creation of new jobs as well as increasing the tax base $20 million as significant gains made by the county during the past four years. Greene also talked about the construction of a new elementary school and the addition of five new deputy sheriff officers.

“Many of our goals are still a work in progress,” Greene said. “The seeds have been planted and I would like to see them reach full maturity.”

During his time moments later, Youse addressed having moved to the county 10 years ago.

“I’ve been here for 10 years,” he said. Mrs. Greene was lucky enough to have been born here. We were smart enough to move here.”

Youse also talked about the county budget, saying the demands on the taxpayers had grown and that new and innovative approaches must be taken to relieve the burden of taxpayers.

“We need proven leadership,” he said.

Youse then talked about his military service, saying he began as a private and moved up to sergeant before being commissioned as a second lieutenant and eventually retiring from the Army as a major.

From there, he went to the Tandy Corporation where he served as a District Manager and oversaw a $28 million budget.

“For four years, I worked as the county’s Veteran Service Officer, giving the veterans the dignified service they deserve,” he said. “I’m asking you to serve you for four years with the same energy and enthusiasm I have my entire adult life.”

Youse said the county needed to start developing the tourist trades that would go hand-in-hand with Carolina Crossroads in Roanoke Rapids and that should start immediately.

He also said the 1,100 jobs created in Northampton County over the past eight years were not necessarily being filled by the county’s residents. He said the county needed to work hard to make sure the people in their home county were trained to be able to fill those positions.

Youse also suggested Northampton County needs a reliable, low-cost transportation system to allow people to get to work.

Youse also discussed the cost of Medicaid on the county’s budget and said it was important that the state began to take that burden.

“If I am elected, I will use all the resources available to me,” he said. “I will carefully consider everything that comes before me and make decisions based on what is best for the entire county.”