Stanly County Commissioners swear in new members, name new chairman

Published 6:33 pm Tuesday, December 6, 2022

At Monday’s meeting of the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, a new chairman and vice chairman were chosen along with the swearing in of new commissioners.

Before the regular meeting, an organizational meeting saw the swearing in of returning commissioners Mike Barbee and Bill Lawhon, along with newly elected commissioners Patty Crump, Trent Hatley and Brandon King.

Scott Efird was named as the new chairman by a vote of 7-0. Mike Barbee was then named as vice chairman, also with a 7-0 vote.

Lawhon then presented the appointments for the various boards on which commissioners serve. As a motion, Lawhon listed the following nominations to the board:

Economic Deveopment Commission: Bill Lahwon and Mike Barbee;

Health and Human Service Board: Peter Asciutto and Patty Crump;

Library Board of Trustees: Brandon King;

Airport Board Authority: Bill Lawhon (primary), Trent Hatley (alternate);

Chairman, Fire District Commission: Brandon King;

Member, Senior Services Board: Mike Barbee;

Rocky River Rural Planning Organization: Peter Asciutto (primary), Brandon King (alternate);

Stanly County Water and Sewer Authority: Mike Barbee (primary), Trent Hatley (alternate);

Centralina Council of Governments: Patty Crump (primary), Scott Efird (alternate);

Partners Mental Health Board: Scott Efird;

Juvenile Crime Prevention Council: Trent Hatley.

Barbee seconded the motion, and Crump spoke in the discussion period, asking that the Health and Humans Services Board be voted on separately. She said she wanted Hatley to serve with her on the board, saying Asciutto over the years of the COVID-19 pandemic “has had very strong beliefs and supported the lockdowns, the mandated masking and the quarantines.”

Crump added Asciutto was a vaccine ambassador with Atrium Health “for the vaccination rollout.”

“I do not believe that is in alignment with the people of Stanly County. That was evidenced by over 18,000 votes the other conservative commissioners received,” Crump said.

She encouraged commissioners to vote against the motion in order to separate the health board in a future motion.

King said he wanted to echo Crump’s sentiments, adding the board “needs a little more conservatism.”

Asciutto, who was attending the meeting by phone, addressed Crump, saying she had mentioned the need to research people.

“Evidently, you never checked on what I’ve done for proper health for the citizens of Stanly County, including not showing up tonight because I’m under the weather. One thing you don’t want to do is to be around people when you’re ill,” Asciutto said.

The motion passed 5-2, with Crump and King voting against.

The organizational meeting, however, had to be conducted again when it was determined that Stanly District Attorney T. Lynn Clodfelter could not swear in the commissioners. Clerk of the Board Tyler Brummitt swore the commissioners in again, and the meeting was repeated.

Again, Efird and Barbee were named chairman and vice chairman, respectively, and the board appointments were again passed with a 5-2 margin. Crump and King voted against the motion again.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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