The first meeting of the new year after county elections involves electing the next Chairman and Vice Chairman. At the Regular Meeting of the Northampton County Board of Supervisors, the annual election of officers exposed a deep rift among not just members of the board, but the county itself.
To begin the process, Supervisor Robert Duer nominated Supervisor Oliver Bennett for the 2018 chairmanship. There was no second, so Mr. Bennett seconding his own nomination. Next, recently elected District One Supervisor John Coker nominated Spencer Murray. District Two Supervisor David Fauber seconded the nomination. The nominations were locked at 2-2, until Spencer Murray broke the tie by voting for himself.
Oliver Bennett stated that he was under the impression that he and Murray had “a gentleman’s agreement”, that Murray would only serve 2 terms. Bennett alluded to what many have witnessed in Northampton–a bias of race, class and culture. Once again, the Franktown/Wellington Neck Mafia has a firm grip around the neck of the county. Bennett noted that he had served the county on the Board of Supervisors for many years and was again disappointed that once again only a certain pedigree was allowed to assume the chair in Northampton County.
“Your time will come,” Bennett said.
Chairman Murray asserted himself, saying that he felt he was very qualified to be the chairman. If asked to serve again in the next term, he said he would also accept the chair then.
“Everything comes around,” Bennett said.
For Vice Chairman, John Coker was nominated by David Fauber. Coker seconded his own nomination. Then, Robert Duer attempted to nominate Oliver Bennett as Vice Chairman. In a rebuke of the proceedings, Bennett refused saying, “I will not be a token”.
The nominations were closed, and ended with four votes for Coker.
As a last act of defiance, Oliver Bennett abstained from the vote.