Earlier this month, the Rhino Times reported some news that came as no surprise to many: Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston would be reelected to that chairman’s seat for the eighth time.
This week, another piece of the 2023 leadership puzzle fell into place. Highly reliable sources say that the next vice chair of the Board of Commissioners will be Democratic District 1 Commissioner Carlvena Foster, who currently serves in that position and who’ll now do so for another 12 months.
The board’s vice chair helps set the agenda and runs county meetings when the chair isn’t present, has to recuse himself or herself from a discussion due to a conflict of interest, is participating in a meeting remotely, and in certain other circumstances.
Foster, a strong advocate for High Point where she serves on about two dozen boards and commissions, has served as a Guilford County Commissioner since 2014. Prior to that, she was a member of the Guilford County Board of Education, and her heritage shows in her strong advocacy of the schools each year.
Foster’s best opportunity to take charge and run the board in the last 12 months was a spring regular meeting that the Board of Commissioners held in High Point rather than in downtown Greensboro. Since it was a very rare meeting on Foster’s home turf, Alston let Foster run much of it.
With Foster as the vice chair, High Point residents – who often feel they get second-class treatment from the Board of Commissioners – will have strong representation in a leadership role.
Foster, who has won multiple civic awards, is a member of the High Point Economic Development Board, Communities in Schools, and the High Point Downtown Catalyst Project Executive Board.
Alston said he hopes that the votes for the Board of Commissioners leadership this year are unanimous. It’s almost a sure thing that the dynamic duo of Alston and Foster will get yes votes from all the Democrats on the board; however, things have been rocky this year between Alston and Republican Commissioner James Upchurch, who may vote no to Alston.
“I hope the vote is unanimous,” Alston said of the upcoming Monday, Dec. 5 morning meeting of the board.
There’s no question that board’s six Democrats will vote for both Alston and Foster. However, a unanimous vote might be a challenge.
Sometimes members of the opposing party vote in favor of a chairman from the other party to start the new year out on a unified note – especially when the conclusion, as it is this year, is foregone.
Alston said he’d been asking fellow commissioners in both parties for their support.
“I’ve talked to everyone except Alan,” he said, referring to Republican Guilford County Commissioner Alan Perdue. “I’ve been asking for their support.”
Alston said he hadn’t been able to get in contact with Perdue yet but hoped he would be able to do so before the vote the morning of December 5.