The next time the Guilford County Board of Commissioners holds a regular meeting will be in early December, and, as the first order of business, the board will elect current Chairman Skip Alston to another year in that top job. That will make his leadership during 2024 the ninth time that Alston has served in that role.
This week, Alston told the Rhino Times that he is interested in holding onto the job for at least another year in order to see through some ongoing county initiatives.
The board has a 7-to-2 Democratic majority and there is no question his fellow Democrats will elect Alston to lead the board once again.
The vote may indeed be unanimous. Republican Commissioner Alan Perdue told the Rhino Times that Alston had asked him for his support.
Perdue and fellow Republican Commissioner Pat Tillman may vote for Alston since two no votes wouldn’t change a thing and there is something to be said for starting off a new year with some harmony at Christmastime.
Alston clearly enjoys being in the all-important middle seat on the dais in the commissioners meeting room in the Old Guilford County Court House – and not because the job means a few thousand dollars in extra pay each year.
The chair has the ability to set the board’s agenda, meet with staff often, establish committees and name the members, and run the regular commissioners meetings.
Alston was first sworn in as a Guilford County commissioner in 1992 and has served on the board every year since – with the exception of a five-year hiatus from 2012 to 2017.
According to Alston, there are a tremendous number of programs and projects on the county’s plate right now and he wants to see them through.
“Helping the homeless is a big one,” Alston said.
That has become one of his top priorities.
There are also major capital projects in progress, the largest being the long-delayed construction of a new administrative headquarters for the Sheriff’s Department.