It’s tough to be vice-chair of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners when Skip Alston is chairman (which seems to be always and forever).
That’s because Alston never misses a meeting and that takes away much of the fun of being vice-chair – you never get to take charge and run things.
That’s been true for Commissioner Carlvena Foster, who was elected as vice-chair of the board last December but hasn’t had a chance to show her stuff when it comes to running the board.
However, that all changed on Thursday, April 21, when the commissioners held their first meeting in years in High Point in the High Point City Council’s chambers downtown. Foster, whose base of constituents are High Point residents, had pushed for the Board to hold the meeting in the county’s second largest city. Though Alston was at the board’s meeting on Thursday evening, he gave the gavel to Foster and slid over one chair to his left.
The meeting agenda was packed, with the board addressing key budget issues, an ongoing diversity study, allocating additional dollars for senior services, a major capital construction project for the Sheriff’s Department, and addressing emergency rental assistant spending in the county to prevent more homelessness.
At the end of the meeting, Alston said, “I want to Thank High Point for allowing us to be in their chambers and I want to thank Vice Chair Foster for making it happen.”
Foster ran the meeting in a very smooth manner and was a lot less vocal than the outspoken Alston tends to be when he runs the show. She also didn’t have any problem with Robert’s Rules of Order, which has sometimes tripped up former vice-chairs of the board who weren’t used to running the commissioners’ meetings.
“I certainly want to thank you for allowing me to chair this meeting,” she said to Alston at the end, “and thank you fellow commissioners for your indulgence in allowing me to chair this meeting.”
Alston said after the meeting that, since this was Foster’s home turf, he thought it was only appropriate for her to take charge for the evening, He said he thought Foster did an excellent job. There was, however, no indication from Alston that he was going to make it a practice of giving up his cherished middle seat on the dais.