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Build the wall, or end Well Fare. Either one will work for me...

Webb stepping down from commissioners in early 2019

111418webbresigning

Commissioner Glen Webb, seen here speaking at a breakfast for Pitt County commissioners and local legislative leaders, announced this week he is stepping down to accept the deputy chief police position in Pinehurst. (Molly Mathis/The Daily Reflector)

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By Ginger Livingston
The Daily Reflector

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

A Pitt County commissioner who was re-elected to a third term last week is stepping down in the new year because he’s accepted a job in the sandhills of North Carolina.

Glen Webb, whose District 6 seat encompasses southern Pitt County, has accepted the deputy police chief position with the village of Pinehurst. Webb, who has worked 14 years with the Greenville Police Department and currently is a sergeant, said he is finalizing his start date with Pinehurst but wants to continue serving as a county commissioner until early next year.

Webb, 41, ran unopposed in this year’s race for the District 6 seat.

“I’m not going to leave the Board of Commissioners immediately. That will probably have to happen at some point, but while I am living here I still expect to fulfill those duties,” Webb said.

Webb and the five other commissioners elected last week are scheduled to be sworn during the Board of Commissioners’ Dec. 10 meeting.

Webb said he expects people will question why he continued his re-election bid.

“This job came up over the last five or six weeks. If you had told when I filed for re-election in February that I would be starting a new position in December, I would have said you are crazy,” Webb said. “I haven’t been in a job search, it’s just an opportunity that came up.”

Webb had previously said this would be his last term on the board, including an election day posting on Facebook.

Webb said he wasn’t offered the job until after last week’s election. Even if he had known he was getting the position earlier, he didn’t know of a way to get another candidate for the seat and his name would have remained on the ballot.

Webb said he believes he can balance his new job with his duties as commissioner through the early new year.

“There are only about three meetings between now and March; there’s only one in January, two in February and one in December. That won’t be hard to manage I expect,” Webb said. “I am already making plans for that exit because I don’t want to be in a position where I can’t give the people in Pitt County 100 percent.”

Webb wants to be involved in the process of selection his predecessor.

Under North Carolina rules, the Board of Commissioners will appoint Webb’s replacement. The individual has to be a member of Webb’s political party, in this case, a Republican.

The Pitt County Republican Party will recommend a candidate. The Board of Commissioners traditionally follows the recommendation but it’s not required. 

Webb said he hopes to soon talk with the local GOP’s executive committee.

“I am trying to figure out what would be a good fit. I’m not trying to find a clone of myself, I don’t think that would benefit anybody,” Webb said. “But I hope to find someone who can continue what we’ve got going on in Pitt County, but do better than I’ve done. My hope is our next commissioner will be the best commissioner we’ve ever had.”

Another tradition observed by the Board of Commissioners involves the selection of a board chairman and vice chairman, which usually happens after its members are sworn in. Typically, the member who served as vice chairman during the year is elected chairman. Webb has been vice chairman this year.

“It would be nice, it’s a selfish personal thing I’ll admit, but it would be nice to leave the board as chairman,” he said.

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners is already undergoing a significant changes. Longtime commissioners Mark Owens Jr. and Jimmy Garris, along with one-term commissioner Charles Farley did not seek re-election.

Republican Mike Fitzpatrick ran unopposed for the District 5 seat and Democrat Alex Albright won the District 4 seat. In District 3 there was a 10-vote difference between the winner, Democrat Chris Nunnally, and Republican Richard Allsbrook. Both candidates are waiting to see the results on the final canvass, which is scheduled for Friday.

“There is going to be a lot of weight put on the commissioners who are there,” Webb said. “But in local government, the majority of folks who you have there tend to rise to the occasion.”

Webb said he has no doubt the new commissioners are going to be part of a great thing and will continue guiding the county’s growth.

“I really feel like the board I served on, in the past, that history has laid a great foundation,” he said. “I think these people who are coming on will do great things.”

Pinehurst, a village with a population of just over 16,000 people, has an approximately 30-person police department. Since late 2011 the village’s police chief has been former Greenville police Lt. Earl Phipps, who was known for his efforts to find shelter for the city’s homeless population.

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.

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