Orange County Board of County Commissioners Jamezetta Bedford and Earl McKee filled the chairperson and vice-chairperson positions on the Orange County BOCC after Renée Price’s departure to the North Carolina General Assembly.
Rep. Price (D-Orange, Caswell)served on the BOCC in multiple capacities after her first election in 2012. Before serving as a commissioner, Price participated on multiple advisory boards and commissions for the county.
Price’s departure left an open seat on the BOCC. Applications for the position were due on Jan. 6, and the BOCC will make a selection from the Democratic Party’s nominees by Feb 7.
Price said she credits her experience as a county commissioner and volunteer on advisory boards as valuable preparation for her new position in the state legislature. She also said seeking out communication with community members was key.
“It's more than understanding what the development plan is. It's also about how various communities view those developments or the possibility of change,” Pricesaid.
The BOCC will continue operations under the leadership of Bedford, the former vice-chairperson, now in her position as chairperson. Before being elected to the Orange County BOCC, Bedford served on the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City School Board as both vice-chairperson and chairperson.
Bedford said her initial interest in running for commissioner stemmed from her personal investment in her grandchildren, who attended Chapel Hill-Carrboro public schools at the time.
“Then you become a commissioner and you realize, oh my gosh, there’s so much more,” Bedford said.
There are 43 BOCC volunteer boards and commissions. Of those, 36 are currently seeking new applicants. Bedford said finding applicants is difficult, especially when many barriers may prevent people from participating.