SNOW HILL – For the first time in four years, new faces presided over the Worcester County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday. Newcomers Merrill Lockfaw and Madison Bunting joined the five returning commissioners at the assembly and all seven were sworn in while a packed room looked on.
After being sworn in, the commissioners were joined by their families for pictures, briefly, before returning to the dais.
A vote for the next president and vice president of the commission ended predictably with Bud Church returning as president and Jim Purnell as vice president.
Church took a moment to make a comment to the room, which was filled with relatives of the commissioners, department heads and many others.
“We have an excellent group of people representing you up here,” Church said.
After Church, all of the commissioners, new and old, added their own endorsement to the hope for success in the county over the next four years.
Commissioner Virgil Shockley, who is entering his four term after by far the closest race for commissioner this election, restated his policy of putting local matters first.
“I’ve fought for my district, and for the county,” he claimed. “If that means taking on the state, okay. If that means taking on D.C. that’s okay, too. I’m not changing.”
Commissioner Judy Boggs, a third-term elect, expressed optimism regarding the two new additions to the team.
“I’m looking forward to working with the two new commissioners…each of them is a leader, accomplished in their own field,” she said.
Purnell agreed, mentioning that the, “road ahead is going to be rough and rocky,” but that, if the commissioners worked together, the county would prosper.
When it was Lockfaw’s chance to speak he started off by saying that, “today, this is one of the greatest highlights of my life.”
Lockfaw echoed Purnell’s concerns yet overall optimistic attitude.
“This is a time when we all want change in our government,” said Lockfaw. “And change always comes at a price.
He went on to explain that the commissioners would push for change for the better while maintaining the level of prosperity that Worcester County currently enjoys.
Fellow newcomer Bunting continued the thought, praising the area.
“Worcester County is a wonderful place to live,” he stated.
Commissioner Louise Guylas, who was the last to comment, summed up the sentiment.
“This is truly paradise,” she told the assembly, referring to Worcester County.