Wiggins re-elected board chairman


Edgecombe County Board of Commissioners Chairman Leonard Wiggins


Staff Writer

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Longtime Edgecombe County Chairman Leonard Wiggins was re-elected to the post by fellow board members Monday night.

“I just want to thank the board for the opportunity to continue to serve,” Wiggins said. “I’m humbled.”

Wiggins, 80, has been chairman for a decade and a commissioner for 23 years. In general elections he ran unopposed last year and in 2012. He has soundly defeated opponents in previous elections.

Wiggins said he’s pleased with the board showing continued confidence in him.

The county has a diverse board with diverse opinions, but once a decision is made it becomes a team effort, said Wiggins, whose election as chairman was unanimous.

Wiggins said in his more than two decades on the county board, he’s seen a commitment to help the county grow and while there have been setbacks, like 1999’s Hurricane Floyd and last year’s Hurricane Matthew, both of which brought heavy floods to the area, the county has made it through it all.

Moving forward, Wiggins said a top priority of his is affordable housing for all Edgecombe County residents.

Two years ago, Wiggins was awarded the NAACP Humanitarian Award, recognizing his efforts to promote the welfare and interests of the area’s most vulnerable citizens.

Vice Chairman Jonathan Felton was also re-elected by the board to his office.

In other business, the board voted to approve a new position for a disaster case manager.

“We are setting up an office to run two large hurricane recovery programs,” said County Manager Eric Evans.

Between the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program, Community Development Block Grant Program and a couple of other smaller programs, the county will soon be administering around $50 million.

The board approved a disaster recovery director position last month. The director will oversee the recovery process. The disaster recovery case manager will assist the director with application intake, resource referral and other client related services.

“These will be full-time, but time-limited positions,” Evans said. “Once the recovery grants are closed out, the positions will be vacated.”