Print
Government

Jobs, GenX Among Priorities For County Board's New Chairman

By Johanna Cano, posted Dec 4, 2018
Jonathan Barfield Jr. was elected as the new chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners on Monday. (Photo Courtesy of New Hanover County)
Jonathan Barfield Jr., the new chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, said Tuesday that he will focus on topics such as GenX, the opioid epidemic and economic development with the goal of unifying the now Democratic-majority board.
 
Barfield was elected as the board chair Monday, and Julia Olson-Boseman, the newly elected board member, was elected as the vice chair. 
 
Board members Rob Zapple, who was sworn in Monday after winning re-election in November, and Patricia Kusek nominated Barfield for the chairman position. 
 
Previous board chairman Woody White and Kusek nominated Olson-Boseman for vice chair.
 
With his new position, Barfield hopes to start the new year by talking to the area's state delegation.
 
“My first priority would be for us to sit down with our local delegation sometime in January and have a breakfast with them and talk about what our county's legislative goals are, what our priorities are, what we need help with in Raleigh and at the same time ask how we can help them with their journey as well,” Barfield said.
 
Some of the main issues he wants to focus on will be GenX and the opioid crisis, which he said will require long-term attention.
 
Job creation is also another priority, he said.
 
“Continued focus on economic development opportunities here to bring more jobs to our community is always the focal point,” Barfield said. “It was great to see National Gypsum come back to Wilmington this past year and bring additional jobs paying a very good wage. We definitely want more of those kinds of jobs coming to our community.”
 
Items to look forward to in the coming year include the county’s Department of Social Services building, a new fire station and a new library, he said.
 
Another item coming in 2019 is the Unified Development Ordinance, which along with the 2016 Comprehensive Land Use Plan will guide the board in terms of how it is deciding what development projects to approve, Barfield said. 
 
Looking back at the county’s response to Hurricane Florence, Barfield said the county should focus on building smarter and looking at building codes to ensure that what is being built can withstand storms.
 
Although the board now has a Democratic majority, Barfield said he hopes to find a way to unify the parties.
 
“What I found over the long haul is that we agree on more things than we don't agree on, and the issues that we face aren't partisan issues,” he said. “When we have a public safety issues, people aren't concerned with your party affiliation; they want to make sure that our community is a safe place to live, thrive, work and grow and so hopefully we will come together as we have in the past and find ways to work in a very bipartisan way to move the county forward.”
Ico insights

INSIGHTS

SPONSORS' CONTENT
Natalieenglish 3301715113

A Strategic Plan for Community Prosperity

Natalie English - Wilmington Chamber of Commerce
Dallas headshot 300x300

Turning a Lifestyle Business Into a Business Enterprise

Dallas Romanowski - Cornerstone Business Advisors
Img 1576c1

Are Growth Stock Valuations Underpinned by Reality?

Eddie Nowell - South Atlantic Capital Management Group

Trending News

On The Riverwalk, Stalk & Vine Set To Open This Weekend

Jessica Maurer - Jul 16, 2019

Former Drug Researcher, Partners Launch Coastal Hemp Co. In Porters Neck

Johanna Cano - Jul 16, 2019

Gov. Cooper Visits Dosher Memorial Hospital To Talk Health Care

Cheryl L. Serra - Jul 15, 2019

In Former Lou's Flower World Spot, Furniture And Mattress Store Opens

Cece Nunn - Jul 15, 2019

CFCC Launches Cybercrime Technology Degree

Christina Haley O'Neal - Jul 15, 2019

In The Current Issue

Growing Local: Sea Tow To The Rescue

Wrightsville Beach Sea Tow Capt. Chris Willis said, “We can have close to 50 calls come in on a busy day, not a holiday or anything like tha...


Report Looks At Novant's Economic Impact

Winston-Salem-based Novant Health, which has a presence in Brunswick County, generated $9 billion in economic activity statewide last year,...


Group Aids Students, Teachers

“Every year, education [funding] gets cut,” said Superintendent Steven Hill, speaking of allocations from the state legislature. “It’s harde...

Book On Business

The 2019 WilmingtonBiz: Book on Business is an annual publication showcasing the Wilmington region as a center of business.

Order Your Copy Today!


Galleries

Videos

Power Breakfast - The H Word (June 13, 2019)
2019 WilmingtonBiz Expo Keynote Lunch - CEO, nCino, Pierre Naude`
Health Care Heroes 2018