The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

January 16, 2013

Human service board selected

The Daily Southerner
Calvin Adkins

TARBORO — It's official.

Edgecombe County now has a Human Service Agency Board.

Edgecombe County Commissioners unanimously approved 21 of the 25 slots for the board Monday during their regularly scheduled meeting. The Human Service Board was a state mandate requiring counties to consolidate health and social service boards into a Human Service Agency.

Members of Edgecombe County's health and social service boards were selected for the new board with seven at-large members selected. The four unfilled positions are specialist positions, including a psychologist, optometrist, social worker and psychiatrist.

The Social Service and the health department will keep its director, however, they will work under Eric Evans who was tagged the Human Services Agency Director. Karen LaChapel is the health department director and County Manager Lorenzo Carmon the interim Social Service director. Evans will report to the county manager and the county manager will report to the commissioners.

The newly elected board will not have to deal with the ongoing saga of Marva Scott, who was fired last year. Scott won a law suit to be rehired back with past compensation and legal fees. Evans explained that personnel matters will be handled by the county manager.

"This board will have no hiring or firing capacity as the previous boards did."

Evans believes the consolidation will benefit the public.

"The change is a better way for us to serve our clients in both departments," he said. We look forward to the change.

"All the appointments bring different expertise to the table that makes will make a good agency."

Evans expects to fill the remaining positions within 30 to 60 days. The first meeting is set for 7 p.m. Feb. 19 in the Human Services Building.

"This meeting is to allow each member to know one another," Evans said. "We will give them a copy of the draft bylaws for review. They probably will not have to vote on it. They may nominate and elect officers."

The public is invited to attend.

Coincidentally, Edgecombe planned to consolidate both departments in the same building before the legislation came down from the state ordering consolidation.