A big surprise opened the second June meeting for the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners, celebrating an important figure in county history. Additionally, Commissioners approved important proclamations and voted to move forward with the second year of a Request for Proposals under the Workforce Housing Services Program. Check out the meeting highlights below.
Copley honored with The Order of The Long Leaf Pine
A welcome surprise started Monday’s meeting as soon-to-retire County Attorney Wanda Copley was presented The Order of The Long Leaf Pine by longtime friend Senior Resident Superior Court Judge (Ret.) Judge Allen Cobb, Jr. as her family, friends and colleagues looked on.
Granted by the Office of the Governor, The Order of The Long Leaf Pine is the highest civilian honor in North Carolina. Copley, who became the first female county attorney in the state when she was appointed, is retiring at the end of June after 39 years of service to New Hanover County. More information on her incredible tenure is available here.
Congratulations on the honor and thank you for your service, Wanda!
Recognizing national and local Black history
Commissioners unanimously adopted two proclamations at Monday’s meeting centering around moments of Black history in the world and locally to New Hanover County.
The first proclamation was in celebration of Juneteenth, the annual event recognizing the day (June 19, 1865) the last enslaved people in the United States were officially freed via the Emancipation Proclamation. That proclamation is available here.
The second proclamation was in recognition of the Legacy Graduation for the 1969 and 1970 classes of Williston Senior High School. The event is a collaboration between New Hanover County, the City of Wilmington, New Hanover County Schools and Williston alumni groups to provide a celebration that was denied to these former students prior to the start of the 1968-69 school year. Williston, formerly the all-Black high school in Wilmington, was abruptly closed as part of desegregation and students who thought they would graduate from Williston were relocated to New Hanover or Hoggard high schools to conclude their studies. The proclamation is available here.
The Legacy Graduation will take place at 2 p.m. on July 1 and will be streamed live by WECT. For more information, check out the Williston Legacy Graduation page from New Hanover County Schools.
Second year of Workforce Housing Services Program approved
Following a presentation by staff, Commissioners unanimously approved the second installment of a five-year plan to invest no less than $15 million towards workforce and affordable housing.
For the second year, $3 million will be available to fund proposals that help improve the stock of affordable housing in New Hanover County. Developers and agencies can submit proposals beginning in July that will be reviewed and scored by a team of New Hanover County staff and members of the Joint Workforce Housing Advisory Committee. Recommendations will then be presented to the Board of Commissioners this fall to determine which proposals will receive funding.
More information on how to submit a proposal will be available in the coming weeks.
That’s not all …
At the second meeting of each month, employees who are retiring or have reached 5-year incremental milestones in their careers are recognized. This month, three retirees with 69 combined years of service and 12 employees with 135 combined years of service were recognized, along with 13 new employees who are just joining the NHC team. They all make our community what it is, and we’re grateful for their service.
Additionally, Commissioners also approved filling vacancies on 10 different boards or committees that provide valuable guidance regarding important decisions Commissioner consider throughout the county. To learn more about these committees and check available openings, click here.
You can view the June 19 meeting here and below. The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is set for 4 p.m. on July 17.
The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners holds its regularly scheduled meetings on the first and third Monday of each month, unless otherwise noted. These meetings take place at the New Hanover County Historic Courthouse (24 North 3rd Street, Room 301). A schedule of the 2023 meetings can be found here.
All meetings are broadcast live on NHCTV.com, New Hanover County's YouTube channel and Spectrum channel 13. For meeting agendas, minutes and exhibits, visit Commissioners.NHCgov.com.