Friday, 13 April 2018 10:17

Halifax County commissioner candidate profile: Vernon Bryant

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Incumbent Halifax County Commissioner Vernon J. Bryant is running to retain his seat on the board.

bryant submitted the following questions for all the candidates:


207 Harvest Road, Roanoke Rapids, NC 27870


Retired State Government Employee (30 years of services)


Married to Sandra Walden Bryant; 2 adult children: Kendel Bryant Phillips and Kevin Walden Bryant


1975 Weldon City Schools

1979 Fayetteville State University (BS degree Intermediate Education, Minor History)

2001 – Graduate of the North Carolina Department of Correction Leadership

Development Program

Civic, church or other community organizations of which you are involved

8 years as a Halifax County Commissioner, Served 4 years as Chairman

13 years on Roanoke Rapids School Board, Served 5 years as Chairman

Co-Founder and President of Exodus for Youth, Inc.

Halifax Regional Medical Center Board of Directors

NC State Employees’ Credit Union Board member

Volunteer Community Coach for Youth Basketball and Soccer

Why are running; why do you believe you are qualified to run; what difference can you make or in the case of an incumbent candidate, what difference have you made?

I am seeking my third term on the Halifax County Board of Commissioners to continue the priorities of my first and second terms.

My focus has and continues to be jobs, education, senior citizens wellbeing, public safety and maintaining low property taxes.

Would you support renovations for Weldon High School or do you support construction of a new school? Please explain your reasons on why or why not?

I would support renovation or the construction of a new Weldon High School.

A study is currently being done to provide information to make a more informed decision.

Over the past year or so, commissioners and funding of the education, particularly in the county school system,have come under fire. Do you believe schools are being adequately funded? Why are or why not? What do we have to do to create top-tier school systems in Halifax County?

The Halifax County Board of Commissioners fund all three schools equally based on Average Daily Membership (ADM). Also, the County provides additional capital funding and North Carolina Educational Lottery funds for each school system. In addition, all three school systems in Halifax County have a supplemental school tax.

The North Carolina Educational Lottery fund could provide more funding for capital needs if funding had not been decreased by the North Carolina General Assembly. That funding is currently about 18% and should be at 40%.

In order to create better schools, we ALL have to work together to afford educational opportunities for ALL of our children.

What is the role of county commissioners in recruiting economic development? What needs to be done to strike a balance between industrial, commercial and retail development in Halifax County?

Economic development is crucial for any county. The Halifax County Board of Commissioners along with the Economic Development Board of Directors and Executive Director work very closely in bringing economic development opportunities to our county.

Do you have any personal financial issues which might make the public perceive you would not be a good steward of the county’s money — foreclosures, liens, bankruptcy filings, things of that nature? If so how do you convince the public they can trust you with taxpayer money?

I do not have any financial issues such as foreclosure, liens, bankruptcy filings, etc. I strongly feel that in order to take care of the county’s financial business, a County Commissioner must have his/her own finances in order.

It appears there is a new push to put school merger back on the table for discussion. What are your thoughts on school merger either pro or con? Please elaborate on your beliefs on the matter.

I am opposed to school merger.

What are some other issues you believe need to be addressed in Halifax County and how would you go about addressing them?

One of the main issues that needs to be addressed in Halifax County is better human relations. It is more than saying “working together works” a quote coined by a close friend, the late Frank Avent but actively demonstrating that through your actions. We all need to talk and agree to disagree but establish better communications among all citizens and address items we agree on first.

I feel that more parental involvement, mentoring programs and more businesses taking an active role in all of our schools and community is also needed. I encourage everyone to assume the responsibility of doing your part to make our county better.

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