Frustration continues for Martin County residents at commissioners meeting

MARTIN COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) -It’s been a tumultuous past few months for Martin County residents following the abrupt closure of their hospital and many believe things only got worse Wednesday night.

The several months-long fallout between Martin County residents and county commissioners continued to boil Wednesday night.

“We hope everybody in North Carolina can see us, help us, and come to our cry because we’ve been begging for help since August,” said Princess Foster, Martin County resident.

“You can’t trust them,” said Anna Shaw, Martin County resident. “When you can’t trust someone anymore, you just need to move on out and let someone else in.”

People have faithfully made their presence felt at every county commissioners meeting that’s been held since Martin General Hospital closed in August.

However, they’ve never had to walk through metal detectors before entering a meeting like they did Wednesday.

Some believe the ramped up security presence was requested by the commissioners.

“They’re afraid that we know how much tax money they’ve been spending,” Foster said. “They’ve spent $25,000 in one year on travel and food.”

Many addressed the board with concerns about alleged tax dollars being used improperly by certain commissioners. A troubled Commissioner Skip Gurganus sided with the people.

“When others are spending money for no apparent reason, it doesn’t sit well with me either,” Gurganus said.

During the meeting, the board voted 3-2 in favor of electing Vice-Chairman Dempsey Bond as the new chairman and Commissioner Emily Biggs as the new vice-chairman.

Some believe it was the wrong decision.

Bond and Biggs will serve in their new roles as chairman and vice chairman for the next 12 months.

The county still hasn’t hired a new manager yet to replace former Manager James Bennett, but say they hope to have an announcement soon.