01/09/08 — Guy won't run for Duplin board

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Guy won't run for Duplin board

By Matthew Whittle
Published in News on January 9, 2008 2:21 PM

KENANSVILLE -- L.S. Guy surprised Duplin County staff members and his colleagues on the Board of Commissioners when he announced at Monday's meeting that he will not be running for re-election this year.

"It was just the right time to pass the torch," the two-term Democrat commissioner said.

Guy, who had been on the commission since 2000, also spent more than two decades in the Duplin County school system, both as a teacher and administrator, including 18 years as superintendent.

He explained that after he retired from the school system, he decided to run for the District 1 commission seat at the urging of several friends.

"After I retired, I stayed away for a year, but during that year a lot of people talked to me about serving as a county commissioner," he said.

Since then, he has been pleased with much of what has been accomplished, including the improvement and expansion of the emergency medical services program to a countywide paramedic one, the increased support for the county's fire departments, the internal improvements in the county's administration and the construction of the Duplin Events Center.

His biggest disappoint, though, has been in the county's relationship with the school system.

"The thing I'm most disappointed in, is that we have not kept pace in funding the schools, either in programs or facilities," he said.

Fortunately, with the county set to vote on a local quarter-cent sales tax referendum in May -- the moneys from which would go primarily to the public schools and James Sprunt Community College -- there is an opportunity for that to improve.

But regardless, Guy continued, the time has come to turn the seat over to somebody else.

"I have enjoyed my tenure as a county commissioner, and I sincerely thank the good people of District 1 who have allowed me to represent them for two terms," he said.

District 1 is comprised of part of Faison, which Guy calls home, part of Warsaw, part of Kenansville and a lot of rural area in between.

He said he has no plans to pursue any other elected office -- just to spend more time with his wife, Barbara -- but that he hopes to continue to be involved in Duplin County.

"I hope to remain active in the growth and development of Duplin County. I'm not just going to quit and go sit down. I'm going to be involved," Guy, 69, said. "There's so much to be done."