By Wesley Edwards
At the Accomack County Supervisors meeting on December 20, 2017, Supervisor Grayson Chesser had commented about why regionalism on the Eastern Shore is not working. Chesser stated that regionalism is like a marriage, the two parties have to have the same goals and priorities. He referenced the fact that Accomack County has pledged $2 million to assist with a new regional library and that Northampton did not donate or pledge anything. Earlier in the meeting it had been discussed how happy Accomack County was with the broadband authority which serves both counties, while Northampton County was very unhappy.
Tuesday night Chairman Spencer Murray chairman, referencing Mr. Chesser’s comments, stated that Chesser had good points and was being fair-minded. Murray stated as far as the library is concerned, citizens in Accomack voted no on a referendum to the funding and if Northampton Supervisors had contributed or pledged money they would have likely been run out of town on a rail. Murray emphasized that the counties have differences such as library funding in Accomack County or the Regional jail in Northampton County. He then pointed out that the two Northampton County libraries also need funding along with a new Northampton High School, which estimates said is going to cost more than $25 million. Murray said that Northampton County’s citizens are subsidizing the regional jail to the tune of $1.5 million with no contribution from Accomack or it citizens.
Murray told his fellow supervisors that there were things that cross County lines such as tourism, broadband, the ownership of the railroad, and public health that can be funded regionally and that they should work jointly with Accomack to prepare a list of projects for regionalism that both counties could agree to.