Stokes County commissioners planned to continue discussions of the opioid issue running rampant through the county, but in a 3-2 decision it was voted to be removed off the agenda on Monday afternoon.
“I’d like to remove that because I haven’t had an opportunity to get all the information together for discussion,” said Commissioner Ernest Lankford.
Commissioner Ronda Jones quipped, “I don’t think any of us will ever be totally prepared and I don’t want us to lose momentum of this subject in our county.”
Lankford explained he made the request because it is a comprehensive issue.
“This subject matter is not something simple,” he said. “I need more time to get additional information other than what’s been provided. That’s the reason why I’m requesting it not be discussed today. I don’t see any major issue with that. It doesn’t have anything to do with the issue at hand, I just personally feel that this is a large problem that needs to be looked at thoroughly and I need to have all the information so I can rationally discuss it.”
Commissioner Ronnie Mendenhall also said he’d like to see more information.
“For me, I want to get this right. If I don’t do my due diligence on this, I’m not serving the people of Stokes County the right way.”
Jones reminded the board it was put on the discussion portion of the agenda, and no action was required.
Chairman Jimmy Walker reiterated Jones comment.
“One reason that I’ve always thought items were put on the discussion agenda because if there is more information needed, part of that discussion would be to get additional information. I don’t ever remember trying to force this board to a premature decision. I’ve always believed in discussion and communication, effectively working together on whatever issue this board has before them. That’s how I view this item on the agenda today.”
Walker added, “As far as the opioid issue in our county, I agree with Mr. Lankford and others, that there is no easy answer. But we better be working on it because it’s killing our people. If it has any potential of moving us in the right direction, I’m going to support it. Folks, to wait is not always the best answer.”
Commissioners Lankford, James Booth and Mendenhall voted to remove the opioid discussion from the agenda, while Walker and Jones requested to keep it.
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.