Commissioner Maske resigns

Tenure to end at 36 years; the decision ‘sort of broke his heart,’ says wife

By Kevin Spradlin

Read Commissioner Maske’s resignation letter

Richmond County Commissioner Jimmy L. Maske has resigned his seat on the seven-member board effective Saturday, according to public documents prepared for the commissioners’ public meeting on Monday at the county administrative offices on Hancock Street.

Commissioner Jimmy L. Maske

Commissioner Jimmy L. Maske

Maske, of Rockingham, has been a commissioner for the past 36 years. His current four-year term is set to expire in December. He explained in a letter submitted Tuesday to board chairman Kenneth Robinette that he is resigning due to health reasons. Maske is ready to celebrate his 78th birthday on Tuesday.

Maske is expected to be recognized for his many years of service to Richmond County at the commissioners’ regularly scheduled meeting Monday at the county administrative building on South Hancock Street. The public meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m.

“It is with great difficulty that I announce my resignation as commissioner,” Maske wrote. “Because of health reasons, I am no longer able to perform my duties with the focus and dedication I feel (county residents) deserve.”

State law dictates that the four remaining board members are to appoint “a qualified person” to fill the post. Maske is a Democrat, and so must be his temporary replacement.

Reached at their home, wife Peggy Maske said the decision to step down “sort of broke his heart.”

“He just can’t give his best to the county the way he wants to,” Maske said.

Maske served for 10 years on the Richmond County Board of Education, from 1966 to 1976, before being elected to the first of nine terms on the Board of County Commissioners. He also refereed football for 50 years, his wife said.

Public service was a natural part of his entire adult life, Peggy Maske said.

“It was something he did becuase he wanted to do it,” she said.

Marian Savage, clerk to the board, said Friday as she was compiling highlights of Maske’s public service that the commissioner is “a true public servant.”

While mentioning Maske’s many accomplishments in office, Savage, who has been a county employee for all but two years of Maske’s time as commissioner, acknowledged that “tis’ tough to put down on paper” everything Maske has achieved.

Since 1976, Maske has been commissioner as the county has fulfilled its pledge of providing countywide water service, creating multiple industrial parks and focused on shell building construction for economic development. Savage couldn’t immediately recall the exact amount of the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” Maske has helped secure in grant funding for improvements to the terminal building at Richmond County Airport.




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