Hamlet city manager earns NAACP Humanitarian Award

 Award given out less than once each decade

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

The Richmond County chapter of the NAACP honored embattled Hamlet City Manager Marchell Adams-David Friday night with its prestigious and rarely awarded Humanitarian Award.

Marchell Adams-David

Marchell Adams-David

Between 275 and 300 people attended the annual membership banquet at East Hamlet Community Center, a dinner catered by Genesis Catering of Bennettsville, S.C. Dr. Fred McQueen has been chapter president since 1978 and such an honor has been bestowed on an individual only four times during that period, McQueen said

McQueen said Adams-David earned the award due to her “outstanding service to the community,” in which he listed the renovation of the Hamlet Depot and $20 million worth of grants that have benefitted the people of Hamlet and Richmond County.

Also, as city manager, McQueen noted Hamlet has avoided any layoffs in recent years despite the city and the country going through severely difficult financial times.

“She’s quite a lady,” said McQueen, who praised Adams-David’s intellect and selfless service for the betterment of the community.

Despite her professional accomplishments, Adams-David has been under fire since October when she accepted an employment contract from the Hamlet City Council that included, among other things, “indefinite terms.” Adams-David also secured a 5 percent raise, although former Councilwoman Abbie Covington noted that was not included in the contract. The contract was signed in October, less than a month before the November elections in which some then-sitting council members were worried a new majority wouldn’t want Adams-David to have such a contract.

Those fears were realized on election day, when Eddie Martin and Jesse McQueen won seats on the council while outgoing Mayor Jeff Smart and Councilwoman Abbie Covington each chose not to seek re-election.

A month ago, Hamlet City Council voted 3-2 to void Adams-David’s employment contract after new city attorney T.C. Morphis Jr. after indicating that “a strong case” could be made “that it is an invalid and unenforceable contract,” Martin said during the  council’s April public meeting.

Adams-David, of Rockingham, has been employed by the city of Hamlet for 20 years. The voiding of the contract does not affect her employment status with the city.

Adams-David was not present to receive the award. Instead, she was in Wilmington supporting her daughter as she competed in a high school track meet. Doris Cox, of Hamlet and Richmond County NAACP treasurer, accepted the award on David’s behalf.

Adams-David has been on leave from her post as Hamlet city manager. Her husband, Brian Edward David, died at the age of 46 on Jan 30, leaving behind his wife and three daughters, Brianna, Kiersten and Kennedy.

Guest speaker

Rev. Anthony T. Waymyers, pastor at Grace Temple Fellowship Church in Wallace, S.C., and a candidate for District 53 in the state House of Representatives, was guest speaker. McQueen said Waymyers left to “a standing ovation.”

Rev. Anthony T. Waymyers

Rev. Anthony T. Waymyers

“He was awesome,” McQueen said.

Waymyers’ message focused on the biblical message which alerts people to the problems they simply pass by each day without noticing.

“We can’t see the poor, can’t hear their cries,” McQueen said. “It was a great sermon.”

The chapter’s annual membership drive raised $15,575, 40 percent of which stays with the local chapter to run its operations. The other 60 percent is remitted to the national NAACP.

Richmond County has 18 churches that participate in the drive. Macedonia Baptist Church, represented by Leatrice Dockery, topped the list of funds raised through new memberships. Ellerbe Grove Baptist Church, represented by Frankie Leach, was second and First Baptist Church, Hamlet, represented by Roma Lockhart, was third.

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