Maske honored for public service

 

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — With nearly a dozen family members and friends filling the benches of the Board of County Commissioners chambers at 125 S. Hancock St., former Commissioner Jimmy Maske was honored for his 36 years of service on the board.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Former County Commissioner Jimmy Maske and his wife, Peggy, accept a plaque from the current commissioners. Maske resigned, effective May 31, for health reasons.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Former County Commissioner Jimmy Maske and his wife, Peggy, accept a plaque from the current commissioners. Maske resigned, effective May 31, for health reasons.

The Pee Dee Post first reported Maske’s resignation on Friday, after wife Peggy Maske confirmed that her husband was resigning due to health reasons. Maske turns 78 on Tuesday.

Maske’s resignation was effective May 31. On Monday, the overwhelming majority of those sitting in the gallery were there because of him. It was a very personal series of comments directed to the longtime commissioner.

“I personally want to thank you for 46 years of public service,” said board chairman Kenneth Robinette, referring to the years 1966 to 1976 that Maske served on the Richmond County Board of Education. “It’s just mind-boggling. You’ve spent more than half your life serving the people of Richmond County. What a great leader.”

Two key pieces of advice Commissioner John Garner said Maske gave him when he was first elected included being a good listener and not to dwell on any subject too long.

“Jimmy has lived up to everyone of those things,” Garner said. “I appreciate his mentorship. I want to thank his family for sharing Jimmy with us.”

Commissioner Thad Ussery said Maske always tried to do what was right.

It has, Ussery said, “meant a lot to me … Jimmy loves people and Jimmy really wants to do what he feels is right in his heart. I feel like Richmond County’s better off that you have served.”

Maske, silenced in part due to health issues, doesn’t figure to go away from public service completely. Robinette even equipped that he was confident Maske would “let us know how you feel on things.”

State Rep. Ken Goodman thanked Maske as a fellow businessman for setting a good example.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Family members and friends were on hand to watch as former Commissioner Jimmy Maske was honored for his 36 years on the board.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Family members and friends were on hand to watch as former Commissioner Jimmy Maske was honored for his 36 years on the board.

“In all my adult life, you have been a fixture here in Richmond County,” Goodman said. “You are the personification of everything that is good in Richmond County.”

In his letter of resignation a week ago, Maske said he hoped he’d met the expectations of voters each of the nine times he was elected to a four-year seat on the commission. State Sen Gene McLaurin said that wasn’t good enough.

“I want you to know … you have exceeded the expectations of the people of Richmond County,” McLaurin said. “You have been, really, a role model for so many people. One of the reasons I was interested in public service was because of Jimmy Maske.”

Turning to Maske, McLaurin shut out the audience: “I love you very much, and I care about you.”

The two men shared a firm, extended hand shake.

State law dictates that the commissioners appoint someone to fill the term Maske, a Democrat, was to finish in December. Robinette said it’s up to the Richmond County Democratic Party to forward a recommendation to the commissioners, who are under no obligation to act favorably on that recommendation.

If the commissioners don’t make an appointment within 60 days of the May 31 resignation, then Vickie Daniel, the clerk of Superior Court, would appointment a replacement.

 

 

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