BELHAVEN, N.C. (WNCT) — Voters in Belhaven elected a new mayor for the first time in 12 years.
“Whoever God picks, it will be the right one,” said Octavia Brewington, a Belhaven resident. “And I feel like whoever won today, whoever becomes mayor is the right one.”
Ricky Credle won the vote with 36% of the vote. The mayor-elect beat out Greg Satterthwaite, Edith C. Guy, Arthur Bonner and Elola T. Moore for the position.
This comes after Mayor Adam O’Neal has decided not to run this year after serving six terms in office.
“It’s quite a relief,” said O’Neal. “It’s been quite a difficult time being mayor of Belhaven because of all the events we’ve had, particularly the hospital issue.”
O’Neal is referring to the closing of Pungo Hospital, which was shut down back in July 2014.
Despite extensive efforts to reopen it, the hospital was demolished last year forcing residents in Belhaven to travel 30 minutes to Washington for the nearest emergency room.
“Well I just want to see the town be the best it can,” said O’Neal. “We’ve been devastated by the hospital being taken away but we still have to do the best we can. We got a lot of good people running for office, so I’m really looking forward seeing what the new blood does.”
Others in Belhaven say they’re looking forward to change as well.
“I’d like to see the community come together more and stop the infighting,” said Jenny Baker, a Belhaven resident. “And I’d like to see some better regulations for zoning that will get rid of some of the houses that are falling apart.”
“Something more for the youth to do,” said Reba Griffin, a Belhaven resident. “Instead of walking the streets, getting in trouble, like to see something for the senior citizens, places to go and things to do so we don’t have to go out of town.”
“We need someone in who will boost the economy,” said Brewington. “We need unity. And unity is one of the most important things that we need so we can work together.”