NEW HANOVER COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - The New Hanover County Board of Commissioners will consider re-establishing the New Hanover County Commission for Women Monday.
From 1978 until 2010, the county endorsed and appointed members to this commission. According to New Hanover County Commissioner Patricia Kusek, the commission lost staff support around 2010.
“The whole idea is to be able to serve as a resource and an umbrella, if you will, for all the other groups and efforts that there are. And we never have a lack of good intentions to help all segments of the population,” Kusek said.
The effort to re-establish this commission is encouraged by the NC Council for Women, which is working with counties across the state to consider starting or re-starting their respective commissions.
The commission would be organized as a means of advocacy for women and a resource of information on the status of women in New Hanover County. This information would be utilized by both the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners and the Wilmington City Council.
If re-established by both the board and city council, the Commission for Women would be made up of 11 members. One would be appointed by the YWCA, five by county commissioners, and five by city council members.
“It’s kind of an extension of all the other committees and things that we have at the county. We have one for the museum, and parks, and inspections, and planning and the list goes on and on and on. It’s a way for us to reach out in this community as we’re supposed to and tap the unlimited resources for talent to help us do our job and make this community a better place,” Kusek said.
The request for action states the commission would “work toward the betterment of the status of women with respect to employment and educational opportunities, health services, child care services, welfare services, financial services, and community leadership opportunities.”
“I cannot imagine — I have not talked to my fellow commissioners — but this falls in line with our goals at the county of being a resource in this community and making this a better place to live and forming this commission and having it do its work is in line with those goals and at a very minimal price tag, if any, to utilize the talent we have in this area. So I expect that we would see full support,” Kusek said.
If adopted, the clerk’s office will advertise vacancies in September, and the board would make appointments in October.