SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Commissioners took the opportunity Tuesday to bid farewell to two of their colleagues, Commissioners Linda Busick and Bobby Cowger.
Busick and Cowger both participated in the final meeting of their terms this week. Busick, who represented District 6, lost to Madison Jim Bunting Jr. in the primary. Busick later entered the general election as a late write-in candidate. Cowger, who represented District 1, did not run for reelection and will pass his seat to Merrill Lockfaw, Jr.
Over the course of the meeting, several representatives who had come in front of the assembly over the last four years took a moment to publicly express their appreciation toward Busick and Cowger for all the work they did as commissioners, including Worcester County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Jon Andes.
“This is the last time I’ll be before Commissioners Busick and Cowger,” said Andes. “I want to thank them personally for their service to the county and especially to the county’s public schools.”
His sentiments were echoed throughout the proceedings. It wasn’t until the end of the meeting, however, that their fellow commissioners gave them a sendoff, one that became very emotional.
“I want to thank both of you for your service,” began Commission President Bud Church. “You’ve done an excellent job.”
He added jokingly, “I did sometimes feel like throwing my gavel at Bobby, but that’s because he’s my friend.”
Commissioner Jim Purnell echoed Church on several points.
“It has been a great inspiration to work with both of you…all you’ve done will never be forgotten,” said Purnell, who went on to further agree with Church that Cowger could cause frustration, but that he only did it for the good of the county. “I knew that Bobby always had the county at heart.”
All of the commissioners in attendance, along with other county employees, expressed gratitude toward Busick and Cowger in turn. Commissioner Virgil Shockley applied a famous military quote to serving on the commission with them, claiming that it had been an honor to, “share the field of battle.”
County Attorney Sonny Bloxom congratulated the pair on how much they’d accomplished.
“I want to thank you for your service…for devoting four years of your life to the county, four years of relatively difficult time,” said Bloxom.
When it came time for the departing commissioners to say their farewells, Cowger admitted that there were rough spots, but that all of the commissioners had done the best they could.
“There have been a lot of good and a lot of bad times,” he said. “Even when we argued it never got personal…we hope we’re leaving the county in a better state than when we came in.”
Cowger added that he’d always treated the county like a business, spending money as wisely as possible.
When Busick spoke, however, it was anything but business, showing her emotional side.
“It has been a pleasure and an honor to serve,” she said, displaying a lot of emotion to the assembly.
Busick has served one term as a commissioner, while Cowger has served two nonconsecutive terms. Their replacements, Bunting and Lockfaw, along with the five returning commissioners, will be sworn into office at the next county meeting on Dec. 7.