Funding for a program that provides parenting intervention is in the sights of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners.

The board’s meeting, which is set for March 20 at 7 p.m. at the Onslow County Government Center, will address a request for funding approval for the Positive Parenting Program, according to the meeting’s agenda. According to Angela Lee, health director, the program is “an internationally acclaimed multi-tiered system of evidence-based parenting interventions.” Some of the goals for the program include reducing out-of-home placements, promoting the development of non-violent, protective, and nurturing environments for children, and reducing emergency department visits related to abuse and neglect.

On the meeting’s agenda, Lee will request board approval to accept Triple P funding from the Children and Youth Branch in the amount of $24,620. Lee said the funding will be used to certify eight staff members in programs which teach parents and caregivers how to create an environment that supports happy and healthy kids.

“Everybody who is a parent knows that there are times when you struggle to know what to do to help that child on the journey to adulthood,” Lee said. “Having local practitioners trained in the Triple P Program provides an added resource in the community to improve outcomes for children and support parents in their most important role.”

In addition to the request for funding, the Board of Commissioners will hold a public hearing regarding rezoning from rural agriculture to residential at Pebble Shore Drive, which is located off N.C. 210 near Surf City. According to Planning and Development Director Ben Warren, the proposed rezoning should be seamless, as the purpose is to correct a zoning boundary error.

“All of the property is part of the Landing at Mill Creek subdivision and should have been previously designated as (residential),” he said. “It appears as though this was an oversight that occurred at the time the county’s initial zoning boundaries were adopted.”

County leaders also plan to vote to send a resolution to the General Assembly regarding House Bill 153, according to the agenda. The resolution would either show support or opposition to the bill by the board. According to the agenda, H.B. 135 would change how vacancies in the Board of Commissioners are filled by requiring the board to follow the recommendation of the local political party the previous seat-holder belonged to.

Vice-Chair Royce Bennett said he thought the bill was short-sighted and not in the best interest of Onslow County.

“The bill would force us to appoint someone who is nominated by a party executive committee made up of very few citizens ... and do not represent the voters of Onslow County,” he said. During the 2016 general election, he said, he’d received over 32,000 votes, and they weren’t all Republicans, Democrats, or unaffiliated votes. When a party makes an appointment, he argued, it’s only going to represent one-third of voters, as Onslow County is comprised of about one-third Republicans, one-third Democrats, and one-third unaffiliated.

“If you look into the future, with one-third of voters unaffiliated, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say we may have an official who’s unaffiliated,” he said. “I don’t think it’s fair to the citizens of Onslow County. I don’t think it’s fair for the board to work with someone who they had no input into their appointment.”

Chairman Jack Bright expressed similar thoughts. As a commissioner, he said, we have to represent all parties.

“We can’t just support one particular party for making decisions,” he said. “We work for everybody, whether they’re registered voters or not.”

He added that there’s only a fraction of people who sit on the executive committees of the local political parties compared to the number of votes received in the previous general election. He said he supports leaving the law as it is.

In addition to these agenda items, the board is scheduled to address other items, including:

• A proclamation presentation to the Northside High School boys basketball team

• A proclamation presentation to the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. - Tau Omega Omega Chapter in honor of the tenth anniversary of the Jacksonville bypass.

• A letter of support for the Justice and Mental Health Collaboration Program with Trillium Health Resources.

• Acceptance of a consolidated agreement between the state and county health department.

• Approval of an amendment to Richlands Steed Park Elementary School project.

• Approval of a new traffic signal at the intersection of Ridgefield Avenue and N.C. 210.

For more information about the meeting, visit