As the two newest members of the Onslow County Board of Commissioners were sworn into office Monday night, it was also a historic moment for the county.

“This is the first time in Onslow County history that we’ve ever had seven members on the board,” said Commissioner Jack Bright, who was re-elected to serve as board chairman.

“Welcome aboard,” Bright said to the new board members — Tim Foster and William Shanahan — as their first meeting came to a close after a short agenda of routine business items.

Foster thanked the crowd gathered for coming out to show their support and said he is ready for the work ahead as the board moves into a new year.

“I looking forward to working with everyone to do the good work of the board and moving the county forward,” Foster said.

As Shanahan began his path as an elected official, he recited the words of the late President George H.W. Bush during his inauguration Jan. 20, 1989 inauguration speech.

“Some see leadership as high drama, and the sound of trumpets calling, and sometimes it is that. But I see history as a book with many pages, and each day we fill a page with acts of hopefulness and meaning. The new breeze blows, a page turns, the story unfolds. And so today a chapter begins, a small and stately story of unity, diversity, and generosity – shared and written together,” Bush said in his remarks.

Shanahan said there are challenges ahead but he is ready to get started.

“I’m looking forward to working with all of you,” he said.

Foster and Shanahan took their seats on the board after being sworn into office by District Court Judge Henry L. Stevens IV.

In his comments, Stevens said listening to concerns and wishes of others is a key to serving others.

“If you listen to others you will find the desire of your constituents,” he said.

In their first action, the newly seated board elected Bright as chairman and Commissioner Royce Bennett as vice chairman.


Reporter Jannette Pippin can be reached at 910-382-2557 or