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Long-serving Hyde County commissioners step down

At the Dec. 3 Hyde County Board of Commissioners meeting, two newly elected county commissioners were sworn in and attended their first meeting. M. Shannon Swindell, Currituck Township, and James Topping, Swan Quarter Township, took seats previously held by Barry Swindell and Dick Tunnell, who both stepped down after multiple terms.

Barry Swindell served as the Currituck Township Commissioner from 2007 through 2018. He was also a long-serving member of the Hyde County Transit Board and Hyde County Health Board. His leadership was instrumental in growing Hyde Transit and the Hyde County Health Department. Swindell will continue his commitment to the county by serving on the Mainland Recreation Committee, helping expand opportunities available to Hyde County citizens.

Dick Tunnell served as the Swan Quarter Township Commissioner from 2010 through 2018. In addition, he served on the Swan Quarter Watershed Steering Committee and the Soil & Water Resource Conservation and Development Council.

He has been a strong advocate for more investment in drainage solutions throughout the county. Due to his leadership, Hyde County is now better prepared to deal with the drainage issues that have plagued the county in the past.

Tunnell will also continue serving on the Mid-East Regional Housing Authority and work to expand affordable housing options for the citizens of Hyde County.

Chairman Earl Pugh presented Swindell and Tunnell with plaques honoring their service and dedication to the citizens of Hyde County.

County manager Kris Cahoon Noble thanked both for giving her the knowledge and practical advice that has helped grow her into a wiser and more knowledgeable public servant. Ocracoke Township commissioner Tom Pahl thanked them for their support of everything being worked on in Ocracoke and stated that he is personally grateful for making him feel welcome on this board and in this county.

Chairman Pugh and Fairfield Township commissioner Ben Simmons also thanked both men for the guidance and leadership throughout their terms.

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