Cooper-Jones makes history

Published 2:49 pm Thursday, January 11, 2018

Something historic occurred silently at Tuesday’s Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors meeting. What was unacknowledged by board members during their comments following the appointment of Farmville 801 District Supervisor Pattie Cooper-Jones to the position of chairwoman was that she became the first African-American and first woman to hold the position of chairperson on the Prince Edward County Board of Supervisors.

“I’d like to thank God,” Cooper-Jones said, “I know that He really made the provisions for me to be here, even for me to be here in Prince Edward County.”

She said she came to the county Aug. 23, 1983.

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“I feel like this is the place that I was destined to be,” she said. “It’s been a long, hard road, but it is truly a blessing to be here in Prince Edward County.”

Cooper-Jones began her term as chairwoman by recognizing junior Da’Mya Harris, a Prince Edward County High School basketball player, who has racked up more than 1,000 points for her varsity career in only two-and-a-half years.

“I would love for any student who has made an accomplishment — whether it’s academic, whether it’s with sports — (to be recognized,) because I think it’s important for our young people to see that they do make a difference,” Cooper-Jones said when asked if those types of recognitions are what she looks to do throughout her term as chairwoman.

She said in the future, she’s going to make sure the public knows any young people, county students “that do things,” noting that the county has some “good children, and that they make big accomplishments.”

“I’m really proud, I think we have a good board, and we look to make some great things happen and keep the county going forward,” Cooper-Jones said. “Again I take my hat off to (Lockett District Supervisor Robert M. ‘Bobby’ Jones). I think that he did a fantastic job as chair in 2017, and I feel like the board is really kind of on the same page, and we are all looking forward to making Prince Edward County the best place that we possibly can.”

Taikein Cooper

She said she first served on the board in 2003 and took a four-year absence from the board to run for treasurer before serving on the board again.

The role of chairperson in Prince Edward County is on a rotation and changes after the current chairperson has served a year.

“As I’ve said in the past, electoral politics has arguably been the greatest barometer of progress in Prince Edward County,” said Taikein Cooper, son of Cooper-Jones. “I’m thrilled to be a part of this progress, and I’m happy for my mother. … (Tuesday) night was undoubtedly special, but it’s time to get to work.”

He said he expects that this chair will establish initiatives and programs to improve the lives of the citizens in Prince Edward.