Rep. Speciale speaks, listens at Bayboro town hall event

State Rep. Michael Speciale (Greg Payne, NewsChannel 12 photo)

BAYBORO, Pamlico County - State Rep. Michael Speciale did some speaking and listening at his town hall meeting in Pamlico County Thursday night.

The event was well attended with many people who wanted to hear the opinions from Speciale, especially on bills that he either supported or was against. The three topics that seemed to be brought up the most were education, the Neuse River and gun laws. "I'm curious about the role of politics in the education system," said Speciale, who represents parts or all of Pamlico, Craven and Beaufort counties. A bill pending in the legislature would make know the political parties of candidates running for judges, town councils and school boards. "People have the least amount of information on those people and hopefully when you walk into the polling place, you will at least know what party they are and hope that they fit under your ideological beliefs if you know nothing about them," Speciale said. In 2015, NewsChannel 12 reported scientists said the water quality of the Neuse River is poor and can possibly contain toxic dangers because of flooding. The issue is still a big one two years later. "There are different organizations dealing with that so I'mnot involved in it, but but I do think whatever we can do to protect it as long as it's economically safe, I think we should do it," Speciale said. House Bill 746, which Speciale is a primary sponsor, would allow concealed carry of a hand gun without a permit starting at age 18. Residents say this is a controversial bill that would make life harder for police officers. Speciale said holding these kind of meetings are important and he'll continue to hold them because it allows him the chance to hear the voices of his constituents.