Commission chair vote is this week

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

At least four county leaders have been mentioned as prospective candidates for the chairmanship of Marshall County's Commission, the panel meeting for the first time Thursday with those elected last month.

As of now, they appear to be Commissioners-Elect Anna Childress and Tom Sumners, Commissioner Rocky Bowden and County Mayor Joe Boyd Liggett. Childress and Sumners are returning to the commission after a few years out of office.

Bowden was re-elected last month. Monday he acknowledged a heavy workload as chairman of the Marshall County Board of Public Utilities, the county-owned water service.

The commission with 10 new members on the 18-member board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square.

Liggett was mentioned as a prospective candidate largely because he's the mayor and had been nominated previously. Asked about that late last week, Liggett said if he's asked to serve he will, but he's "not politicking" for the position.

Chil-dress is not campaigning for the position either, and she suggested, "Let's just ... see how it goes" during the Thursday night meeting. "When you do it early," she said of news reports prior to meetings, "it changes things."

Just before judging began at the 4-H Chick Chain chicken show and auction, Commis-sioner Seth Warf said he planned to nominate Childress to be chairman.

"If it comes up," Childress said, "we'll deal with it then."

Sumners has served as chairman and even has his own gavel, a gift from a colleague because of his service in the chair.

Sumners was chairman from 1998 to 2002. He also served as chairman pro tem from 1994 to 1998. Chairman pro tem is, essentially, vice chairman.

"I'd be interested in serving," Sumners said Monday morning. "I'm not out there politicking for it.

"I was asked because I served before," he said. "My only agenda is for the betterment of Marshall County."

Sumners wants to foster an environment that will attract jobs, he said. Prospective employers want a stable government for even enforcement of regulations and a progressive school system for a trained workforce.

"I think Tom is interested in it and I think he'd do a great job," Bowden said. "I was on the commission when he was chairman before. He ran a very good meeting, a quick meeting and always a controlled meeting, so I'd have no problem with him being chairman."

"A couple" of commissioners have asked Bowden if he would serve as chairman, he said.

"I've never given it much thought," the retired assistant principal said Monday. "I've never done it before. I don't know if I want to commit to all the time it would require. It's more than just the time to chair the meetings."

Bowden's chairmanship of the water board is among his reasons.