King steps down as Commission Chairman

Published 10:44 am Thursday, May 17, 2012

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal

Commissioner Charlie King Jr. officially stepped down in his capacity as chairman of the Lowndes County Commission on Monday and turned the reigns over to Commissioner Robert Harris.

Following the move by King, Harris was nominated chairman by Commissioner Dickson Farrior and unanimously elected to the position.

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Farrior was then nominated by Commissioner Joseph Barganier and also unanimously elected to the position of vice-chairman.

Probate Judge John E. Hulett presided over the nomination process for chairman.

Harris said he thought King “had the county at heart.”

King resigned his chairmanship of the commission at its first regular meeting since the Democratic Primary Runoff election held April 24.

He was defeated by challenger Carnell McAlpine for the commission’s District Two seat.

King, who has served on the commission for 28 years, said he would serve out his term.

He was first elected to the commission in 1984 and served 12 years as chairman.

He said he brought more industry into the county and paved more roads than any other commissioner.

“So, I think I have a great legacy, and I’m proud of it,” King said.

He thanked the people of Lowndes County, his district and fellow commissioners for the opportunity to serve.

“My task has been great, and I think I have made great accomplishments. My record will speak for itself,” he said.

King said he stepped down as chairman on Monday because he wanted to work with Commissioner Harris “in grooming him in his chair position.”

While King acknowledged that the commission would be free to elect someone else as chairman in the new term, he said Harris had been involved in all the economic development projects he had worked on and was “sort of my right hand man.”

He said Harris would “have an opportunity to step up to the plate and keep on going without any hesitation,”
Harris has served on the commission for 14 years since his election in 1998.

“It’s going to be a challenge,” he said of taking over the chairmanship of the commission. “We’re going to look forward to try to move the county forward to try to get the black eye off the county and try to have positive things happening in the county. And if we do that, then you know, we can put things back together.”

“We’re asking that everyone who can to participate in that,” he said.

The commission will next meet on Tuesday, May 29 at 6:30 p.m. as the fourth Monday of the month will fall on Memorial Day.

Farrior pointed out the 29th will also be after the next meeting of the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission from which the Lowndes County Commission is seeking information regarding the rent from the Hayneville Plaza building and other income.