McAlpine elected chairman of Lowndes County Commissison

Published 4:44 pm Monday, March 14, 2016

By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
While District 2 Lowndes County Commission candidate Charlie King Jr. has filed with the Lowndes County Democratic Executive Committee for a recount of the March 1 primary results of his race, the commission, with all members present, elected King’s opponent, incumbent District 2 Commissioner Carnell McAlpine, as chairman of the commission Monday.
McAlpine narrowly defeated Charlie King Jr. 689 votes to 636 for County Commission District 2 on March 1. And King picked up one provisional vote to zero for McAlpine to make it a 52 vote win for McAlpine with 689 votes to 637 for King.
Eli Seaborn, chairman of the Lowndes County Democratic Executive Committee, confirmed Monday that King has filed for a recount and made the required $2,050 deposit. However, he said the committee is seeking legal advice on the matter.
Under the heading of commission concerns, Commissioner Dickson Farrior moved that the positions of commission chairman and commission vice chairman be vacated, which was seconded by Commissioner Brenson Crenshaw and approved on a 5-1 vote with County Commission Chairman Robert Harris voting “no.”
County Attorney Hank Sanders presided over the nomination process. Crenshaw nominated McAlpine as chairman, which Farrior seconded. Again the vote was 5-1 with Harris casting the only “no.”
Commisisoner Joseph Barganier nominated Farrior as vice chairman.
Barganier moved to elect Farrior with Crenshaw seconding the motion, which was approved 5-1 with Harris voting “no.”
McAlpine took over as chairman for the remainder of the meeting. He thanked Harris for serving as chairman the past three and one half years.
Harris said he had no idea the vote for chairman and vice chairman would take place Monday. He said, “A lot of stuff happens behind the scenes. I don’t know how commissioners make whatever decisions… and that’s just the way it is.” Harris said as to accepting the change, he didn’t have much of a choice.
He followed his earlier comment with, “They (the commissioners) do what Dickson Farrior says. He said, “That’s the kind of leadership we have in this county… and they will continue doing that and Lowndes County will continue to go the direction its going as long as Dickson Farrior is in charge of it.”
He said, “The commissioners don’t make decisions based on facts, they base it on Dickson Farrior.”
Farrior responded, “That’s totally not true. Each commissioner represents their district and represents their group.” He said, “I don’t control any commissioners, never have tried to control any commissioners, don’t intend to try to control any commissioners.”
He said, “I’m going to take care of the people in my district and represent my people, and that’s what my job is.”
When asked why the change at chairman, Farrior said, “I just think we need some new leadership in the county.” But said, “No. It’s not under my direction. I couldn’t make these other guys do anything like that. But I think it was the consensus of all of us that we needed new leadership.”
Farrior said he thought McAlpine would be a good chairman and would represent the county well and will represent the wishes of the commission.”

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