Commissioners receive oath of office, elect chairman and vice chairman

Published 1:13 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

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By Fred Guarino

The Lowndes Signal

Meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 16, State Senator and Lowndes County Attorney Hank Sanders administered the oath of office to incumbent Lowndes County Commissioners Carnell McAlpine and Dickson Farrior and new Commissioner Joshua “Mole” Simmons.
The swearing in ceremony was held at 9 a.m. in the commission auditorium prior to the first meeting of the new County Commission which followed at 10 a.m.
Also in the regular commission meeting that followed the swearing in ceremony, the commission held elections for a new chairman and vice chairman, who serve at the will of the commission. The elections were presided over by Sanders.
Farrior nominated McAlpine for commission chairman while Simmons nominated Commissioner Robert Harris for the post.
McAlpine was elected chairman with Farrior, Joseph Barganier and McAlpine in favor and Harris and Simmons voting no.
Barganier nominated Farrior for vice chairman who was elected with all but Harris voting yes.
Following the swearing in ceremony, the newly sworn commissioners were asked their feeling.
Simmons, at 34, is the youngest member of the commission. He is holding elected office for the first time and said Wednesday, “ I see a lot of room for improvement for Lowndes County…mostly jobs, trying to get more jobs, something better for the kids.”
Simmons of the son for former Fort Deposit Council member Irish Simmons. She said her son’s nickname “Mole” was given to him by his father.
Farrior has served Lowndes County as a commissioner for 32 years and is starting his ninth term.
He said of starting another term, “I’m optimistic about it because we’ve got the county in good financial shape. We’ve some industry coming in at the north end of the county that’s going to create some tax revenue, which we need to fix our roads and bridges.”
He said, “I think we are moving in the right direction and this last commission is probably the best commission I’ve ever served with… we got more done. And I look forward to working with this new commission to even more the county further.”
He said serving on the commission is a service to the county, which has been good to him. He said he has a cattle business in the county and is the fourth generation of his family to live in Lowndes.
McAlpine is in his second term on the commission.
He said, “It’s been a challenge.” He said he was used to working with defined regulations. He said, “In county government there is no specific ordinance… you have to deal with the situation and try to do what is best for the county.” He said, “I’m looking forward to this term. I’m looking forward to a continued challenge.”

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