Fields Chosen County Commission Chairman After Long Stalemate

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

It took eight ballots, but the County Commission on Wednesday morning finally broke a stalemate and chose Jim Fields as chairman.

Chester Bankston was the unanimous choice for vice chairman.

Commissioner Warren Mackey opened the meeting by nominating Greg Beck for chairman, but he did not get a second.

From that point on, the two black members of the commission passed.

That left Commissioner Fields short of the five votes needed. He had support from Joe Graham, Tim Boyd and Commissioner Bankston.

Commissioner Marty Haynes was supported by the two new commissioners, Sabrena Turner and Randy Fairbanks.

After Commissioner Beck made a motion to adjourn when it appeared no one was prepared to give, Commissioner Haynes withdrew his name from consideration.

At one point during the stalemate, Commissioner Graham said, "This is showing no leadership by all of us. This makes us like the United States Congress."

He said of the Beck, Mackey passes, "A pass is not a vote. A pass is passing off your responsibility to other commissioners."

Commissioner Beck said, "It seems like the lack of leadership is coming from the other side. I suggest that one of you change your vote." 

County Clerk Bill Knowles, who presided, said without a chairman, the group would not have been able to handle any business.

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