New commissioners take over reignsPublished 9:54pm Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Monday night ushered in new leadership for Polk County government on several fronts.
Republicans in the county took over majority on the commission and appointed Michael Gage as chairman. Marche Pittman was named interim county manager, as Ryan Whitson takes military leave, and Bailey Nager was named interim county attorney, as Mike Egan was not reinstated.
Commissioners fell back in line with tradition when it came to appointing a chairman. Gage received the most votes during the November election therefore he was appointed chairman.
Our editorial staff wondered if this would be the move commissioners would make and were skeptical at first if the choice would be wise.
Tom Pack and Ted Owens both have more experience on the commission, both having served multiple terms in the past. However, Gage did receive the strongest vote of confidence from the community and in the first meeting he proved himself astute to his duties as chair.
Our hope with this commission leadership, especially in a situation where the commission is stacked four to one in favor of Republicans, is that the majority will keep in mind the desires of all citizens of Polk County and lead this county in a fair manner. We hope they will not discount ideas and opinions put forth by lone Democrat Ray Gasperson, who himself has a wealth of experience from his recent term as chair.
What is in the best interest of Polk County is for all commissioners, regardless of party, to work together.
– Tryon Daily Bulletin editorial staff