Melton appointed new Polk BOC chair

Published 8:00 am Thursday, December 6, 2018

Yoder remains as vice chairman

COLUMBUS — Polk County has a new leader at the helm.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners met Monday and appointed Tommy Melton as chairman of the board. Melton, a Republican, was the high vote getter for commissioner during the November midterm election r.

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Melton, who lives in Columbus, first served on Columbus Town Council from 2003-2006 and was elected county commissioner from 2006-2010 and again in 2016.

He has previously served as chairman.

Commissioners also reappointed Myron Yoder (R) as vice chairman of the board. Yoder served as vice chair for the past year as well, with former chairman Jake Johnson.

Yoder thanked Johnson for serving as chair the past year.

“At first I thought, that’s a young man to be in that chair,” Yoder said. “I appreciate you doing it very much. I appreciate you more today than I did two years ago.”

Johnson thanked everyone for the respect he was shown as chair over the past year.

“There was some contention sometimes, but that’s the way it’s supposed to be,” Johnson said as he exited the chair position. I think we’re in a better place than we were a year ago.”

Melton thanked his wife, Tina, for her patience and understanding and help through the campaign. He also thanked the citizens who voted for the candidates, as well as county employees, and wished everyone a merry and Jesus-filled Christmas.

This year’s election for county commissioner included Melton winning by 21.44 percent with 5,123 votes. Melton received a four-year term.

Paul “Little” Beiler (R) came in second with 20.56 percent, or 4,912 votes, and also won a four-year term. Incumbent commissioner Ray Gasperson (D) won by 20.12 percent, or 4,807 votes, and gained a two-year term.

Beiler, a political newcomer, joined the current board of commissioners, which includes Melton, Yoder, Johnson and Gasperson. The three elected commissioners won out of five candidates this year.

The Polk County Board of Commissioners meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month in the R. Jay Foster Hall of Justice, located on the second floor of the Womack building in Columbus.

Also on Monday, commissioners approved the meeting schedule through the end of the fiscal year as well as appointed commissioners to local and regional boards.