Farewells and hellos from Commissioner Tom Massie highlighted this week’s lame-duck county board meeting in Jackson County.
The ousted elected official, taking advantage of the final meaningful business meeting of this particular set of commissioners, wished his successors luck and good fortune.
Republicans Doug Cody (replacing Massie), Charles Elders (replacing William Shelton) and conservative-but-officially Independent Jack Debnam (replacing Chairman Brian McMahan) were in the audience, seated demurely toward the back of the room.
“This is an interesting job,” Massie said. “While I can’t say I’ve enjoyed the past four years, it has been a privilege I’ll always cherish.”
There will be a meeting to take care of housekeeping details at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 6. At 6:30 p.m., an organizational meeting by the new board of commissioners will convene. Cody, Elders and Debnam will join current commissioners (both Democrats) Mark Jones and Jay Cowan. The two men have two years remaining before they are up for re-election.
Voters in Jackson County on Nov. 2 upended the 16-year stranglehold Democrats enjoyed on the commission board. Now the new commissioners’ promises of fiscal conservancy and putting builders in the county back to work are about to be tested.
Massie told his replacement(s) being a commissioner, in the best of times, is challenging.
“And these are not good times,” he said.