Familiar Scent In The Air

editorial-logo3It was an interesting week. The newly minted County Commission, complete with nine new faces, took their seats at the round table and it didn’t take long for those of us in the cheap seats to realize that the same old same old is already creeping into room. The very first order of business for the group was to appoint a fearless leader, someone to drive the cart so to speak. In polite circles we would call such a position a chairman. Easy enough, you say. With nine new Commissioners there should be very little politics at play at this early stage of the game. Not so! It would appear that outside fingers had already dipped into the pie and got things stirring right from the starting line.

So, two candidates names were thrown into the fray for consideration and then the floor was quickly closed for other nominations. Both names were familiar to those on both sides of the knee wall. District Five Commissioner and Jefferson County Department Head Tim “ Pop” Seals and the new face at the helm of Jefferson County government, Jefferson County Mayor Mark Potts were offered as candidates for the position of Chair. The vote was taken and low and behold, it was a tie. ( Baxley was absent and therefore only 20 members voted). It was a stunning moment of deja vu for those of us in the cheap seats. Two minutes into a new County Commission and we already have an equally divided group. Commissioner for District 3, Michael Phagan suggested waiting until Baxley could be present to vote but that idea never really gained any traction. After all, it is a rare occurrence that every member is present at the voting meeting and that would push election of the Chair off until mid October. It is true that the position of Chair comes with considerable, time consuming,duties and they can’t just be left undone while folks make up their mind who they want most in the high seat.

Another vote was taken. But, not before two long time Commissioners spoke in favor of placing the Mayor in the position of Chair. Commissioners Dockery and Scarlett likened the placing of the Mayor in the Chair position to that of a new day dawning and the hope for a more cohesive County Commission. In the end, Mayor Potts had his first victory with the County Commission as he took the gavel and the responsibility of head of the County Commission. Will this be a four year position? Who knows? Any hopes that I held that we were all starting on equal footing went out the door with the tie vote. Even now the movers and shakers are moving and shaking and only time will tell just how things will play out. One thing is for certain, as long as there are politicians there will be political play and sometimes it is hard to guess just who will be sharing the pillow with who.

The point is that things may look a little better but looks can be deceiving. It is much like getting skunked and trying to cover up the smell with expensive perfume. All you have to do is get close enough to realize that you can’t cover up skunk and it’s the same with politics. Some smells are just harder to get rid of than others. Sniff the air. The seasons are changing but something familiar is blowing in the wind.

Good luck to Mayor Potts. I think he has his plate full. I do believe that change is in the air, I am just not sure that it comes with a fresh start. A tie vote. Hummm. Can you say foreshadowing?