HomeNewsCounty Commission set to make 2 appointments again

County Commission set to make 2 appointments again

When the Madison County Commission meets on Sept. 18, they will get to go through a process they went through a month before.

They will be tasked with making a pair of appointments.

The first one is replacing Scott Gatlin, who resigned from the Jackson-Madison County School Board in June.

The other one is replacing Larry Lowrance on the Education Foundation Board. Lowrance had to come off the board when he was elected to the Jackson City Council in May.

For the school board, the Commission went through the process of vetting four people who applied for the job in the days leading up to the meeting and then going through four votes to try to come up with a new person to sit in the seat.

But after four tries they failed.

To be able to appoint someone, 13 members of the 25-member Commission must vote for a candidate. Two Commissioners were absent, which meant someone had to get 13 of 23 votes.

But that never happened. The rules of the vote state when no one is approved then the candidate who got the least number of votes falls out of the running, and the commissioners vote again.

That process repeated itself until Marcia Moss was the only candidate remaining, and she needed 13 “yes” votes to get the appointment. She failed to get that as those who voted for other candidates voted against her or passed on the vote.

So the vote was tabled to this month.

According to Commission Chairman Gary Deaton, anyone who applied for the job last month is still eligible for the appointment this month along with anyone else who may have applied since the meeting on Aug. 21.

Deaton said no one new has applied for the job. But he did confirm he and other Commissioners received an e-mail from Brent Lay stating he was removing his name from the process.

A text sent to Lay Tuesday night asking for confirmation or denial of the move was not answered as of The Post’s press time.

So Moss, Dwight Jones and Latarsha Hanna-Huff are still in the running for the appointment if they so desire.

Moss confirmed she reapplied for the job on Aug. 23. Jones was at school board committee meetings on Aug. 22 to learn more about issues going on with the district and confirmed then he was still interested. A message sent to Hanna-Huff last week has not received a response.

As far as the Education Foundation Board goes, one person had applied for that position as of Tuesday night – former Madison County Commissioner and Jackson City Councilman Gerry Neese, a veteran real estate salesman in the area and longtime radio broadcaster for Union University basketball. He’s not served as an elected official since losing his seat on the Commission in 2018.

The Education Foundation Board is made of nine members with three members each appointed by the county commission, city council and school board. Lowrance was a commission appointee.

The Foundation Board handles sales tax revenue from Jackson and Madison County received once they’ve gotten $12 million in a year and get that until it reaches $13 million. They’re also tasked with doing one fundraiser a year. It was put together in 2017 by then-City Councilman Scott Conger as part of the compromise between the City and County when the City Council voted to pull its $12 million in funding from the school system.

Since being revived in 2022 after being dormant for four years, the Foundation has a money to work with now to help JMCSS in ways it can within the regulations of the Foundation charter.

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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