HomeOpinionOPINION: County Commission saw high amount of agreeability

OPINION: County Commission saw high amount of agreeability

Madison County Commission meeting was unique Monday morning.

There were no fireworks.

No arguments.

No yelling.

No name-calling.

Twenty-two of 25 Commissioners were present, and they sat and listened to presentations Jackson-Madison County Schools’ Marlon King, Jackson Downtown Development Corporation’s Beth Ann Simpson and then after that, they did the business of the County Commission.

All of that after they recognized University School of Jackson’s girls’ basketball team for the state championship they won earlier this month. By the way, I meant to mention when I was live-Tweeting the meeting that two of the first people who stood to applaud the Lady Bruins were King and JMCSS Board Chairman James “Pete” Johnson.

Budget amendments were motioned, seconded and accepted.

A speed limit was decided for Lewis Road on the northern edge of the county (literally the northern edge, because I thought it was in Gibson County).

They made a few committee appointments. They met privately with County Attorney Jay Bush and another lawyer in an attorney-client meeting that everyone has done a good job of not talking about the content. And then they went through the formalities of ending a meeting.

Commission Chairman Mike Taylor asked if there was anything else that needed to be discussed that’s not covered by the first 15 items on the meeting’s agenda, and they had to essentially re-appoint their three appointees to the Education Foundation Board at the request of board chair Tina Mercer. Those three appointees are Marcus Love, Gerry Neese and Trey Cleek.

When you look at the rundown of happenings from the meeting, there were three places where possible quarrels could’ve come up. The first one would’ve been when King made his presentation.

Members of the Republican caucus question how King and JMCSS have handled funds and how students are being educated.

So when he completed his presentation, questions from some of them would be a reasonable expectation. But there were no questions.

Instead, there was a show of support from Taylor, who commended King’s work ethic and acknowledged that righting a ship as massive as JMCSS takes some time, and things appear to be going in the right direction.

The next time would’ve been during the committee appointments.

In recent months, appointments have been a regular point of contention since Democratic caucus chairman Tony Black was removed from multiple committees last fall. The Democratic Commissioners have tried a couple times to get one of their caucus members appointed to certain committees with no success.

But in nearly all cases, the incumbents were approved with little to no discussion.

Then at the end for two reasons, there could’ve been contention. The first one being the Education Foundation discussion.

Because of frequent disagreements between Mercer and former Foundation Board member/current City Councilman Larry Lowrance and Trey Cleek, Lowrance’s replacement on the Board, that could’ve become a contentious discussion. But that was approved without any discussion.

The second reason the end could’ve seen some quarreling is because this is the time when sometimes Commissioners bring up things they want to discuss – like last month when Gary Tippett addressed comments about him by Tony Black from the previous month’s meeting.

But we made it through the meeting without incident.

For Brandon the journalist, who simply needs an angle to hinge a story on, that’s not a good thing. But in the grand scheme of things, this isn’t bad. In fact it’s good.

It shows that this group of Commissioners can work together and get things done without having having WWE Monday Night Raw break out about 12 hours early in Jackson.

Does this mean we can expect Tippett, Black, Joey Hale, Luther Mercer, William Martin and Gary Deaton to sit around a campfire and sing “Kum By Yah”? Probably not. Does it mean we’ll go next month without any tense moments? I’ll be shocked if we go two straight months without some kind of strife.

But that’s fine. A bit of agreeability among the group every so often isn’t a bad thing.

In fact, constant agreeability would be bad. It’s when they lose their civility in the disagreements that they become a problem.

But today, let’s just enjoy what it is for what it is in the here and now.

Brandon Shields is the managing editor of The Jackson Post. Contact him at brandon@jacksonpost.news. Follow him on Twitter @JSEditorBrandon or Instagram @Editorbrandon.

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