New commission takes office

Published 3:00 am Thursday, November 17, 2016

Newly elected members Russell Johnson and Chad Copeland got their first taste of service on the Pike County Commission on Wednesday at their first meeting.

Probate Judge Wes Allen swore Johnson and Copeland into office shortly before the meeting. Returning members Homer Wright, Charlie Harris, Robin Sullivan and Jimmy Barron were also sworn in.

The new commissioners got their feet wet with a quick meeting that didn’t require much action.

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The first order of business for the new commission was to set the meeting dates and times for the new year. The commission unanimously decided to keep the same schedule as they have had, meeting on the second and fourth Mondays of the month for work sessions at 5:15 p.m. and meetings at 6 p.m.

The commission then had to choose a chairman. With former chairman Joey Jackson no longer on the commission, the commission voted to make former vice chairman Sullivan the new chairman.

The commission selected Harris to serve as vice chairman.

Once those steps were completed, the commission didn’t have any major choices to make.

The commission did unanimously vote to allow the probate office to advertise for the position of tag clerk to replace a retiring clerk.

EMA Director Jeanna Barnes informed the commission that because Pike County is in a federally declared drought area, agricultural businesses are eligible for disaster assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Barnes also gave a reminder about the No Burn Order that the county is under and the need for residents to not burn anything outside.

County administrator Harry Sanders said that PH&J architectural firm is beginning the process of making the Pike County Jail temporarily safer now and that he would have more information for the commission at their next meeting.

The commission voted to go into executive session to discuss another issue, citing the need to protect good name and reputation.

The next meeting of the Pike County Commission will be on Monday, November 28 . The work session will begin at 5:15 p.m. followed by their regular meeting at 6 p.m.