Louie Alford was chosen to continue as Bradley County Commission chairman, while Vice Chairman Jeff Yarber was replaced by 4th District Commissioner J. Adam Lowe during a voting session Tuesday.
“I can think of no other person who would give of themselves in both time and effort the way this person has. So, it is my great pleasure tonight to nominate Commissioner Alford for another term as chairman,” said 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins.
Yarber nominated Lowe for vice chairman.
“Thank you all for allowing me to serve as vice chair (this past year),” Yarber said. “I think Commissioner Lowe will serve very well as vice chairman.”
Lowe said he was “humbled” by the nomination. He was also excited to fill the position.
Lowe was given his first brief chance to act as chairman during a lengthy discussion over appointments to the animal control ad hoc committee. The committee is being formed with two members from the Commission and two Cleveland City Council members. The committee is being asked to formulate an immediate solution for animal control outside the city limits.
At a work session last week, Alford announced he had appointed 4th District Commission Charlotte Peak-Jones and 7th District Commissioner Bill Winter to the committee.
“Last meeting, chairman Alford chose an ad hoc committee and I disagreed with it,” Yarber said.
Yarber had suggested last week that someone in support of the animal control contract and someone against should be appointed.
Alford temporarily handed control of the meeting over to Lowe, so he could comment on the issue. The chairman said the Commission did not vote to get rid of the animal control contract, but to simply amend it. Alford said there were only three commissioners who had voted not to change the contract, making them a minority.
Yarber said the appointment should have been voted on by the Commission as other similar appointments had been made in the past. Lowe said he would like the committee members to feel they have the support of the full Commission, not just the chairman.
Second District Commissioner Connie Wilson said she was sure any commissioner would serve well on the committee.
“I hate that we have gotten personalities involved, but I still feel like any one of the 14 could go out and represent the wishes of this Commission and come back with a motion that we can take a vote on,” Wilson said.
Attorney Crystal Freiberg said the Commission’s policy stated the chairman chooses who is on the committee. She said the policy can be amended if the commissioners wanted to change it.
Commissioners Terry Caywood (1st District) and Peak-Jones said they hoped the Commission would amend the policy to avoid a similar situation in the future.
A motion to have Peak-Jones and 3rd District Commissioner Jeff Morelock serve on the committee was made. However, 1st District Commissioner Ed Elkins made a substitute motion to approve the chairman’s original appointment. This substitute motion passed 12-2.
Also during the meeting:
- The Commission approved “a change order for approximately $196,160 for the Interchange South subject to the state amending the agreements for both the South and the North previously signed.”
According to City Manager Janice Casteel, a letter supporting the changes has been received form the state. An amended contract has not been received. Lowe said many in the community were seeing the interchange connector project and the Spring Branch Industrial Park as one project. He said the local interstate connectors were being overseen by the city of Cleveland. The Industrial Development Board will oversee the industrial park’s development.
- Bradley County resident Kim Casteel was appointed to the Healthy Community Initiative committee to serve for the 7th District.