Oaths of leadership

Dec. 04, 2012 @ 07:52 PM

The Vance County commissioners held their last official board meeting of the calendar year Monday night, setting leadership for the coming year. Reorganization of the board commenced with Tommy Hester being named as the new chairman.
“It’s now time to pass the medal,” said commissioner Terry Garrison. “I would like to nominate Tommy Hester as our new chairman of the board.”
Eddie Wright made a motion to appoint Hester as new chairman of the board, seconded by commissioner Deborah Brown.
The motion passed unanimously. Brown was elected to succeed Hester as the vice chairman.
“It was a learning experience having served under Terry,” said Hester, who took a moment between appointments to address three major goals for county leadership during the year 2013.
Hester’s primary goal is to focus on creating more jobs.
“We just need more businesses in our community,” Hester said. “Whatever way we can get them here, we need to try and work as a team.
“The city, county, chamber and every individual in this community needs to look to bring more business into the community.”
Moving forward without raising taxes was goal number two for Hester.
“With the employment rate the way it is, and the economy overall, we don’t need to be raising any taxes,” Hester said.
Lastly, Hester hopes to balance the county’s budget without dipping in to savings.
“We need to start looking at living within our means,” Hester said. “The last three or four years we’ve gone into the savings and we need to quit doing that.”
Hester also addressed three minor goals, including moving forward with phase 2A and 2B of the county water project, working toward the opening of an animal shelter, and receiving the budget in advance.
“I would like to get the budget on May 1,” Hester said. “We normally don’t receive it until late May or early June.
“This would allow for more time to talk about it, and raise questions to discuss with our county manager and finance officer.”
Hester’s first meeting as chairman of the board set a precedence for positive changes, with his concise goals and clear vision for the future of Vance County.
“I just hope I can make some difference,” Hester said.
Other officials reappointments to the board during Monday night’s meeting included Kelly Grissom as clerk of the board, Jerry Ayscue as county manager and interim finance officer, and Jonathan S. Care as county attorney.

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.