Grayson elects new chairman

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By Ben Bomberger, Reporter

INDEPENDENCE — A new face will lead the Grayson County Board of Supervisors through what is expected to be a tough budget season.

Former Vice Chairman Larry Bartlett will take the reigns of the county's highest board for 2010 after receiving the only nomination during the supervisor's reorganizational meeting Jan. 6.

County Administrator Jonathan Sweet opened the meeting and called for nominations. Supervisor Doug Carrico nominated Bartlett, and with no further nominations, he was declared chairman by acclamation.

Bartlett then called for nominations for vice chairman. Supervisor Brenda Sutherland nominated Carrico. With no further nominations, Carrico was given the number two position.

Bartlett is in middle of his second term on the board. Bartlett was first elected in 2003 and was reelected in 2007.

"I am deeply honored, to have the opportunity in these trying times to lead this board," Bartlett told the supervisors after the decision.

He then congratulated former chairman Mike Maynard for doing "a tremendous job" leading the board.

Bartlett vowed to continue using Maynard's capabilities and abilities and thanked him for his leadership over the years.

The board also appointed Sweet as the clerk of the board and Assistant County Administrator Mitch Smith as deputy clerk.

Shortly after electing officers, the board went into executive session to discuss an undisclosed business prospect. After nearly two hours of closed session, the board opened the meeting back up to the public and began planning for the year ahead.

Sweet asked the board to consider the development of three committees to be comprised of two board members each.

"The development of these committees within the board will help increase the understanding of certain projects," he told the supervisors.

The three areas included a Special Projects Committee, Capital Projects Committee and County Finance/Budget Committee.

"These committees will help open up a line of communication between county staff and the board," Sweet said.

While it will require additional time commitments for the board, Sweet said this was a way for him to keep the board in the loop without having to call a meeting of the entire board together.

It also will give supervisors a more hands-on approach in various county projects, and allow the committee members to bring that information before the entire board at meetings.

"It's a fairly common structure for local government to have committees," said Maynard. "I think it's a good use of the board's time."

Bartlett then asked board members to consider which committees they would like to volunteer for and have them ready for the regular meeting scheduled for Jan. 14.

If a position is not filled by volunteers, the board can decide what to do at that  meeting.