Spending this Tuesday morning with the micro-politics of Floyd County government. delivered to us by the Board of Trustees in its first regular meeting of the month.
The board opens its new year with a new vice-chairman after former second-in-command Lauren Yoder of the Locust Grove District was openly dumped by his colleagues after new Little River Supervisor Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch had the audacity to nominate him to replace Case Clinger, the Courthouse Supervisor who often tangles with the fiery and controversial school superintendent Kevin Harris and ran into some legal problems last year after his pizza business got caught overcharging customers on sales tax.
Kuchenbuch’s nomination of Yoder for chairman died for lack of a second at the board’s organizational meeting last week and Yoder voted against Clinger as chairman. In a move that appeared orchestrated well in advance of the meeting, Indian Valley Supervisor Fred Gerald nominated Joe Turman of Burks Fork to replace Yoder as vice chairman.
Kuchenbuch nominated Yoder for reappointment as vice chairman but that nomination also died for lack of a second.
Payback? Partially but Yoder, once considered Clinger’s pick to follow him as chairman of the board, appears to have fallen out of favor with the outspoken elected head of the county government.
After Kuchenbuch defeated a Republican for the Little River seat last November, the Republican dominated board of supervisors knew she would not be a lockstep “yes” person of the board. She would question questionable appointments of controversial tea party members to county boards after two such political activists now sit on the planning commission, one replacing a popular chairman who got cross-ways with the board for urging changes in the county’s family subdivision ordinance, a loose collection of laws that allow residents to circumvent usual restrictions on creation of subdivisions in the county.
Yoder, elected as a conservative Republican by upsetting then-chairman David Ingram in the primary, has moved to the center in his term and that does not sit well with those who require lock-step approval of any and all Republican dogmas.
November’s election, however, suggests some weaknesses in the GOP grip on county government.
Turman, a retired deputy sheriff, is hard-core Republican but was the only supervisor candidate who received less than 50 per cent of the vote in a tight race involving Democrat Kerry Underwood, co-owner of Oddfellas Cantina, Republic of Floyd and a new distillery of legal moonshine and Michael Schumann, a popular volunteer fireman and owner of D.J.’s drive-in.
In Little River, the feisty independent Kuchenbuch, a Realtor and radio announcer, surprised some when she beat Republican incumbent Eddie Worth, a retired business executive who serves as a special deputy and works with the Safe Surfing group to deal with child predators on the Internet. Republicans normally cruise to victory in Little River but Kuchenbuch won by nine votes.
Battle lines have been drawn in Floyd County government and the New Year is less than two weeks old.
Let the games begin.