Only one scheduled meetings for the Floyd County Board of Supervisors for the laast two months of 2017.
The board meets Tuesday for its one meeting of November instead of the two meetings (second Tuesday in a day meeting that starts at 8:30 a.m. and the fourth Tuesday for a night meeting starting at 7 p.m.).
In December the one meeting of the month comes on the second Tuesday for the day gathering and the second one is scrapped because it comes on Christmas week.
These last two meetings end a long-running tenure of Indian Valley Supervisor Fred Gerald, who is retiring and the election defeat that displaces board chairman Case Clinger of Courthouse District.
Jerry Boothe, who served on the board before retiring in 2009, replaces Clinger and newcomer Justin Coleman, a Floyd County deputy sheriff, takes the Indian Valley seat.
Exit polls show two issues brought an end to Clinger’s time on the board: His vote that made brought renewable energy in as a priority in county projects and an old controversy over excess sales taxes charged to customers of his Pizza Inn restaurant.
Clinger’s vote made a resolution supporting renewable energy like solar-generated power unanimous and helped create an word-of-mouth campaign that apparently generated enough votes to give Boothe a win over Clinger.
He was the second straight sitting chairman of the board to lose re-election on the board. David Ingram sat in the chair when he lost in a Republican primary caucus to newcomer Lauren Yoder in the Locust Grove District and then failed in a write-in campaign in the general.
In some ways, the shakeup in this year’s election stems from an increase in county residents who have risen from their lethargy about what happens in local politics. Organizations like Preserve Floyd and Sustain Floyd now field speakers in the public comment sections of supervisor meetings each month and the once all-Republican board now has two “independents” (Boothe and Linda DeVito Kuchenbuch of Little River, who defeated designated Republican Eddie Worth for the seat after retirement of Virgel Allen).
The approaching end of 2017 closes out a busy year that brought voter approval of a add-on “meals tax” for county restaurants that lie outside of the town limits of Floyd, which has had the tax for several years, firing of a school superintendent and controversies over some appointments to county commissions.
A new year brings in new challenges and what could be the first fight could be realignment of county board leadership. With Clinger gone, the board will need to approve a new chairman on a board that is undergoing change. Burks Fork Supervisor Joe Turman is the current vice-chair but succession to chair is not automatic.
We may need seat belts on the chairs in the board meeting room on Oxford Street as the ride begins.