By MIKE WEST/ Courier Editor
Jim Jones was selected to fill the vacant 5th district seat on the Cannon County Commission Tuesday (Sept. 10).
Jones replaces Kevin Mooneyham, who recently resigned after moving out of the district.
Jones was recommended by Commissioner Clint Higgins.
"He ran and showed interest in the past. There's no reason not to approve him," Higgins said.
Initially, Jones received five out of nine votes with competitor Bill Jennings receiving four with a majority of six votes required. After a brief discussion, Commissioners Mark Barker and Tony Neal changed their vote giving Jones the victory.
In other action, Barker and Commissioner Bob Stoetzel changed roles.
Barker was elected Commission chairman. Stoetzel, who had served as chairman the last two years, was selected as chairman pro-temp.
"I'm honored by your support and your vote of confidence," Barker said, vowing to continue several changes instituted by Stoetzel including saying a prayer and the Pledge to Allegiance prior to each session and abiding by Roberts Rules of Order.
Barker received six votes … his own plus Commissioners Russell Reed, Jimmy Mingle, Todd Hollingsworth, Tony Neal and Clint Higgins.
Stoetzel received three … his own plus Commissioners Jim Bush and Kevin George.
Commissioners heard a progress report from Linda Bedwell, Cannon County REACH director.
During the past year, REACH has approved an advisory board, "Friends of After School Kids" and conducted a successful horse show fundraiser.
More events are planned including manning a concession booth at the upcoming Sept. 27-28 "Piggin' Around," a sanctioned barbecue cook-off at the Fairgrounds, "Lights on After School" program set for Oct. 18 and a Nov. 16 beans and cornbread competition.
Bedwell said the group is also working to regain its 501c3 federal tax status.
REACH is currently available at only five of the county's schools.
Commissioner Mingle asked Bedwell if there's a chance of expanding services to Auburntown and Woodland Schools.
"None right now," she answered.
REACH board member Terry Barker said Woodland currently has 27 children who want to join the program.
"It's not a babysitting service. They are there to help the kids," Barker said. "We're doing our part, we would like to encourage Cannon County to do its part."
The Commission also heard from Cannon County High School baseball coach Tony Stinnett about the need to secure the baseball fields at the Fairgrounds to prevent vandalism and other problems.
"I'm not trying to shut anybody out," Stinnett said. There are no plans to limit access to Dixie League and other organized teams.
Commissioner Clint Higgins moved to make the CCHS coach the director of the high school fields. The vote passed unanimously.