Four Seek Vacant County Commission Seat
KEVIN HALPERN, Courier Co-Editor
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 7:16 am
The Cannon County Commission will meet Saturday for the first time this year, and the first order of business will be to fill a vacant seat on the 10-member board.
There is not a lack of qualified candidates for the position.
They include a former county commissioner, two persons who lost in their bids to become a county commissioner last August, and a top manager at one of the county’s leading industries.
The vacancy was created when Joe Wimberly, who represented the Fourth District, died in December.
The commission is scheduled to appoint someone to the seat when it meets Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Cannon County Courthouse.
Those who have expressed interest in being nominated include Rebekah Parton, Neil Appelbaum, Tony Neal and Glenn Steakley.
Parton previously served as a Fourth District Commissioner, but did not seek re-election last year in order to run for County Executive. She was unsuccessful in that bid, finishing second to Mike Gannon.
“I’ve been on there for eight years and if I had not run for county executive I would have run for re-election,” Parton said. “Joe’s (Wimberly) passing leaves a big hole on the commission in terms of experience and we need people on there who are familiar with the issues the commission has been dealing with recently.
“There are still goals I want to see accomplished for my district and our county,” Parton added. “I want to see the county move forward in terms of helping people have a better life and businesses a better livelihood.”
Appelbaum and Neal both sought a seat on the board in last August’s County General Election, but were defeated by Wimberly and Clint Higgins. Each of Cannon County’s five districts has two seats on the commission.
“I trust the nine seated commissioners to make an appropriate decision in the vote to fill the Fourth District vacancy,” Appelbaum said. “I continue to be interested in serving the community just as I was when I ran in the August election.”
Appelbaum said his strengths - education, business background, and continued financial investment in the community - are all focused on the improvement of the local economy.
“I believe more conversation among elected and non-elected county residents is necessary to set a course for the future economy of this close-knit community. One way or another I want to be part of that conversation because I believe I have useful ideas and seasoned skills to contribute,” Appelbaum said.
Neal said he wants to be selected for the position because he is interested in getting more involved in his community.
“I am on the fire department and a first responder and I would consider it an honor to serve my friends and neighbors in the capacity of county commissioner. I like helping out and being involved in matters that effect the community,” Neal said.
Steakley, who is Quality Manager for Crane Interiors, has experience serving on boards and committees and has been an active member in Lions Club and Cannon County Chamber of Commerce. He is also a member of the Woodbury Church of Christ.
“I worked here for four years before I moved here and I fell in love with the county,” Steakley said. “Being in the quality field profession I have a tendency to keep working to improve things. I had given this some thought before but the two individuals who were already on the commission from this district were doing a quality job and I didn’t want to interfere.”
Steakley said at the unfortunate passing of Mr. Wimberly, he felt this was the ideal time for him to give back to the community in which he lives and to serve his neighbors.
“If selected I can assure those who select me and those I serve that I will put forth my greatest effort in performing the job well.”
Higgins, who was elected as a commissioner for the first time in August, will nominate someone to fill Wimberly’s seat on an interim basis at this Saturday’s quarterly meeting. Other sitting commissioners can also submit nominations.