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Waddell voted in as new Board Chairman of Sumter County Board of Commissioners

AMERICUS – The Sumter County Board of Commissioners (BOC) has a new Board Chairman. He is Commissioner Mark Waddell. Waddell was unanimously voted in as the new Board Chairman at the BOC’s virtual meeting on Tuesday, January 19.

Waddell succeeds former Board Chairman and current Commissioner Clay Jones, who was unanimously voted out as Board Chairman by the BOC last month due to his alleged violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  Before a vote could be taken, nominations for the position had to be made.

Commissioner Waddell, who was serving as the Acting Board Chairman at this point, asked the Commissioners if they wanted to put forth any nominations. Commissioner Scott Roberson nominated Waddell to be the next Board Chairman and Commissioner Jones nominated himself to reclaim his seat as Board Chairman.

Waddell asked the Commissioners if they wanted to discuss it further, but no further discussion was deemed necessary. Waddell then called for a vote asking all those who were in favor of electing him as the BOC’s next Board Chairman to respond by saying “I”. The BOC, including Waddell himself, voted 3-2 in favor of electing him as the next Board Chairman.

The next item on the agenda was to elect a Vice Chairman. Commissioner Roberson nominated himself to be the Vice Chairman of the BOC and no other nominations were submitted. The BOC voted 4-1, with Jones voting NO, to elect Roberson as the BOC’s Vice Chairman.

The BOC also voted 5-0 to unanimously reelect County Clerk Rayetta Volley to serve another term in that capacity. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to nominate Volley to continue to serve as County Clerk and Commissioner Jessie Smith seconded the motion. The BOC then voted and Volley was unanimously reelected as the Clerk for Sumter County.

The BOC also voted unanimously to reelect County Deputy Clerk Latoya McCants to continue serving in that capacity. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to nominate McCants and Commissioner William Reid seconded the motion. The BOC voted and McCants was unanimously reelected as the County Deputy Clerk in a vote of 5-0.

The BOC also voted unanimously to reelect County Attorney Kimberly Reid. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to nominate Reid and Commissioner William Reid seconded the motion. The BOC voted and Attorney Reid was reelected to serve as the county’s attorney by a 5-0 decision.

The BOC also voted unanimously to approve the new position of Chief Deputy Clerk to replace the current position of Clerk of Magistrate Court. Newly elected Sumter County Chief Magistrate Judge Crystal Cleveland told the BOC that she had submitted to them the job description of this proposed new position and that other technology changes would be made that, in her opinion, would cut her department’s travel budget in half. Waddell asked for a motion to approve the new position of Chief Deputy Clerk, which would replace the current Clerk of Magistrate Court position. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve the new position and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The BOC also voted unanimously to approve the rental agreement, also known as Lease #8869, between the BOC and the State Properties Commission for property located at 1601 North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 220. This is on behalf of the Department of Veterans Services. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve the rental agreement and Commissioner Jones seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The BOC also voted to approve an IGA (Intergovernmental Agreement) between the Sumter County Board of Education, the Board of Elections and Registration of Sumter County and the county itself by and through the Board of Commissioners. This IGA is in reference to the conduct of a specially called referendum election to be held on March 16, 2021, to determine whether or not to impose a Special One Percent Sales and Use Tax and whether or not to issue general obligation debit in connection therewith. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve the IGA and Commissioner Jones seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval of the IGA passed unanimously.

When it came time for the BOC to discuss Board Appointments to various local boards, Commissioner Jones volunteered to serve on the county’s Board of Health to succeed former Commissioner Thomas Jordan, who had been serving on that board.

Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve Jones’ service on the Board of Health and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

The BOC also approved a motion for Board Chairman Waddell to serve on the Sumter County Chamber of Commerce in place of former Commissioner George Torbert. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve Waddell’s appointment and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval passed unanimously.

As far as the Sumter County Land Bank Authority is concerned, Volley stated that Kirk Lyman-Barner, who is currently serving on the Land Bank Authority, does not wish to be reappointed to that position. Lyman-Barner’s current term expires on March 19, 2021. Commissioner Jessie Smith stated that he would be willing to serve in Lyman-Barner’s place. Waddell asked for a motion to approve the appointment of Commissioner Smith to serve on the Land Bank Authority. Commissioner Jones made a motion for approval and Commissioner William Reid seconded the motion. The BOC voted and the approval to appoint Smith to serve on the Land Bank Authority once Lyman-Barner’s term expires passed unanimously.

Sumter County Sheriff Eric Bryant told the BOC that he would be willing to serve on the Middle Flint E-911 Authority. Terry Westbury held that position and his term expired on December 31, 2020. Commissioner Roberson made a motion to approve Sheriff Bryant’s appointment to that authority and Commissioner Smith seconded the motion. The BOC took a vote and the approval to appoint Bryant passed unanimously.