VOL. 130 | NO. 155 | Tuesday, August 11, 2015
County Commission Takes Back Election of Basar As New Chairman
By Bill Dries
For about an hour Monday, Aug. 10, Steve Basar was the incoming-chairman of the Shelby County Commission, scheduled to take the position in September.
It was the first item on Monday’s agenda. But when the commission completed the rest of the 24-item agenda one of the seven commissioners who voted for Basar flipped.
Commissioner Eddie Jones moved for reconsideration and with seven votes, the question of who would be chairman was open again.
Basar was nominated again. So were commissioners Terry Roland and George Chism who were also nominated during the first six rounds of voting.
None of them got seven votes by the ninth round of voting to become chairman.
The commission then delayed a vote on chairman until its Sept. 14 meeting.
Basar said he was “baffled” by the take back and said Jones was “bullied” into changing his vote.
Commissioner Heidi Shafer said the move shouldn’t have been a surprise given the tumultuous recent history of the annual selection of a chairman as well as attempts to remove current chairman Justin Ford soon after Ford was chosen as chairman about a year ago.
There is nothing in the county charter that says the new chairman for the next year must be elected by Sept. 1. But Ford, the outgoing chairman, leaves the chairmanship at the end of August.
That means commissioner Van Turner, who was elected chairman pro tempore Monday, will preside over the election of the next chairman.