It’s a move never made in Sullivan County history before -- the county mayor is no longer serving as the chair of the county commission following a surprise vote Tuesday.
With a motion made to name a chair of the commission, the Sullivan County Commission took nominations. Two men were nominated and the current chair; County Mayor Steve Godsey, wasn't one of them.
In the end commissioners voted in one of their own, Eddie Williams, as the chair, meaning he'll run the county commission meetings.
Godsey says the move isn't one that weighs on his mind. “Most of the counties around here, we were unusual to have the mayor sitting as the chair of the commission,” he said.
When asked if he sees this as a vote of no confidence from commissioners, Godsey says no. “I don't see it as a slap in the face. I'm not upset, I'm not angry, I just think they're treading new grounds," he said.
As Commissioner Eddie Williams takes over as chair, he says the group needs to do a better job at communicating. “Maybe be a little more open and have more answers available, to where we can communicate a little bit better on all of our parts. Just not faulting [Godsey], but all of us. We need to communicate better," he said.
The move is effective immediately.
Godsey is up for re-election this year and has already applied to have his name on the ballot for the May primaries.
Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the commission approved the bond for Interim Highway Commissioner Bobby Manning. Manning came under fire recently after he fired seven employees just several weeks after being appointed to the job.
Manning had trouble securing a bond, but was able to get one after paying his own money. “I'm glad that's behind me so I can go on and put my whole heart and effort into the highway department,” says Manning.
Since the commission approved the bond Tuesday, Manning will be in the position, at least until the March commission meeting when the issue of interim highway department commissioner could be brought up again.