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County Board Faces Tough Choices Over Leadership

Written By Editor on 11/8/13 | 11/8/13


 
If Tuesday's unofficial Town Supervisor results pan out from all 14 races, Republicans will head into the new year with control of nine county board seats or 55% of the weighted vote, leaving newly elected and veteran lawmakers to choose between continuing the bipartisan Skowfoe alliance or returning to the traditional partisan divide.

Which brings up the daunting question of who would Republicans support for Chairman of the Board in the latter option?

Tuesday's election fostered in four rookie Republican lawmakers onto the board, while the relatively new Mr. Lape enters his third term and the four remaining veterans have two former Chairmen in their ranks, neither of whom share a semblance of commonality towards the other besides the (R) next to their name.

However, one political consideration could narrow the Republican list down to one former Chairman who served through out most of the previous decade. That consideration being that after three years of rancor and discord - caused largely by a now-removed band of supervisors - the county board needs someone in the middle to lead and who has respect from both sides of the table.

Although that option is appealing with the board split narrowly 55-45% in weighted votes, all three of Tuesday's "too close to call" races featured Democrats, including Board Chairman Phil Skowfoe, clinging to razor thin margins. If the worst was to happen to their opponents, Republicans would hold a two-thirds super majority vote with no clear opposition for Board Chairman, further clouding the political waters and whether a sense of moderation would feel necessary.

On the flip side, several Republicans joined the Skowfoe alliance in the aftermath of the conservative faction's obvious failure in governance, and the question has to be asked if a feeling of loyalty still exists to the Fulton Supervisor after a contentious year long fight. All it will take is one Republican to remain in the alliance for Mr. Skowfoe to remain Chairman, granted he claims victory in his still undecided race.

Of course, all of this will be decided in due time, but with both sides largely sharing a common foe in the last election we can only hope that sense of bipartisanship lasts into the new year and beyond, as the county board has a lot of serious issues facing them in the coming years and it would be best if everyone worked together to resolve them behind one leader.



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