12/07/04 — Council's vice-chairman vote angers Republican

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Council's vice-chairman vote angers Republican

By Matt Shaw
Published in News on December 7, 2004 1:55 PM

Wayne County Commissioner Efton Sager criticized Democratic commissioners Monday for once again failing to consider a Republican for an officer's position.

"Whatever happened to bipartisanship?" Sager said. "You are ignoring the fact that everyone on the board is qualified for leadership."

The commissioners voted unanimously Monday to give J.D. Evans a full year as chairman.

But the board split on the vice chairman. Evans and the other four Democrats voted to re-elect Atlas Price after Sager had nominated Andy Anderson, a long-serving Republican.

Sager held his tongue until the end of the meeting.

"Are we going to have eight years of not even allowing a Republican to be vice chairman?" Sager complained. "It's an insult to recycle the same people for leadership."

The county's residents are increasingly voting for Republicans, he continued, but the board's Democrats have blocked Republicans from even the vice chairman's seat, which only has extra duties in the chairman's absence.

"Is it an ego thing? Do we believe in the 'we' concept, or do we believe in the 'I' concept?," he said.

Other commissioners did not care to debate the issue.

"There's a lot I could say, but I'm not going to respond," said Commissioner John M. Bell.

The commissioners elect their officers once a year. Republicans have tried since 2000 to have one of their own chosen for a post, despite the fact that the GOP members have always been outnumbered.