New Leadership In Madison County

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

December 3, 2005

The Madison County Board of Supervisors is under new leadership, and the outcome of today's vote came as a surprise to a lot of people.

The votes are in and so are Eddie Dean and Robert Miller.

This after a 4-1 vote naming Dean Board of Supervisors Chair and a unanimous vote naming Miller Vice Chair.

"I am pleased that I was selected as Chair for the Board for this coming year. I look forward to the challenge," said Dean.

Tuesday's vote came as a surprise not only to members of the community, but to Miller as well.

The newly elected Vice Chair voted for Dean, but said he felt former Vice Chair James Arrington would've been the better choice.

"There's some healing to be done in Madison County and I felt strongly that that could best be accomplished in taking our Vice Chair Mr. Arrington, who desired to become the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, and moving him into that position."

Miller was a strong supporter of Arrington, but voted for Dean, leaving many residents wondering what happened.

"The vote was taken as a role call from the opposite end of the board, and so it was already a 1-3 vote when it arrived at me, and for the sake of unity I felt it was best to vote for Mr. Dean. I don't want to see a divided board on this issue," explained Miller.

A divided community might result instead. This after an incident in which the county administrator used a racial slur in referring to former Vice Chair James Arrington.

Others in Madison county have come forward, saying they've felt discriminated against by local government. Arrington says he found no basis for the complaints, but still sees a problem with the situation.

"It's all about perception. Not about what you do, but how you do it. That's my concern," he explained. "I'm concerned that if there is at least one person who feels that they didn't get a fair shake, that we do something about it."

Even though on one was willing to speak on camera, several residents expressed their disappointment in the Board's decision, a decision that is not going to keep Arrington from doing what he feels he does best.

"I'm afraid that with today's vote it may have appeared that it's business as usual because we had citizens sitting in front of us, quite a number of citizens came to the meeting, none of them spoke for Mr. Dean for chairman," said Miller.

But despite the controversial vote Dean and Miller are hoping to move forward and restore faith in the local government, and Arrington wants the same.

"I'm going to work with the existing leadership and we're going to do our best to make this government truly reflective of the people of Madison county," Arrington said.

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