Roark appointed chairman of Ashe Commissioners

Wil Petty Staff Writer

December 4, 2013

Gary Roark will now serve as chairman of the Ashe County Commissioners, following a 3-2 vote on Monday, Dec. 6.

Commissioner Roark, along with Gerald Price and Judy Porter Poe voted for the change in leadership, while William Sands and former chair Larry Rhodes voted in favor of Rhodes.

“I would like to thank Comissioner Rhodes for the job he has done for the last year,” Roark said. “I would also like to thank the board for giving me the opportunity to serve as chairman for the upcoming year.”

Poe will continue serving as vice chairman of the commissioners, following another 3-2 vote. Poe, alongside Price and Roark voted for her continued appointment, while Sands and Rhodes voted for Rhodes to serve in the position.

Every December the board has a reorganization meeting where they elect a chair and vice chair for a one-year term.

The chair leads and organizes all of the meetings. In the absence of the chair, the vice chair takes over.

Other responsibilites include getting an agenda together and having all of the meetings set up.

Other appointments for county positions were also voted on by the board.

The board voted 4-1 to promote county clerk Ann Clark. Clark served in the capacity as interim county manager following the resignation of Pat Mitchell.

“Our county clerk has been serving as county manager for several months now, and I cannot speak as to how valuable her service has been to the county over the years,” Poe said.

Ashe is one of 13 counties in the state where the clerk also serves as the assistant to the county manager.

Price voted against the motion saying that during a discussion with Clark, he said the temporary position was not a raise but a bonus.

“For that reason, I’m going to have to stay with my word,” Price said. “I hope there won’t be any hard feelings and I’m sure there won’t, but I would certainly be against a promotion at this point in time.”

Other appointments made by the board:

. Dana Johnson and Richard Blackburn were appointed to the Ashe County Library Board.

. County Manager Sam Yearick was appointed as the Ashe County representative to the Rural Transportation Advisory Committee.

. Steve Ashley and Linda Gouger were appointed to the Volunteer Advisory Board.

. In attendance were: Commissioners Vice Chair Judy Porter Poe, Gerald Price, Larry Rhodes, Chair Gary Roark, William Sands. County manager Sam Yearick made his first appearance in his new role.

The next meeting of the board will take place on Monday, Dec. 16.