Walker County’s new sole Commissioner Shannon Whitfield took his oath of office a week ago and officially took office New Year’s Day. Whitfield overwhelmingly defeated former Commissioner Bebe Heiskell, who was first elected in 2000, this past November.
The transition has been less than smooth with Heiskell accepting resignations of members from various county boards and making appointments in the 11th hour rather than allowing her successor to fill those vacancies. She has been accused by Commissioner Whitfield of stacking board appointments to secure a job on the county’s water authority after her forced retirement. That job has vanished.
I honestly hope that our former commissioner goes quietly into retirement. Whitfield has been campaigning for the job for a while. Winning a tough election and a bumpy transition will probably be the easy part of the Commissioner’s new job.
The hard work of trying to right the ship to get Walker County back on a stable, sustainable fiscal path now begins. I hope voters will give him a chance to get a full understanding of where our county government stands and to lay out a path towards prosperity.
Good luck, Commissioner Whitfield.