BAD AXE – Huron County commissioners on Friday voted to have John Nugent serve as the board’s chairman for this year.
Nugent, who is entering his fifth year on the Huron County Board of Commissioners, was surprised by his election by fellow board members. The only other nominee was John Bodis, who will serve as vice chairman of the board this year.
Moving forward, Nugent said he believes the biggest issue the county faces is one that’s been discussed much in the past – wind energy.
“That’s to find an equitable wind ordinance that is fair to the property owners, the developers, and those who are in opposition to them. We want their concerns to be heard,” he said.
Nugent has been pursuing a six-month moratorium on wind energy development so a committee can update and revise an “outdated” and “deficient” wind energy ordinance that he says puts residents’ health, safety and welfare at risk if more turbines are erected.
Nugent succeeds Clark Elftman as board chairman. He told members of the local media Friday that he does not believe his role in this effort was what led his fellow commissioners to select him as their new leader.
Rather, he said, commissioners want a board chairman who is even-handed with how they deal with concerns from fellow commissioners and the public.
“(You) try to search for a chair to be fair to all,” Nugent said. “And I’m going to try to be.”
Nugent has more than 40 years of government experience, the majority of which deals with city government.
“People are people wherever you go, and they’re going to have the same concerns,” said Nugent, who previously served as the city manager of the City of Bad Axe. “I’ve always been a strong proponent of employees, (while) at the same time, understanding that management has to manage – there’s a balance between the two.”
In other business during Friday’s reorganizational meeting, the board adopted its meeting schedule for the year, which includes regular meetings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, and meetings of the whole on the third Tuesday of each month. The exceptions to that will be meetings on Wednesday, Sept. 23 and Dec. 30. All meetings are scheduled to begin at 9 a.m.
Also on Friday, commissioners approved new appointments to the board’s six committees. They are as follows:
• Agencies Committee: Chairman Rich Swartzendruber, Vice Chairman Ron Wruble and Sami Khoury.
• Legislative Committee: Chairman Clark Elftman, Vice Chairman Rich Swartzendruber and Dave Peruski.
• Properties Committee: Chairman Sami Khoury, Vice Chairman Clark Elftman and John Bodis.
• Finance Committee: Chairman Ron Wruble, Vice Chairman John Bodis and Rich Swartzendruber.
• Personnel Committee: Chairman Dave Peruski, Vice Chairman Sami Khoury and Ron Wruble.
• Safety Committee: Chairman John Bodis, Vice Chairman Dave Peruski and Clark Elftman.
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