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County Officials Sworn In; Committees Set

January 1 was more than just the start of a new year as elected officials in Mississippi County took the oath of their respective offices that morning.

County Judge John Alan Nelson was sworn in at roughly 11:10 Tuesday morning with nine of the 11 JP’s sworn in later in the ceremonies.

Justice Slyvester Belcher was unable to attend as he recovers from a broken leg and newly elected JP Fred Fleeman was unable to attend due to suffering from the flu.

Judge Nelson said, “It feels really good. We are going to hit the ground running. We haven’t stopped since the results of the General, but we are looking forward to every day and to make those changes that are going to benefit the county.”

After the ceremonies concluded, Nelson presided over his first meeting as he handed out committee assignments to the JP’s in attendance. Nelson stated that things won’t be done the same as previously.

There are 11 committees: Personnel and Committee on Committees, Finance; Fire, Police and Safety (FP&S); Energy and Property; Sanitation and Solid Waste; Planning and Development; Insurance; Efficiency; Social Services; Emergency; and Roads and Bridges.

Justice Rick Ash chairs the Personnel and Committee on Committees and the other members include Justice Alvin Clay, Justice Bill Nelson, Justice Betty Hepler and Justice Howard “Bubba” Norvell.

Justice Michael White will continue as chairman of the Finance Committee. Other members include newly elected Justice Molly Jackson, Justice Neil Burge and Justice Nelson.

The FP&S committee will be chaired by Ash and every JP will be on the committee.

Justice Belcher will chair the Energy and Property committee and the other members include Justice Jo Ann Henton, Hepler, Ash and Jackson.

Burge will continue to serve as the chairman for the Sanitation and Solid Waste committee and the other members include Henton, Fleeman, Clay and Jackson.

Justice Nelson will continue to serve as chairman of the Planning and Development committee. White, Belcher, Fleeman and Burge will also serve on the P&D committee.

Justice Nelson will chair the Insurance Committee and other members include Belcher, Jackson, Norvell and Clay.

Henton will chair the Efficiency Committee and other members include Belcher, Hepler, Justice Nelson and Ash.

Clay will chair the Social Services Committee. Henton, Norvell and Hepler will also serve on the committee.

Newly elected Justice Fred Fleeman will chair the Roads and Bridges committee. This committee also has all 11 JP’s serving on the board.

The Emergency Committee is chaired by Justice Nelson and has the chairman and chairwoman from each committee. These members include Burge, Belcher, White, Clay, Ash, Fleeman and Henton.

“I’m excited,” said Judge Nelson. “I think that everybody’s got the spots there that I think they got their talents for and I’m excited to see everything get underway.”

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