DOBSON — Commissioner Eddie Harris now has a new title — chairman.
During its annual organizational meeting Monday night, former chair R.F. “Buck” Golding made a motion to tap Harris for the seat, a motion that was seconded by Commissioner Jimmy Miller. Harris lives in State Road and represents the lower part of Surry County.
The motion passed unanimously.
The action came as the board met for its annual organizational meeting in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson.
Following Harris’ appointment, Miller made a motion to nominate Commissioner Paul Johnson as vice chair. On a second by Commissioner Larry Phillips, the motion passed unanimously.
After being named chair, Harris touted Golding’s service to the county during his tenure at the helm.
“I have some big shoes to fill,” he said. “There has never been a better friend to the people of Surry County than Buck Golding.”
Looking at Golding, Harris continued.
“I’m truly honored to have served with you,” he said.
Phillips also recognized Golding’s service.
“Winning an election is one thing,” he said. “But learning to lead is something else and I for one appreciate the leadership that Buck has shown.”
Johnson said he can’t believe Golding’s energy level.
“Yes, Buck did a tremendous job,” he said. “But I’m truly amazed at the pace he keeps. I don’t know when he gets the chance to sleep.”
The appointment of a chairman and vice chairman came on the heels of the swearing-in ceremony for three returning members of the board.
During this year’s election, Miller, who was unopposed, was re-elected to a seventh four-year term on the board.
He was sworn in by Judge Otis “Bud” Oliver, who told the crowd assembled for the occasion that this wasn’t his first rodeo.
“It’s been my pleasure to administer the oath to Jimmy Miller before,” he said with a smile. “This is the seventh time I’ve done this.”
Miller suggested that it would be a bad omen to have anyone else swear him into office.
“Evidently it’s good luck for you to do the honors,” he said, laughing.
Johnson was sworn into office for a fifth term by Rep. Sarah Stevens of the North Carolina House.
As his family surrounded him, Johnson joked that the few people present for the occasion didn’t do justice to the size of the Johnson clan.
“There’s a whole lot more where they come from,” he said to the laughter of the crowd. “Maybe that’s why I keep being re-elected, because my family is fruitful.”
In what Golding described as a “bit of an oddity,” Phillips was sworn into office by Judge William “Bill” Southern III.
While Johnson and Miller will serve the standard four-year term, Phillips was elected in November to fill the unexpired two years of the late Commissioner Garry Scearce.
Reach Keith Strange at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.