The Macon County Board of County Commissioners opened their December board meeting Tuesday night, with outgoing Commissioner Ronnie Beale offering his final words before new members of the board were sworn in. Beale, who served on the board of the past 16 years lost his reelection bid during the November election.
“It’s been an honor and a privilege to serve the citizens of Macon County for the past 16 years,” said Beale, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve this community and this county. We all care about Macon County, and I wish this board the best moving forward. It is time to do what boards should do – serve the community.To quote the late John Lewis … ‘It’s now time to build and not tear down, reconcile and not divide, and to love and not hate.’ At the end of the day, we are all Maconians.”
Following Beale’s comments, the meeting moved upstairs to a standing-room-only courtroom in the Macon County Courthouse, where the honorable Judge Roy Wijewickrama issued the Oath of Office to newly elected commissioners Danny Antoine and John Shearl as well as re-elected commissioner Gary Shields.
“I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to serve you as one of your new County Commissioners,” Antoine wrote on Facebook Tuesday following the swearing in. “But above all of that, I am grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for all that He is to me, because without Him I an do nothing. The next few months should be eventful as your new board of Commissioners will be hard at work for you all, the citizens of Macon County.”
Once the new board was in place, on a motion made by Antoine, Commissioner Paul Higdon was unanimously voted in to serve as Chairman of the Macon County Board of Commissioners. Commissioner Josh Young was then nominated and approved to serve as vice-chair of the board. For the first time in the county’s history, all members of the Macon County Board of Commissioners are Republican, meaning it is also the first time that the Chairman and Vice-chair spot are held by the same party. Historically, the board has voted to have the Chairman and Vice-chair members of different parties to ensure balance, however with no Democrats on the board, both seats are now held by Republicans.
Following the swearing in of the new commissioners, Judge Wijewickerama issued the Oath of Office to Todd Raby, who ran unopposed to continue serving as Macon County’s Register of Deeds.
To round out the new leadership representing Macon County, Judge Wijewickrama issued the Oath of Office to Brent Holbrooks, Macon County’s first new Sheriff in 20 years. Sheriff Holbrooks laid his hand on his great-grandmother’s Bible with his wife Sarah and three youngest children, Tripp, Saylor, and Knox, by his side and took the Oath of Office.
With Sheriff Holbrooks in office, he joined Judge Wijewickerama in swearing in all employees who will serve in the Macon County Sheriff’s Office under Holbrooks’ administration. Sheriff Holbrooks announced Adam Wishon’s promotion from Captain to Chief Deputy to help Sheriff Holbrooks lead the organization. Sheriff Holbrooks announced several other leadership changes and promotions, which will take effect in January 2023.