Yandell now chairing board of county commissioners
By Ken Childers
As customary with the beginning of a new year, the Okfuskee County Board of County Commissioners has elected a new chairman and vice chairman.
During its first meeting of 2020, held Monday morning at the Okfuskee County Courthouse, the board voted unanimously to name District 3 Commissioner James Yandell as chairman, replacing Terry Wilson. Danny Wilson retained the vice chairman post while Terry Wilson’s title is now “member” rather than “chairman.”
Yandell was sworn into office in September 2018 following the sudden death of Commissioner Bruce Smith. Earlier that year, Yandell filed unopposed for the post after Smith announced he was retiring at the end of his term. Yandell would have assumed the office by default in January 2019, but Gov. Mary Fallin appointed him to the position shortly after Smith’s death. Yandell had previously worked under Smith and said the experience helped prepare him to become a commissioner.
In other business, the board approved a resolution that set the conditions for the election of county free fair board members.
Per the resolution, the filing period will open at 8 a.m. Friday, Jan. 27 and close at 4 p.m. the following Friday (Jan. 31). The resolution specifies that the election will be held at each county barn on Saturday Feb. 28 from 8 a.m. – 12 noon. Also under the resolution, only registered voters of Okfuskee County are eligible to file as candidates for the board and must reside in the commissioner’s district. Prospective candidates must file with the county clerk within the specified time.
Also during the meeting, the board voted to approve a resolution setting the mileage reimbursement rate for county officers and employees at 57.5 cents per mile, the same rate the Internal Revenue Service set for 2020.
The board meets regularly at 9 a.m. each Monday on the first floor of the Okfuskee County Courthouse. All meetings are open to the public.