By Callie Hietala
The Henry County Board of Supervisors selected its chairman and vice-chairman for the upcoming year during its 2022 organizational meeting on Jan. 4.
Jim Adams, of the Blackberry District, was chosen to serve as the chairperson and Joe Bryant, of the Collinsville District, was elected vice-chairman.
“I am humbled by the fact that the board has put their faith in me again,” said Adams, who was selected to lead the board for the ninth time during his 20-year tenure. “There will undoubtedly be some tough decisions ahead, but we have a board that is second to none, and I have the utmost confidence that we will continue to deliver for the people of Henry County.”
Adams said he is committed to maintaining good lines of communication between himself and board colleagues, ensuring each has answers to any questions on working papers and elsewhere so every member is well-prepared for each meeting.
Adams added that a strong bridge of communication is essential, too, as the county’s leadership transitions mid-year when long-time County Administrator Tim Hall retires. Current Deputy County Administrator Dale Wagoner was named to fill the position.
Additionally, “we have a new member on the board,” Adams said of Garrett Dillard, “and we want to make sure he has the working support that he needs to be successful.”
Also, Adams said he hopes to continue the trend of strong economic growth the county has enjoyed in recent years.
“The board in the past have proven to be visionary in the development of industrial parks and looking ahead to what the next step is. Last year we had a sizable success, specifically with SCHOCK coming in and taking over the last county-owned shell building,” he said.
This year. the board also will examine options to determine the next step and identify the most appropriate type of facility to create and where to locate it.
“That puts us in the game because when folks are looking at an area, it cuts out a number of months and a lot of different obstacles” to potential new industry, he said, adding that will be completed while the county works to retain existing businesses, both large and small.
Bryant will serve as vice-chairman for the first time after winning re-election in 2021.
“It is truly an honor that the Board has seen fit to select me as vice-chairperson,” Bryant said. “I look forward to continue working with the board in my new leadership position.”
In other matters at its organizational meeting Tuesday, the board:
*Set regular meeting dates for 2022. The board will meet every fourth Tuesday in the month except December. That meeting was set for Dec. 13 to avoid scheduling conflicts around the holidays.
*Adopted bylaws for 2022.
*Selected Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. as the date and time of its 2022 planning session.
*Adopted a proclamation authorizing the Declaration of Local Emergency on Jan. 3 to deal with weather-related emergencies and adopted a second proclamation rescinding the declaration.
*Approved a motion to file a complaint for declaratory judgement in the Henry County Circuit Court to stop the City of Martinsville’s attempt to force the board into a voluntary agreement which it previously voted to reject. (See related story.)