They say it’s lonely at the top. As Thursday’s meeting of the Jefferson County Commission neared its end, it was lonely on the dais.
Commission President Jimmie Stephens was the only commissioner remaining after others were either absent or had to leave because of other commitments.
“I guess I’m the last man standing on this particular deal,” Stephens said after recessing the session. “This is not the pattern, practice or the way we do business. We have commissioners who had other commitments, and this did run over very long. We wanted to give the citizens an opportunity to speak.
“At the end of that, we did do what was needed and necessary to take care of the business of the county,” he continued. “We’ll have a full quorum next meeting and continue the operations and business.”
Commissioner Sheila Tyson was out of town and absent from Thursday’s meeting. Commissioner Lashunda Scales was present via Zoom.
As commissioners heard the third of six zoning hearings, Commissioner Steve Ammons had to leave because of a prior commitment. As that hearing went on, Scales said she was already late for an appointment.
Ultimately, Stephens, Scales and Commissioner Joe Knight addressed the final four zoning hearings, opting to carry over the request for an addition to a ministorage business in Oxmoor Valley.
Hastily, the remaining commissioners approved the 38 resolutions on their agenda and Knight left for an appointment, leaving Stephens as the only commissioner present.
“This is a first,” he said. “I know where Commissioner Knight and Commissioner Ammons were having to go. I think Commissioner Tyson is out of town. Commissioner Scales is in a meeting, an educational meeting for the commission, so I understand completely.
“We were able to keep a quorum to handle those needed and necessary items that move the county forward,” he said. “I appreciate their indulgence in that they did stay to the last second to get that done.”