Election loss leads to shuffle of BOC roles

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Photo by Dennis Mansfield

Newly elected Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners Chair Kahn Fisher.

KALKASKA – Finally, the other shoe from the November 2018 general election dropped, as new faces were officially welcomed to the Kalkaska County Board of Commissioners at the board’s organizational meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 2.

Two incumbents, including veteran District No. 2 commissioner and former chairman Stuart McKinnon, found themselves on the outside looking in after the 2018 election cycle.

In the battle to replace former District No. 1 Commissioner Truman Bicum, who lost his bid for re-election in the August primary, Republican John West joined the county board after topping his Democrat challenger, Gerald Grieve, in the general election to represent Clearwater Township.

And, in District No. 2 which includes Coldsprings and Rapid River townships, Dr. Leigh Lewis took her seat at the table after beating out Democrat Fed Vonalt. That followed a surprise victory in August to topple McKinnon, who was seeking his fifth two-year term.

The losses also left a leadership void that was filled at the recent organizational meeting – and by a familiar face to those who regularly attend the county board meetings held on the third Wednesday of each month at 6 p.m.

District No. 3 Commissioner Kohn Fisher, who was first appointed to the board in 2012 and had served as vice chairman since 2015, was elected as chairman at the Jan. 2 meeting, beating out fellow board member, District No. 7 Commissioner Patty Cox.

Fisher, nominated for the role ironically by Cox, won by a 5-2 vote. Cox, now starting her fourth two-year term on the board, was then unanimously re-elected to serve as vice chair.

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