County commissioners appoint chair and vice chair, meeting times to remain unchanged

SPOTLIGHT PHOTO: COURTNEY VAUGHN - Columbia County commissioners discuss board chair and vice chair appointments during a Jan. 2 meeting. Pictured left to right: Commissioners Alex Tardif, Margaret Magruder and Henry Heimuller.Commissioner Henry Heimuller was named chair of the Columbia County Board of Commissioners Wednesday, Jan. 2. Margaret Magruder will serve as vice chair and Alex Tardif will serve as budget chair for the 2019 calendar year.

Commissioners voted unanimously to name the new chair and vice chair positions during the board's first regular meeting of 2019.

Despite approaching his third year on the board, Tardif's name was absent from leadership nominations Wednesday. Magruder chaired the board in 2018 and Heimuller served as chair the year prior.

Tardif, who has a background in finance, was instead asked to continue serving as budget officer, after the county's finance director recently left for another job.

"I really appreciate Alex taking on this role," Magruder noted. "We have great staff down in our budget and taxation office, but we really rely on Alex to keep us on track."

Before the start of the new year, commissioners had previously talked of appointing Tardif to chair the board, Tardif and other county staff confirmed.

With Magruder and Heimuller set to lead the board again, Tardif suggested delving into a deeper work load.

"After serving as budget officer for three years in a row and needing to take over for Jennifer [Cuellar, the county's previous finance director] ... I would like to take on more responsibilities," Tardif told his fellow commissioners.

In addition to board leadership remaining the same, so will the commissioners' meeting schedule.

Regular meetings will continue to be held at 10 a.m. Wednesdays, with work sessions beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesdays.

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