By Jesse Wood
Nov. 14, 2012. Current Watauga County Board of Commissioners Jim Deal (left), Vince Gable and Tim Futrelle gave a brief, final speech at Tuesday’s board meeting. Deal and Futrelle did not run for re-election, and Gable was defeated by current school board member John Welch for the District 2 commissioner race.
All three mentioned what an honor and privilege it was to serve the county. Gable said he was glad to see consolidated dispatch take place under his watch, and Deal mentioned that he was particularly proud of several projects during his terms on the board – the new Watauga High School, Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park, the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex and safe access points to local rivers – “all [while] maintaining one of the lowest tax rates in the state.”
“It speaks volumes for how well our county manager functions and how well our staff functions and how well all the people who volunteer on behalf of the county function,” Deal said.
“We live in a special part of the world. We truly do. The people are exceptional. Some of them have agreed for things I have stood for and some didn’t. I’ve always respected their right to disagree,” Deal continued. “We are so blessed. A lot of places struggle just to have conversations much less accomplish things.”
Finally, Deal – as well as the other two outgoing members did – noted how grateful he was for the effort and time that County Manager Deron Geouque – and past manager Rocky Nelson – put into helping the board of commissioners operate smoothly.
On Monday, Dec. 3, Welch, Billy Kennedy and Perry Yates will be sworn in as the new commissioners on the Republican-led board.