A new year brings a new board of commissioners in Lee County with two first-year members, Luke Singletary and Greg Frich, taking their seat and Chairman Ed Duffy stepping down from his position after nominating Vice-Chairman Rick Muggridge to take his place.
After four years on the board, Muggridge says he's humbled but ready to lead.
"I'm overwhelmed that my fellow commissioners would have faith in me. I'm overwhelmed that, frankly, the public would allow me this opportunity to serve in this manner."
The third and final veteran member, Dennis Roland, will step in as vice-chair. Muggridge says with fresh faces coming in and old members taking new positions, he's looking forward to focusing on finances, which will allow the board to make changes in other areas of need.
"That'll allow us to be able to make decisions about roads, about fire service, and about all the other things that'll be coming to the front as this year develops."
One of the topics board members say needs attention is the uneven cost of homeowner's insurance due to different fire safety ratings depending on where you live in the county. Board members debated on how to change the ratings but agreed that something needs to be done.
"The biggest thing we're going to have to do is analyze where we are, how much we can spend to more or less improve the fire protection for everybody in Lee County," said Duffy, who remains on the board and says he looks forward to what the changes will bring.
The board plans to schedule strategic planning sessions to tackle issues in the upcoming months.