For the first time in five years, the Board of County Commissioners will have a new chairman come January.

For the first time in five years, the Board of County Commissioners will have a new chairman come January.

During Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting, commissioners voted to install Commissioner Sandy Quinn, Jr. from District 4 as the new chair effective Jan. 1.

He is just the third African-American to serve as BOCC chair.

District 3 Commissioner Jimmy Rogers will become the vice-chair.

The vote came on a motion from Commissioner Ward McDaniel, who has served as chairman that past four years.

During that time, the BOCC abandoned history and custom by not revolving the chairmanship has had taken place for decades.

The BOCC, as is the case with the vast majority of county-wide governing boards, rotated the chairmanship each year, based in part on seniority and the goal of having each district represented at least once every five years.

Rotating the chair grew in importance since the 1980s, when a federal decree established the county’s single-member districts structure, with no commissioner facing county-wide vote.

After McDaniel served in his normal rotation three years ago, former commissioner Carmen McLemore, in his last four-year term, chose not to serve as chairman, leaving McDaniel in place.

The following year would have been the District 3 year for the chairmanship, but then-commissioner Joanna Bryan, who publicly lobbied for the role, was not even considered for a vote by the full board.

It was the first time in county history that a commissioner in line for the chairmanship was skipped over despite desiring the role.

Last year, Quinn, citing other responsibilities, chose not to take the chairmanship.

And over the past four years, the chairmanship has taken on a more significant role in presiding over meetings and public comment in addition to chairing or serving on a host of committees.

McDaniel said it was simply time for him to step aside as chair.

“I’ve had the distinct honor and privilege of serving as chair for the past four years,” McDaniel said. “But it’s time (for someone else to serve).”

He motioned that Quinn, the current vice-chair to take the chair and Rogers to move up to vice-chair.

“I appreciate the opportunity,” Quinn said. “I passed on it one time before because of all the things I had going.

“I look forward to the opportunity to serve as chairman.”

Quinn added he looked forward to expanding his positive working relationship with staff, which, he added, always strives to get things done.

Commissioner Phil McCroan lauded McDaniel’s efforts the past four years, wondering how he kept up with all the responsibilities of the chairmanship.

“Commissioner McDaniel has done a tremendous job,” McCroan said. “I don’t know how you’ve done it with all the committees you serve on. You must be at every funeral in the county.

“I just don’t know how you did it.”

Rogers echoed those comments, noting the amount he has learned about his job and the chairman’s job and duties in observing McDaniel.

“It was a pleasure to learn from him,” Rogers said.

McDaniel, noting the many projects in motion within the county, said, “2018 is going to be a busy year. We have a lot of things coming together.”