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DeKalb County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss Switching Political Party Affiliation

October 6, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

After having been elected twice as a Democrat, County Clerk James L. (Jimmy) Poss has announced that he is switching political parties and will be seeking re-election in 2022 as a Republican.

In a statement released today, Poss said while he is thankful for the support shown him over the years by the local Democratic Party, he does not share the views of today’s national Democratic Party leaders.

“As I continue my job as your County Clerk, I remain excited and humbled having the opportunity to serve you. I take my service to you very seriously. With that said, I want to ask you to understand after months of discerning heartfelt convictions, my individual political commonalities do not align with today’s National Democratic Leadership and I cannot, in good conscious faith continue representing the direction the national party has taken. This is just my personal belief and conviction. I do not fault or judge others with their personal opinions or political beliefs.”

“Only through God’s wisdom, direction and forgiveness, I am able to serve public office with a purpose, faith and accountability. With no disrespect to anyone, I recognize all people and their right for individual beliefs. However, I too have a responsibility for my individual faith, belief and trust in God and this is my strong conviction. Therefore, because of these reasons, I will be seeking re-election as DeKalb County Clerk in 2022, as a Republican”.

“As a local leader, I will not change my position as a SERVANT TO ALL. I will continue serving with equal service and gratitude, carrying out duties of the office. I will also continue serving with honesty, fairness and respect to every person regardless of your personal opinions or political beliefs. I will continue serving LAWFULLY, with compassion, humility, appreciation and dignity,” he said.

Poss said DeKalb County remains a great place to live and raise families with good hard working people and he is especially thankful to local law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS and first responders for the job they do and the respect they deserve in serving our county.

“For several years, I served the DeKalb County Ambulance service as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician. During that time, I obtained vital firsthand experience, attributes and various benefits provided by multiple levels of law enforcement. I cannot imagine our local communities and states without the profession of law enforcement and other emergency services. Everyone deserves quality public services, including professional law enforcement, honoring those who serve and holding accountability to all. Just the same, we should honor and provide the necessities for our nation’s military, ensuring its ability of protecting the United States. May God bless our community, state and nation,” he said.

Poss is in his second term as County Clerk. He was first elected in 2014 and was re-elected without opposition in 2018.

The DeKalb County Democratic Party selects its nominees for local offices through the primary process while nominees of the DeKalb County Republican Party are chosen by a caucus of party delegates.

Beth Chandler Named Smithville Alderman

October 6, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Smithville has a new alderman.

Beth Chandler was appointed Monday night upon the recommendation of Mayor Josh Miller. The aldermen voted to make the appointment during the regular monthly meeting. Chandler will fill the remaining two years of Gayla Hendrix’s unexpired alderman term. Hendrix resigned last month after being appointed Smithville Municipal Judge.

“I think Ms Hendrix and I probably did not agree on all of our politics but we worked really well together. When we run for office at this table, we run non-partisan. We can be Democrats and Republicans out there (community) but here at this table we are non-partisan. Our job is to help keep the city moving forward. I think we have done a good job at that,” said Mayor Miller.

“Tonight my recommendation to the board is Beth Chandler. This lady has owned a small business. She is a member of Leadership DeKalb and has been very active in extracurricular school activities. She is very active in our community. The bottom line is I think she will be a great asset to our town and I think she will help keep moving us forward. I would like to recommend that we appoint Beth Chandler to the city council,” said Mayor Miller

Alderman Danny Washer moved to follow the mayor’s recommendation. Alderman Brandon Cox offered a second to the motion and Aldermen Shawn Jacobs and Jessica Higgins joined Washer and Cox in voting for Chandler to get the appointment.

Roberts Hired to Fill City Fire Department’s Newly Created Full Time Position

October 6, 2020
By: Dwayne Page

Eight years after creating the first position, the city has added a second full time paid firefighter to the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department.

During Monday night’s regular monthly meeting, the aldermen voted 4-0 to hire Dalton Roberts upon the recommendation of Chief Charlie Parker. Roberts has been a volunteer member of the department for over six years.

Chief Parker said Roberts was one of two candidates for the new position and recommended after a review process.

“We had an interview review with our fire department officers and Shawn Jacobs, our police and fire department commissioner. We had an interview session with both of the applicants and the result was to move forward with Mr. Roberts. We went through a pretty good review process. Part of the reason it has taken so long since July is we had to develop a new set of rules on how to handle this process going forward because we hope this is not the last firefighter we hire. We have the process down now. We are trying to draw from inside the department if we can first to help build our volunteer force to give them a chance to further their firefighter career. We also want to make it as fair as possible because we don’t want to lose any volunteers due to hurt feelings. We want to keep it fair in making our choices and we were confident that in this case Mr. Roberts was a good choice,” said Chief Parker.

According to the city budget, the salary for Roberts’ position is $40,876 per year including salary and benefits.

Chief Parker was the first member of the department hired as a full time city firefighter in 2012.

Every year during budget time, Chief Parker petitions the mayor and aldermen to fund more full time paid firefighter positions.

Members of the Smithville Volunteer Fire Department and their years of service as of January were as follows: Jeff Prisock-1 year, Brent Keenan-1 year, Shannon Smith-1 year, Andrew Cooper-Rookie 1 year, Kayla Williams-Photographer/Auxiliary 1 year, Brenda Soto-Rookie 2 years, Dillon Hicks-Rookie 2 years, Caleb London-3 years, Ryan Herron: 4 years, Seth Wright-4 years, Kim Johnson-4 years, Bradley Johnson- 6 years, Dalton Roberts-6 years, C.J. Tramel- 6 years, Shawn Jacobs- Auxiliary 7 years, Becky Atnip- 7 years, Cory Killian-9 years, Glen Lattimore-12 years, Stephanee Wright-14 years, Gary Johnson-15 years, James Randall Hunt-15 years, Wallace Caldwell- Chaplain 16 years, Lieutenant Kevin Adcock- 21 years, William (Wink) Brown-22 years, Greg Bess-Photographer/Auxiliary 25 years, Lieutenant John Poss-30 years, Captain Jeff Wright-35 years, Deputy Chief Hoyte Hale-35 years, Lieutenant Donnie Cantrell-40 years, Lieutenant Danny Poss-40 years, and Chief Charlie Parker-40 years.

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