• 43°

Black appointed to BCWA

County commissioners have appointed Jan Black to replace Lamar “Cot” Giddens on the Butler County Water Authority.

Black, a native of Butler County and longtime educator and teacher, will assume his duties at the water authority’s meeting in March.

The water authority delayed election of officers during its January meeting because Giddens’ term was scheduled to expire in February. Giddens, who also served as chairman of the water authority, solicited the commission for re-appointment.

The commission chose to go in a different direction.

“I want to thank Mr. Giddens and his willingness to serve,” said Commissioner Jerry Hartin (District 1), who nominated Black. “We made a difficult decision here today, but I feel it was one that was needed. It’s something we had to do. I wish the people could vote on it, but it’s on us.”

Commissioner Lynn Harold Watson (District 5) seconded Black’s nomination. All commissioners approved the measure.

BCWA board members serve six-year terms.

Giddens’ tenure on the water authority included the switching of water system management from Pioneer Electric Co-Op to Artesian.

During his time with the water authority, the BCWA also paid a consultant salary to Malloy Chandler, former Pioneer Co-Op manager, whose name remains a source of contention among some co-op members and water customers.

“It’s unfortunate that Mr. Giddens has to be the one involved in this,” said Commissioner Frank Hickman (District 3). “But on the other hand we get a person (Black) who has been involved in public education his entire life. He brings something to the table that I believe is going to help this water authority. This has nothing to do with ‘Cot’ Giddens, nothing to do with Malloy Chandler, nothing to do with Pioneer Electric and nothing to do with REMAC. Now maybe we can quit talking about it.”

Watson said he hopes Black’s appointment is a step in the right direction.

“That is in the past and it’s time for people to get over it,” he said.