Commissioner Clint Didier of Eltopia has been elected Franklin County commission chairman for 2021 by a 2-1 vote conducted earlier today, Tuesday January 5, 2021.

Rocky Mullen, in his first vote as Franklin County Commissioner, cast the deciding vote for Didier who will lead the county for the next calendar year.

The dissenting vote was cast by Commissioner Brad Peck of Pasco who voted for himself.

In making a case for why he should be the pick, Peck noted if the fairness measure of rotation is invoked, it would be his turn. He has waited and has deferred for years to Commissioner Robert "Bob" Koch, who did not seek re-election. Mullen was elected as his replacement on the commission.

Mr. Didier said if fairness and rotation are the standard, it's beyond time a representative from District No. 3 was given a chance to lead.

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In an immediate follow up motion, Mullen was elected as chairman pro tempore, unanimously. The commissioners approved their committee assignments for 2021 following the selection of leadership.

Both Didier and Mullen have been staunch advocates of reopening Franklin County businesses that have been shuttered due to mandates from Gov. Jay Inslee.

Commissioners also discussed resuming in-person meetings going forward, but was cautioned by Franklin County Attorney Shawn Sant who brought up the fact that some restrictions on meetings are still in place. Minimum spacing, wearing masks and meeting digitally are the preferred protocols.

Sant said, "Right now, the same restrictions on having five members outside of your household are still in place."

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