FLOYD COUNTY — Republicans added to their majority on the Floyd County Council in November, but a Democrat will still serve as president of the body.
Brad Striegel was again elected as council president during Tuesday’s organizational meeting. He won by a 4-3 vote with two Republicans supporting him and voting against members of their own party who were also nominated for the position.
The across-party-line votes didn’t sit well with some Republicans including Councilman Danny Short, who was nominated for president but was voted down 4-3.
“The people elected five Republicans and I am certain that they would have some type of expectation that there would be Republican leadership,” Short said Wednesday.
Short and fellow Republicans Adam Roberts and Dale Bagshaw were nominated for president, each losing by a 4-3 count.
Their votes were outnumbered by Striegel, Democrat Tom Pickett, Republican Denise Konkle and Republican Connie Moon.
Moon is the only new member of the council, as she joined Striegel and Bagshaw as winners of the at-large races in November.
There was no discussion held by council members regarding the nominees during the process, but Moon emphasized Wednesday that she was elected by both Democrats and Republicans.
“I was elected to represent all of Floyd County, not just one party or the other,” she said. “I am looking to have integrity and dignity back in politics.”
The president conducts the meeting, but Short said there’s more to the position that just being a figurehead.
“For good or bad, the biggest part of that position is the control of information,” he said.
And Short doesn’t feel all of the council members have been adequately informed about county business or communicated with properly by Striegel and Konkle, who was again elected to be vice president.
“Communication among people on the council was not good,” Short said. “I sure felt like it was time for a change and I felt like we were going to make it happen, especially with picking up a Republican seat.” But Moon said Striegel is respected for his leadership and his track record.
“I’ve talked to people in the community and people respect Brad as the leader of the county council,” she said. “I’ve heard no complaints and I feel that he’s a fair leader.”
Moon added that she wants to serve the public and not be beholden to political fights.
“I am a human being first and foremost, and the discontent in politics on both sides of the aisle right now is way out of control,” she said.
Striegel said Wednesday that there is room for improvement when it comes to communication, but he added “that’s a two-way street.”
“No email has ever gone unanswered. If they have questions, comments, concerns — they can always reach out,” Striegel said.
This year will mark the fifth time Striegel has served as council president. He’s also served as council vice president for three years.
Striegel has never been elected as president by a Democrat-majority council.
“The work that we do should not be partisan. Even though politics is what we’re in, it really shouldn’t be about politics. It should be about people.”