Free Daily Headlines


Set your text size: A A A

Commissioners elect Hawkins as chair, thank Thompson, welcome McCall

Outgoing Commissioner Tommy Thompson congratulates Rebecca McCall after he administered the oath of office to her on Monday night. Outgoing Commissioner Tommy Thompson congratulates Rebecca McCall after he administered the oath of office to her on Monday night.

Henderson County commissioners on Monday night unanimously elected Grady Hawkins as chair, thanked outgoing Commissioner Tommy Thompson for his 40 years of public service and welcomed a female aboard for the first time since 2002.
Commissioners voted to hand the gavel to Hawkins and elected Bill Lapsley as vice chair after the swearing-in of the three board members elected on Nov. 6. Commissioners Lapsley and Michael Edney won re-election and political newcomer Rebecca McCall took the District 4 seat Thompson filled for two terms before his retirement.
Hawkins, 76, thanked Edney for his service as chair during a year when he had to deal with his daughter Megan’s heart transplant. Hawkins welcomed McCall and praised Lapsley for his work on the board during his first term. A retired Air Force colonel, Hawkins served on the board from 1996 to 2004 and got back on the board in 2012.
Thompson, who served as Clerk of Superior Court for 28 years before winning a seat of the Board of Commissioners in 2010, grew emotional when Hawkins presented him with a large framed photograph of the Historic Courthouse.
“I have wanted one of these pictures ever since I came in office," Thompson said. He coveted the one he saw last week in Commissioner Charlie Messer’s office.
“I thought to myself, I hope they give me one of those, and if you weren’t going to I was going to see to it that I got one,” he said. “My 40 years have been absolutely wonderful. I have had a tremendous at team at home. If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t have done it. They took a lot of the brunt when I had to go to a meeting, or quite frankly came home mad or whatever, but I’ve enjoyed every moment. I hope the Lord will bless all of you because I have been truly blessed with the things the Lord has given me the opportunity to do.”
He praised his fellow commissioners and the county staff.
“I’ve had the opportunity to work with a lot of wonderful people, here and at the other courthouse, chief justices, governors, all sorts of people and I can tell you that the group of people you have here in Henderson County working for your benefit and welfare is just as smart as any of those, just as worthy as any of those. They just cannot be matched. I have enjoyed every day of my service whether it be as a county commissioner or in my previous job as Clerk of Superior Court.”