A divided Branch County Board of Commissioners has a new chairman for 2010. It took six ballots this morning for the Commission before Bill Chinery of Coldwater was chosen for the post. Chinery and Dale Swift of Bronson, who was chair the year before last, were nominated for the position and over the first five ballots, the board each time split their votes evenly with a four-four tie. Finally, Chinery prevailed 5-3 and the Board went about the rest of its business at its annual organizational meeting. Chinery says his job now is to promote unity on the board for the coming year.
Chinery is a veteran commissioner but hasn’t served before as Board Chairman. He was on the board the last time such a stalemate happened in 2005 when six ballots were required before the Commission picked Ted Gordon, who was chair the next 3-years. Chinery believes an economic turnaround has started for Branch County, although at a slow pace for the time being.