Watching local governments choose their leaders can be sort of fun. But it can get tedious. And sometimes embarrassing. It's politics at its most basic and often comes down to who's the most popular guy or gal in a room of seven people with sizable egos, or at least the one whose offended everyone else the least.
On Tuesday morning, the newly formed Hillsborough County Commission board met. Although there's nothing new about the members, as the only two who faced competition from the opposite party — Democrat Kevin Beckner and Republican Al Higginbotham — easily vanquished their challengers two weeks ago in the general election. Victor Crist defeated his only GOP challenger back in August, and Les Miller and Sandy Murman took their seats again.
Today, Ken Hagan was selected for the fifth time by his colleagues to serve as the board's chairman.
Before the vote, Hagan, a major sports fan, was given a hockey stick and Tampa Bay Lightning jersey as a gift for his just completed tenure as commission chair.
"Every board member here is ... a true statesman and epitomizes what a public servant is and should be," Hagan said after he was named chairman. "It's an honor to serve with you and be your board chair, and I'm very, very touched and honored."