MANATEE — Tuesday was a special day for Joe McClash and Donna Hayes, participating in their last meeting before stepping down from the Manatee County Commission.
McClash, 55, capped what he thinks is the longest continous service on the commission with a farewell, saying, “It’s been a great run of 22 years.”
Hayes, 70, said she had been planning to retire, but won a seat on the commission and served eight years.
“I feel I’ve done a very good job for east county,” she told the board.
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During the afternoon, county employees enjoyed a party in the lobby at County Administrative Center, while another event at the county’s Crosley Estate was planned for the evening.
Two new commissioners are preparing to take their places on the board: Benderson Development Co. senior planner Betsy Benac; and Lakewood Ranch small business owner Vanessa Baugh.
Benac defeated McClash in the Aug. 14 Republican primary election for the at-large District 7 seat,;and Baugh replaces Hayes, who did not run for re-election in District 5, which is comprised of East Manatee, including Lakewood Ranch. Baugh, a Republican, defeated Democrat James Golden in the Nov. 6 general election.
Commissioners approved a motion to elect officers during their next meeting, on Nov. 27, but specified that it would not take effect until Jan. 1.
Sara Kennedy, Herald reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7031. Follow her on Twitter @sarawrites.com.