MANATEE -- Manatee County Commissioner Vanessa Baugh was named the commission chairwoman for 2016.
During Tuesday's election of officers, Baugh was unanimously named to lead the commission beginning Jan. 1.
"I'm excited to try to move some issues forward and find solutions," said Baugh, the District 5 commissioner. "I want this year to be the year where the one word would be solutions."
Designated funding for roads needing repairs and health care are among the issues for which Baugh said she hopes to find solutions.
"There are so many issues we are looking at," she said, including the importance of public safety. "We have big issues here. We have to find solutions to ensure keeping up the quality of life. ... We just have to take a look to see what we need to do to keep moving forward."
Baugh said the county needs to start preparing for the next recession now by finding other funding sources.
"We aren't going to be able to always continue relying on growth," Baugh said.
Commissioner John Chappie will be first vice chairman, as he edged Commissioner Robin DiSabatino, the other nominee.
DiSabatino will be second vice chairwoman and Commissioner Charles Smith is third vice chairman.
The commission also voted in outgoing commission Chairwoman Betsy Benac as Port Authority chairwoman with Chappie serving as first vice chairman. Smith will be second vice chairman of the Port Authority and DiSabatino is third vice chairwoman.
Commissioner Carol Whitmore will be the commission representative and chairwoman on the Tourist Development Council, a commission advisory board.
With the each commissioner bringing something different to the table, Baugh said they need to put heads together to find solutions.
"I hope I can help getting that accomplished," Baugh said. "It's very humbling."
Claire Aronson, Manatee County reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7024. Follow her on Twitter@Claire_Aronson.