County board re-elects Wagel

Published 8:10 pm Friday, January 4, 2008

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily News
CASSOPOLIS – Cass County commissioners on Thursday re-elected Chairman Robert Wagel of Dowagiac by acclimation to his fifth one-year term.
Commissioner Gordon Bickel, R-Porter Township, nominated the Wayne Township Republican and retired Union High School guidance counselor to continue.
Wagel, 67, is in his 13th year on the commission in two stints dating back to 1989. He also chairs the county Board of Public Works. Selecting a chairman at the annual reorganization meeting is the only time the county board can vote by secret ballot, but that was not necessary.
When County Clerk-Register Barb Wilson, who conducts the election, recognized Commissioner David Taylor, D-Edwardsburg, the county Democratic chairman affirmed Wagel's name. Vice Chairman Ron Francis was retained on a 10-5 vote which closely followed party lines, with Republicans Wagel, Francis, Cathy Goodenough, Bickel, Charlie Arnold, Carl Higley Sr., Dixie Ann File, Robert Ziliak and John Cureton and Democrat Bill Steele supporting the Cassopolis Republican for his fifth year in the No. 2 position.
Democrats Taylor, Debbie Johnson, Johnie Rodebush, Minnie Warren and Ed Goodman supported the vice chairman bid of Goodman, a Silver Creek Township Democrat.
Johnson, of Niles, put Goodman's name into nomination.
File nominated Francis.
Wagel said, "Quite honestly, without your support and you guys working hard and reporting back to (County Administrator) Terry (Proctor) and myself, it would be a lot more difficult. You make the job so easy for the chair, and I appreciate it."