McDaniel recognized for 12 years as county commissioner

County Commissioner Ward McDaniel took his seat in a board meeting for the last time on October 25.

McDaniel, who was defeated by Billy Traylor in the Republican primary for the District 2 seat in August, has served 12 years on the board.

“I want to take just a moment to thank this board,” McDaniel said before a crowded administration room. “I feel like this is one of the best boards that we’ve had, and we’ve accomplished more than — I don’t know. It’s been a long time back — but we’ve worked in harmony. We’ve worked together. We’ve accomplished so much for this county.”

The commissioner took the opportunity at his last meeting to speak about some of what he considered to be his greatest accomplishments on the board — including serving as its chair and on various committees.

He spoke on the importance of retaining “fiscal responsibility” going forward.

“Through good management, we’ve kept the taxes down. We’ve kept the millage down,” said McDaniel. “That means a lot for the people who live here.”

In turning the discussion over to county staff, County Administrator Michael Hammond thanked McDaniel for helping to ensure stability during tumultuous changes on the board.

In 2010, when McDaniel took office, two longtime county commissioners, including Billy Traylor, were ousted in the election.

“I want everybody to keep in mind one thing,” said Hammond. “There was a lot of turmoil in 2010. We had two new commissioners come on and two long-term commissioners lose… And it was about the bottom of the bottom. We had just come off the real estate recession. The tax value in the county had fallen by 50%. We’d had to lay off people, which is just devastating to folks. It could have gone in a very bad way.”

“And instead of that, it went in a very positive way. And it went straight up. And just like you said, we don’t have any debt. We’ve increased all of these services. And again, it’s because of the board working together and letting staff do our jobs for you and for the people.”

Traylor won the Republican primary for McDaniel’s seat in a close three-way race, with only 11 votes between McDaniel and Traylor.

At the meeting, a proclamation was made in McDaniel’s honor, and the commissioner was presented with a commemorative plaque.

McDaniel’s last day in office will be November 21, 2022. The new county commissioner will be sworn in at that time. Election Day is November 8.

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

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