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Jason Miller to fill vacant commission seat

It’s been more than two months since Wyman Pounders passed away, leaving an empty seat on the Franklin County Commission. Now, by appointment of the Alabama governor’s office, that seat will be filled by Jason Miller until the November election.

Miller was selected after an interview by three people from the governor’s office Aug. 12, receiving official confirmation Aug. 17 by phone.

“I was excited,” Miller said. “I’m happy to have the opportunity.” Miller said he felt he could “learn something through being a part of the budgeting process” that will dominate the commission’s duties over the next month or so.

Miller, who is campaigning to be elected for the position in November, and Pounders’ wife Roxann had both expressed interest in the appointment. Terry Bolton, who is also campaigning for election, did not request consideration for appointment, in deference to Roxann. Bolton said his only focus now is to “let the people of Franklin County decide who they want to be their commissioner come Nov. 8. That’s all I’m going to say about it right now.”

Roxann said she was disappointed Miller had chosen to seek appointment, when he had previously indicated he would not do so out of respect for her family. She also expressed disappointment in the governor’s office. “I just think the governor doesn’t put family first. It was only three months for me to serve in Wyman’s term. They didn’t think enough of my family to let me finish what Wyman started,” she said. “I think Wyman would have wanted me to finish his term.”

Miller said his decision to pursue the appointment was nothing personal against Roxann.

The Franklin County Commission did not have input into the appointment process, but Probate Judge Barry Moore said he and the commission look forward to working with Miller – as they would have gladly worked with whoever was appointed.

“I know I have big shoes to fill. I’m going to work to the best of my ability to move District 2 and Franklin County forward,” Miller said.

Republican Party Chairman Jerry Mays said these months of appointment to the commission could provide valuable experience for Miller. “If he does get elected, he has been part of making the budget for the year. These couple of months are very important time of year for the commissioners,” Mays said. “I think Jason is an outstanding young man, and I think he will do a fantastic job if elected in the fall. He’s got a level head, I would say.”