Jose Iglesias

Jose Iglesias

A new member of the Polk County Commission will be taking their seat when it comes time to hold the October work session, and his name is Jose Iglesias.

Iglesias was selected via a unanimous 4-0 vote to take over the District 1 seat in Polk County during tonight’s Board of Commissioner meeting following a month-long application process, a Question and Answer session, and finally came together to select one of among 8 candidates who originally put their names up for consideration.

Iglesias, owner of Taxes de America tax preparation service in Cedartown, also sits on the Cedartown Planning Commission and is a member of the Lead Polk Class of 2017, couldn’t quite believe he’d been picked among the other candidates up for the job.

He said that he intended to work toward being a Commissioner who brings others together on a board he said is already a “great team.”

“I want to be the unifier,” Iglesias said. “I want to be able to look to the future and not to the past. We need to overlook our differences and try to highlight the best that each has to offer.”

Though he said he’ll consider any issue that comes before the county an important one, he did say he felt that one in particular he said would be among his first to focus on was contracts, specifically the one involving the Polk County Landfill with Waste Industries.

“I know that the issue with the landfill comes up regularly. In the debate, I said that we need to be smarter when we’re entering into contracts. Make sure that we are protected with the wording and the language in there, and if the county has an attorney, we need to make sure that the contracts are well written, just in case someone defaults… or like in this case we have an issue that needs to be corrected. Contracts would be one of them. But i know there are a lot of issues that need equal attention.”

Iglesias’ appointment to the board makes him the first Hispanic to serve as a Polk County Commissioner. He said he hoped his appointment would bring with it the opportunity to represent both the growing diversity among the population in Polk County.

“I want to be able to represent the international community we have here in Polk County, that we need to be able to embrace,” he said. “Once we embrace this community, we’re going to have investors who are going to be coming here to invest in this community and create an economic opportunity for this county.”

He added that by representing everyone in District 1, he is also well aware of all those people who have come before to make the county what it is today.

“Making sure that we hold onto the past, making sure we don’t forget about what has already been done and the people that are already here, that we have to treasure,” he said. “But we need to look to the future and what great things are coming for this county.”

Commission chair Marshelle Thaxton said he was thankful he and his fellow members of the board came to a unanimous decision on a candidate and that it didn’t to go to the next step, a decision by the Grand Jury currently empaneled.

“Absolutely,” Thaxton said. “There’s no telling who we would have ended up with if we went into the Grand Jury process. And that’s nothing against the Grand Jury. Its just that I’m glad that we were able to come together choose a person who will be a fine addition to us, and he’ll work very hard. He’ll get himself informed. I think that he’ll be an asset to this board.”

Among those who applied for the position with Iglesias was Bobby Brooks, Dewain Campbell, Cleve Hartley, David McElwee, Gary Martin, Harland Moody and Carson Tanner.

McElwee withdrew his name from consideration just before the start of tonight’s commission meeting after he accepted a new job. He said it would require him to travel and spend more time away from Polk County than he wanted.