Mayor-elect chooses new board of works


Seymour Mayor-elect Matt Nicholson has appointed two new members to the city’s board of public works and safety.

On Wednesday, Nicholson named Dave Earley and Jim Potts to the three-member board. Nicholson himself will serve as the third member.

They will take office Jan. 1 with their first meeting being at 11 a.m. on Jan. 9 at city hall.

Earley, who also serves on the Seymour City Council, replaces Jim Rebber on the board and Potts is filling the seat of Jim Plump. Mayor Craig Luedeman appointed Plump short term to replace the late Larry Sunbury, who died last month.

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Luedeman did not seek a fourth term as mayor and Nicholson defeated Democrat Rexanne Ude in last month’s general election.

The board of public works and safety oversees the majority of city departments, city property, the sewer utility and Seymour police and fire departments. The board also manages all city streets and right-of-ways and development. 

Typically, the board includes one member from the city council.

Nicholson chose Earley as his council representative and said he felt it was important to have someone with experience. The majority of the council will be new faces as five new members were elected in November.

"Dave has eight years on council, which I believe will make him a valuable member of the board," Nicholson said.

Earley has worked for Danzer Veneer America for 33 years and leads Financial Peace classes with his wife, Rhonda, at Central Christian Church.

He said he’s looking forward to his new role.

"I’m amazed how much the board of works is involved in the decision-making of the city," he said. "Before I was elected to council, I assumed most of that was council work. My eyes have really been opened up to the board of work’s importance."

Earley said he sees his work on the council and his future work on the board of works as ways of giving back to the community.

Although it can be intimidating, Earley said he is excited about the opportunity.

"I applaud the men ahead of me, Mr. Rebber and the late Mr. Sunbury," Earley said. "They had a lot of years of experience and their service is highly valued."

Although there will be a learning curve to the position, Earley said he’s willing and able to

"You can’t be afraid to ask questions," he said.

As for appointing Potts, Nicholson said he’s confident Potts will have the community’s best interest at heart when helping to make decisions.

Potts, who retired from Dicksons Inc. in 2009 after 29 years, has been heavily involved in the community for years serving as chairman of the Jackson County United Way campaign, volunteering with the Community Foundation of Jackson County, Seymour Main Street, Boys and Girls Club of Seymour, Girls Inc. and the Seymour Lions Club.

After meeting with his transition team and discussing possible candidates for the board, Nicholson said Potts popped into his head.

"Jim had told me if I ever had something I thought he would be a good fit for to give him a call," Nicholson said. "Both men have had many life experiences that I think will make them great additions to the team."

Potts said he sees his appointment as another chance to help out the community.

"I think all of us strive for Seymour to be a better place as time goes on and this a way I can be part of that happening," he said.

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