Otis Sanford: County got it right selecting Shafer, Brooks

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When it comes to succeeding in politics, personality often outweighs performance. Certainly we've seen that at the national level.

But locally, we should always expect competence from our elected officials, particularly those who are named to key leadership positions.

Which makes the decision by the Shelby County Commission Monday in picking its leadership worth noting.

Shelby County Commissioner Heidi Shafer

The commission voted unanimously to name Heidi Shafer as chairman and Willie Brooks as chairman pro-tem.

The vote means that Shafer will conclude her tenure next year in the chairman's seat, which is fitting and a good choice.

Shafer and I rarely if ever agree politically.

She first became politically active back in 2001, by opposing the use of public dollars to finance FedExForum to bring the Grizzlies to Memphis.

History has shown she was on the wrong side of that fight.​

But Shafer has done a commendable job on the commission since 2010, and has used her strong conservative principles to keep the county budget under control.

The selection of Brooks as the No. 2 leader and the person in line to succeed Shafer next year as chairman next year is a good one, as well.

Brooks is a former school board member so he understands budgeting and the importance of compromise.

The bottom line is, commissioners on Monday got it right.


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