COLUMBIA — Gov. Jay Nixon will need to appoint a new Boone County Presiding Commissioner before December to avoid a county commission of one.
Boone County Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin, who is a National Guard reservist, will report to Fort Eustis, Va., for active duty Dec. 2 and serve until April 23. He told The Missourian of his pending departure just two days after Presiding Commissioner Ed Robb died.
"It will severely handicap county government if no one is appointed by then," Elkin said.
Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said it could be four to six weeks, at least, before Nixon, a Democrat, appoints a new presiding commissioner.
Robb was a Republican, but state law does not require that Nixon appoint a Republican to succeed him. There is no deadline for the appointment.
"He will appoint the best-qualified person he is able to ... in a timely manner," Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said.
Whoever Nixon appoints will serve as presiding commissioner until the next general election in November 2012. Candidates for presiding commissioner in 2012 will run for an "expired term" of two years.
The usual four-year term of presiding county commissioner will resume after the 2014 election, Noren said.
Until a new appointment is made, Elkin and Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller will alternate presiding over commission business on a weekly basis. Elkin presided on Monday. As of Tuesday, Miller will preside through 8 a.m. next Monday.