Highlands’ Jimmy Tate to replace McClellan
Jimmy Tate, a sixth generation Highlander, has been selected by Macon County’s Republican Party to replace Brian McClellan, former chairman of the Macon County Board of Commissioners. Tate will serve out McClellan’s term as the District I representative of Highlands, but will be up for reelection in 2012, as mandated by the North Carolina General Statutes. Tate challenged Brian McClellan for the seat in the May 2010 primary, losing by 226 votes.
The executive committee of Macon County’s GOP had to pick a replacement for McClellan after he resigned from the board following a DWI arrest in Jackson County on Nov. 18. The Board of Commissioners unamiously accepted Mc- Clellan’s resignation during a special meeting on Dec. 1.
“I’m very excited to work for the people of Macon County,” said Tate. “I’m very humbled by the opportunity the Republican Party’s given to me. I got a steep learning curve ahead of me and my first goal is to learn the process, learn the faces and meet the people who run this county.”
Tate, a 38-year-old Republican, is the President of Tate Landscaping Services in Highlands. He attended Westfield School in Perry, Ga., and later graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in landscape architecture from the University of Georgia.
He currently serves as vice-chairman of Macon County’s Republican Party, a position from which he will resign upon approval by the Macon County Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Dec. 13. Tate serves on Macon County’s Planning Board as well, a position he has had for nearly a year. He will also have to leave his duties as a Planning Board member following his acceptance by the Macon County Board of Commissioners next Tuesday.
Macon County’s Republican Party nominated Tate last Monday, Dec. 4, at a special called meeting at Macon County’s Courthouse. The party had to nominate a replacement for Mc- Clellan within the 30-day deadline. “I know most of the commissioners and I look forward to working with them,” said Tate.
Kevin Corbin and Ron Haven, the two other Republican commissioners on the board, attended the meeting and expressed their excitement about Tate’s nomination. Corbin stated that they would introduce Tate to the county’s budgeting process, a nuanced policy document that starts at the department level. “We’ll meet early on in January and discuss some general goals that we will have for the board,” said Corbin.
Corbin and Haven emphasized the importance of working across party lines, saying, “we have had a great working relationship as a board working together, working across the aisle,” said Corbin. “That is somewhat unusual as a board. We don’t always agree on everything, but at the end of the day I think we try to work together and that is important,” he said.
Haven chimed in as well, reiterating Corbin’s emphasis of strong bipartisanship of the board. “We worked hard to try to not let party lines be a problem, to work as hard as we could for Macon County,” said Haven. “I welcome Jimmy aboard and I look forward to working with him. I think he’s got what it takes and he will do a good job for Macon County. If we continue to work together we will all be accomplishing something,” concluded Haven.
Corbin noted Tate’s extensive background as a public servant for the community of Highlands and Macon County. Tate is a First Lieutenant on the Highlands Fire and Rescue Department, as well as a part-time employee for Macon County’s EMS department for 14 years. Tate is the present chairman of the Town of Highlands’ Board of Adjustment, while also serving as the town’s past Planning Board chairman.
In addition to his stints with those boards and organizations, Tate is a member of the Highlands United Methodist Church and serves as chairman of the Stewardship Committee for the Highlands Cashiers Land Trust.
Tate is married to Allison Morton Tate and they have two children together, Ethan, 8, and Eliza, 7, who both attend school in Highlands.