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Compton to leave Jefferson County Commission

By Toni Milbourne - For the Chronicle | Apr 30, 2021


CHARLES TOWN — Jefferson County Commission President Josh Compton confirmed Wednesday he has accepted a position as general manager and CEO at North Star Electric Cooperative in Baudette, Minn.

“It was a very unexpected opportunity,” Compton said. “While part of me really doesn’t want to leave, when you get to a fork in the road you have to choose.”

Compton, elected to the JCC in Nov. 2016, said he ran for public office to help institute positive changes in his community.

One of the most significant accomplishments Compton said he helped facilitate was the clean-up of issues with the county’s sewer systems.

“While some may say it’s not completely resolved, we got that done where previous commissioners had simply talked about the problems for decades,” Compton said.

Compton also said he takes pride in helping to keep taxes low in the county and in increasing staff at the Emergency Services Agency.

“Strengthening public safety has always been important,” Compton said. “The county is on course to make that even better although there is still work to do. I feel like I helped to make positive changes.”

In addition to those issues, Compton has been an advocate for agencies that fall outside of the county’s scope of control. He specifically cited the Parks and Recreation Commission, where he has served as a liaison over the past several years. Compton has continuously fought for funding for the parks, as well as for the county’s libraries.

Compton’s move to Minnesota will happen sometime in the late summer or early fall, he said Thursday. From the time he officially tenders his resignation on May 1, Compton said he will step into an activist role for issues of importance in the county.

“I will remain committed to things in Jefferson County,” he said.

Some of Compton’s fellow commissioners took the opportunity to commend his work since 2016, and the attributes he has brought to the commission.

“Josh has an extensive background in finance,” said JCC Vice President Steve Stolipher. “We will definitely miss that skill set.”

According to Stolipher, the process to replace Compton allows the JCC to advertise the position, which must be filled within 30 days. The appointee must be a Republican, like Compton, and will serve in the seat until the next General Election, when he would then have to be elected to continue.

The JCC hopes to be able to make the appointment during its regular meeting on May 20.

Commissioner Tricia Jackson had only good wishes for Compton.

“I am saddened to learn of Commissioner Compton’s departure from the commission and from Jefferson County,” she said.