Pinellas County commissioners pick 2017 leaders
Without any drama during nominations on Tuesday, Pinellas County commissioners picked their leaders for 2017.
Commissioner Janet Long was picked by a unanimous vote to lead the board next year. She has served as vice chair alongside Chairman Charlie Justice in 2016. Commissioner Ken Welch will serve as vice chair in 2017. He also earned a unanimous vote. The terms begin Jan. 1, 2017.
Commissioner John Morroni nominated Long to serve as chair, saying: "I think you're ready. I think you'll do an awesome job."
Commissioner Pat Gerard told her colleagues that Welch was "wonderful" before she nominated him. The nominations and voting only took minutes to finalize.
While the seven commissioners don't typically cast votes along party lines, Democrats continue to hold a 4-3 majority over Republicans on the board. Democrats include Long, Justice, Welch and Gerard. Republicans are Morroni, Karen Seel and Dave Eggers.