Defending Nichols

Published 12:51 pm Monday, November 10, 2008

“Nichols was unavailable for comment Tuesday night,” is a direct quote from The Post-Searchlight News Writer Brennan Leathers, in his Nov. 5 article regarding the county commission election results.

It is true, my husband, Bill Nichols, absolutely was not available for comment at 11:52 p.m. Tuesday night when “someone” from the Bainbridge Post Searchlight (telephone number 246-2829—per caller ID) called our home and woke us from a sound sleep.

Bill was, however, available for comments, conversation, complaints or compliments until almost 10 p.m. Tuesday night at the Firehouse Gallery where he, along with other candidates, awaited results with family and friends. He was, most certainly, visible and accessible to either or both Post Searchlight reporters or any others who were in the room, none of which approached him for any comment, even as the outcome was becoming apparent.

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As of this writing, (which has not been “approved” by the former candidate), Bill has not yet read Mr. Leathers’ article, as he had to report to work at 5 a.m. Wednesday morning (after being so rudely awakened at almost midnight). These early hours are nothing new for him, as he is a corporate pilot and the job sometimes calls for it. For those who did not know this already, “someone” from his opposition in the county commission race made sure that many of the voters of District 5 were “told” (erroneously) that due to his profession, he’s “out of town a lot and doesn’t attend many of the meetings and isn’t representing our district.”

This is “untruthful,” to say the least. To my knowledge, Bill Nichols has missed only three county commission meetings in four years and was available via telephone if needed. Although he might not have been “available” to have his picture in the newspaper for every ribbon cutting ceremony or to attend every social event that he’s been invited to, due to his role as commissioner, he has filled his seat at the commission meetings on a regular basis, and filled it well! This has been possible because he has an agreement with his employer that his flights are to be scheduled around both regularly scheduled and called commission meetings, when possible.

He has made the time to ride up and down many Decatur County roads to follow up on citizens’ complaints or concerns and to stay apprised of the status of such. He has helped citizens resolve issues that were not even related to his duties as commissioner.

The attendance of all commissioners is a matter of public record.

Commissioner Earl Perry (who is also chairman of the local Democratic Party) and was a vocal supporter of the Democratic candidate, is known for “digging” for information during his time on the commission. Perhaps he could verify or dispute the attendance issue …. Oooops, too late! I guess “someone” should have verified their “so called” information before spreading such a misstatement … or at least should have been more careful with whom they “shared” it.

For those reading this and thinking, “sour grapes” … you bet!


Judi Nichols

P.S. I’m extremely proud of the conscientious way in which my husband represented District 5. He gave attention to every complaint or issue with due diligence in order to find a viable solution. He entered into public service without being a “politician” and, fortunately, will be leaving it the same way! Job well done, Bill!

When Bill returns from his trip, I’ll be sure to tell him that Mr. Leathers, or someone at the “paper,” would like a “comment.” If he chooses to give one, I assure you, the call will come to you during daylight hours!