Gov. Nixon appoints Versailles man as Morgan County presiding commissioner


James Vaughn to fill term left by the late Jay Fisher

Gov. Jay Nixon today announced the appointment of James H. Vaughn, of Versailles, as the new Presiding Commissioner for Morgan County.

He will fill the term of the late Jay Fisher, who passed away in November.


Vaughn, a Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Morgan County who currently works for the Morgan County Eastern District Road Department and who worked with the Ford vehicle dealership in Versailles for 20 years. He also has coached several local youth athletic teams.


"James Vaughn grew up here in Morgan County, and has been active in the community for many years," said Nixon in a news release. "I'm pleased to appoint him to this leadership position in his home county. I also want to thank the Fisher family for the public service that Jay Fisher gave to Morgan County as the presiding commissioner."

Both the Morgan County Republican and Democrat committees had submitted nominees to fill Fisher’s remaining term. Under state law, the governor makes the appointment to a presiding commissioner seat if left vacant before the term period has been completed. Now appointed to the position, Vaughn will fulfill Fisher’s remaining term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014. Fisher was elected as Morgan County presiding commissioner in November 2010.

After a long battle with cancer, Morgan County Presiding Commissioner Jay Fisher passed away Nov. 5 at St. Mary’s Health Center in Jefferson City at age 58.

Fisher was a beloved member of the Lake Area community, involved in many government, tourism, civic and charitable activities outside of solely owning and operating KTKS-KS95 Lake County Radio Station since 1989.

Morgan County Western District Commissioner Wayne Kroeschen has been acting as interim presiding commissioner in Fisher’s absence before his passing, according to Morgan County Clerk Cathy Daniels. She said she believes he will remain in that position until the Governor's office appoints a new presiding commissioner.

According to Fisher’s obituary at Kidwell-Garber Funeral Home, Fisher was a member of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors for more than 15 years, a charter member of the Laurie-Sunrise Beach Rotary Club, a board member of the Lake of the Ozarks Regional Economic Development Council, a member of the Central Missouri Food Bank for more than 10 years, a past president and a board member of the Versailles Area Chamber of Commerce for more than 15 years, a Apple Festival entertainment chairman and emcee for the event’s parade for many years, a former board member of the Morgan County Habitat for Humanity and served on the Mid-Mo Ambulance District board of directors.

Fisher also became a Morgan County Farm Bureau Farmers Friend award in 1990, Laurie/Sunrise Beach Rotary Club’s Businessman of the Year in 1997 Versailles Citizen of the Year in 2000 and partner in Tourism Award from the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau in 2010, the obituary stated. In addition, Fisher and KS95 were the most awarded small market radio station at the Missouri Broadcasters Association Awards, taking home four awards in 2012.

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