Republican picked to head Jackson County Legislature

The gavel changes hands every January at the Jackson County Legislature. Members of the Democratic majority take turns being chairman — but not this year.

Greg Grounds, one of two Republicans on the nine-member body, was the unanimous pick for the job at Monday’s first meeting of the year.

As 2012 chair Democrat Dan Tarwater stepped down, he noted that Grounds was the first member of the minority party to get the job, as far as he could tell.

A former mayor of Blue Springs, Grounds is now in the midst of his second term representing the fifth district on the legislature.

Theresa Garza Ruiz, a Democrat from the first district elected at large, is the new vice chair.