Stephens Co. Commission Kicks Off 2013

Stephens County Commissioners kick off 2013.

The commission held its first regular meeting of the year Tuesday at the historic courthouse in downtown Toccoa.

At the start of the regular meeting, commissioners unanimously appointed Stanley London to serve as the board’s chairman in 2013, with 2012 Commission Chairman Dean Scarborough to serve as vice-chair.

Commissioners also unanimously re-appointed Beth Rider as County Clerk and Sanders and Ranck as County Attorney. In addition, the commission also unanimously made a number of other appointments to boards on which the county commission is represented.

Commissioners also unanimously approved some changes in the monthly meeting schedule that will begin next month.

Beginning in February, Stephens County Commissioners will meet on the second Tuesday of each month beginning at 8:30 a.m. and the fourth Tuesday of each month at 5:30 p.m., with the meetings continuing to take place at the historic courthouse in downtown Toccoa in the second-floor courtroom. The changes were made to accommodate the schedules of all five commissioners.

The second January meeting in two weeks will still take place at 8:30 a.m.

Prior to the commission meeting, commissioners held an all-day retreat at the Kimsey Environmental Center in Eastanollee to talk about a number of issues and meet with department heads and constitutional officers.

London said he feels it went well.

“We have been over a lot of things preparing for this year and we are looking forward to a lot of good things coming out of it,” said London.

Tuesday also marked the first meetings for new commissioners Dennis Bell and Debbie Whitlock.

Bell said that he is glad to get started.

“The day has started off with a bang, I will put it that way,” said Bell. “We had a very informative day. I look forward to working with the commissioners that we have here, as well as the city commissioners and the other folks we are going to be working with. I am looking for a very positive outcome this year.”

Meanwhile, Whitlock agreed, saying she felt really good about how things are starting and adding that she learned a lot through the retreat about the different departments and what they are dealing with.

Whitlock also said that after hearing from people on a number of different issues, she is glad to see so many people involved.

“I think that given a lot of things that have been happening in the community lately, I really like the way people, the citizens, are coming together,” said Whitlock. “They are communicating and they are becoming part of the solution here. Instead of pointing fingers and blaming, they are actually getting on board and trying to help resolve some of the issues in the county and I just really like that.”

London said that he and the other commissioners look forward to working with both Whitlock and Bell moving forward.