County to further review chairmanship issue

Thu, 02/07/2008 - 4:04pm
By: Ben Nelms

A Feb. 5 discussion by Coweta County Commissioners on the topic of making the chairman a countywide position led to an agreement to identify and establish a committee to study the move and report back to the commission.

“This is a move at re-engineering county government for the future,” said chairman and Dist. 5 commissioner Timothy Higgins. “Over the next 20 years our structure may need to change. We have two senior managers set to retire in two to six years and we need succession planning.”

The discussion included several differing points of view. District 1 Commissioner Paul Poole believed the current governmental structure is sufficient.

“What we have works well,” Poole said. “The staff does a good job. They are aware that they need to train people and they are addressing that.”

Poole suggested that a chairman would not need to be responsible for hiring and appointments. He also noted that even though the board might have equal votes, the chairman in some counties tends to gain power over a period of time.

“It’s important that each district get represented each year. I think what we have works well and we shouldn’t change,” Poole said.

District 3 Commissioner Randolph Collins essentially agreed with Poole’s point about what might occur with a change in a chairman’s managerial responsibility, but added that a term limit and other needed restrictions could be established if the chairman’s position were to go countywide.

“It gets confusing when it rotates,” he said. “I don’t think elections of a countywide chairman would hurt. This board would write the by-laws (for the chair’s authority) before it happens.”

Toward the end of the discussion, Higgins said the chairman does not need to be involved in the day-to-day operation of the county. An overall reason to explore having a countywide chairman, he said, was to have a plan for Coweta’s future.

Coweta’s current population is estimated at 120,000, with a build-out population of approximately 300,000 in 2030, according to Coweta County Development Authority President Bill Harrison.

As current chairman, Higgins’ one-year term was set to expire in December, though a motion was approved to make the chair’s position a two-year term.

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CCB's picture
Submitted by CCB on Thu, 02/07/2008 - 9:35pm.

Commissioner Higgins goes out of his way to help real estate developers come up with good plans in Coweta County.

He's got a sense of vision.

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