Public service is a very highly regarded and selective field. Only a handful of people in their communities are voted in and selected for such and honor. Some serve shorter runs and some last for years and even decades. Here in Troup County, at the meeting of the Board of Commissioners on December 20, two of the current County Commissioners said goodbye while awaiting the next two commissioners to take office in the following week.
Both Commissioners Buck Davis and Tripp Foster will be ending their time with the County after their last meeting on the 20. Foster has served the last four years with the county and Davis has been there since 1997. After the meeting that day, both of the men had a few words to share on their time with the County. Davis spoke to his 20 year tenure, stating that “[he] appreciated the community and appreciated everybody [that] gave [him] a chance.” He spoke highly of all of his years and made or joke or two, just as he has been known to do. Next week, Ellis Cadenhead will be officially sworn in and take Commissioner Davis’s place.
Commissioner Foster also had a few things to say to the board and to all of the supporters that he has had over the past four years. Foster spoke saying that it had been “an honor and a pleasure to have served the many people from all walks of life in Troup County.” He spoke of how he appreciated his time with the board, spoke highly of all the staff, wished the new Commissioner Lewis Davis well and said he knows that he will do an excellent job, and wished the County “a brighter future.” Both Davis and Cadenhead will be sworn in next Wednesday, December 28, along with Commissioner Jones who will be re-sworn in. Davis and Cadenhead will officially become commissioners effective January 1.
There were several items of business handled at the meeting that day, the first of which was honoring the employee of the month for November 2016, Tammy Traylor. “Tammy is a Construction Foreman in the Roads & Engineering Department. Her job includes maintaining and constructing Troup County roads and infrastructure. Tammy is a great team player and an example to others. She never hesitates to take care of any task that is put before her – no matter how large or small. Tammy constantly works to improve her knowledge of road and infrastructure maintenance and construction and is very capable of handling anything that comes up, but she doesn’t mind asking for advice on ways to do things better. Tammy has increasingly gained respect in the time she has worked for Troup County. She began as a heavy equipment operator and has a Class A CDL license. She can operate every piece of heavy equipment the Road Department owns, from a bulldozer, to an excavator, to an asphalt spreader to driving their 18 wheeler low boy; but if a job can be accomplished with a shovel and a broom, she doesn’t mind doing that either. Tammy is also the first female Construction Foreman Troup County has ever had, and when it comes time for us to have an employee meal we can always count on her to bring a delicious cake.”
During the Special Business section, the commissioners handled several items. They approved the consideration of the Clerk of Courts request to lift the hiring freeze for a budgeted position, approved a supplemental grant for the Mental Health Court, and declared one of the trucks in the county fire department as surplus. They also dealt with some financial issues like the consideration of the bank account resolution (removing Mr. Howell and adding Mr. Rhodes), consideration of the FY 16 budget amendment, and consideration of a budget amendment for FY 17 regarding an automobile for the Troup County Sheriff’s Office.
There were many items under the public hearings section of the agenda at the meeting this week. The first three all fell under the same circumstances or categories. Three separate buildings, two on West Point Road and one on Roanoke Road, are all places of business and have been for many years. However, they were zoned SFMD (single family medium density). The request of the board will be to rezone these properties to GC (general commercial) at the next meeting when these items are vote eligible.
Another item that was brought before the board was a home occupation. A gentleman that lives on Linda Lane was requesting a business license for a furniture and cabinet business. For many years, this gentleman has had a utility shed on the back end of his property and has been making these pieces of furniture for years. He is now looking to make this into more of a business as opposed to a hobby. After hearing some concerns of the board and the man answering those concerns in person, the home occupation business license was approved.
Another item on the agenda caused quite the stir at the meeting that morning and that was the presentation of a conditional use for a multiple message billboard out on Hamilton Road, near the Bryant Lake complex.
The owner of the property is requesting permission to put the sign up on his property for advertisement purposes. There were two people at the meeting to speak in opposition to this, both members of the Bryant Lake community. They claimed that the sign would unofficially become a part of Bryant Lake and that it would cause an adverse effect to the area.
However, there were four at the meeting to speak in favor of this sign, including the owner of the property. All of these stressed the importance of being pro-business, even naming some benefits of the sign such as free church advertising and the minimization of tree removal for the sign. The board will have the opportunity to vote on this at their next meeting.
The last item on the agenda, also not vote eligible, was the discussion of a special use request for land that is expected to be bought by a local church. There was one person there to speak in favor of the church getting the land at that spot. With the property being so close to the airport, the church will still have to get approval from the FAA, but the building will not have a tall steeple, rather just a cross out in front of the property.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer