ALBANY -- Dr. Charles Lingle, the voice of constituents in the northwestern sector of Dougherty County, said he will be retiring from public service at the end of his second term in December.
With roughly 20 years of elected service, Lingle says it's time that he backed away from his seat at the Dougherty County Commission table and pass the torch on.
"My father taught me at a very young age that civic duty is everyone's responsibility, particularly in business," Lingle said. "I've come full circle now ... I figure 20 years is ample payment, even though the folks in this district have just been super to me."
Before being elected to two terms as the District 4 representative on the commission, Lingle served a 12-year run on the Dougherty County School Board.
Lingle, a retired veterinarian, said he felt privileged to have represented his constituency in the district and feels confident that he's leaving the county in good hands.
"Their issues are pretty well clear-cut, with the exception of the budget, and that'll be dealt with before my term expires, so I think it's a good time," Lingle said. "You know, I spent 12 years on the School Board and eight years here on the Commission. I'm not a spring chicken, and this hasn't been my first time around the block. I've spoken to my wife, and it's just time to move on."
Lingle's exodus from the board leaves his seat, which is up for grabs in November, wide open.
Three other commissioners -- Jack Stone, John Hayes and Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard -- are also up for re-election.