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Former state official Lyle to seek commission seat

Photo by Casey Dixon

Photo by Casey Dixon

ALBANY -- A former top official with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources will run for the county commission seat currently held by Chuck Lingle, who is retiring in December.

Ewell Lyle, who retired 12 years ago from the DNR as chief of operations of State Parks, said Monday that he is interested in Lingle's seat.

"I just feel like it's everyone's responsibility to give back to the community and this one way I can," Lyle said. "I feel like the government, especially at the state and national level, is getting way off track and I'd like to bring my ideas to the table."

Lyle retired with more than 30 years in the department before moving to Albany five years ago.

He's said that since then he's been watching the events that have shaped the city and county and feels as though now would be a good opportunity to try a run at the office.

"I just feel like its my turn," Lyle said. "I've spoken with Dr. Lingle and I think this is an opportunity to get a fresh face on the board."

During his time at DNR, Lyle worked with a $15 million budget, $10 million of which had to be generated within the department, he said.

During that time, he helped create the Georgia Park Pass program and facilitated the creation of Central Reservation Centers across the state.

Lyle also had a hand in the growth and operations of the Parks at Chehaw as it transitioned from a state park to a city-run entity. Chehaw now operates as an authority.

"Obviously I have a lot care and concern about natural resources," Lyle said. "I'm interested in the Radium Springs project and keeping Chehaw in the local discussion."

Lyle, who describes himself as a conservative, said he's also concerned about taxation and the property assessment process and has even filed the beginning paperwork to appeal the assessment on his home.

With a masters in public administration and budget experience, Lyle feels that he'd be a good fit for the commission.

Lyle said that he has been inspired by local restaurant owner B.J. Fletcher, who has repeatedly made calls on the public to get involved in local government.