Dougherty County Commissioner Muarlean Edwards listens to questions from reporters Thursday while standing with supporters at a campaign rally. Edwards told supporters she needs their help to send the “real deal” to Atlanta.
ALBANY, Ga. — After briskly taking care of business at hand, the Dougherty County Commission spent most of its final meeting of 2012 saying goodbye to one of its members.
Commissioners, County Administrator Richard Crowdis and County Attorney Spencer Lee paid respects to outgoing District 3 Commissioner Muarlean Edwards, who stepped down from the post she's held for the past seven years to make an unsuccessful run for the state House of Representatives. Clinton Johnson will be sworn in to fill the seat vacated by Edwards at the commission's first 2013 meeting on Jan. 7.
"It's been a pleasure and an honor to serve the people of District 3," Edwards said before the meeting. "My passion, and my family's passion, is service, and while I am moving on from this phase of my life, I will continue to serve the people of my community."
County officials praised Edwards for her service as part of the commission.
"Muarlean — and I call her Muarlean today rather than Commissioner Edwards because her tenure is coming to an end — is indeed a unique personality," District 5 Commissioner Gloria Gaines said. "The good thing — if there is anything good — about her leaving the commission is that she'll have more time to work on her other worthwhile projects."
Lee, who said he intends to stay in touch with Edwards' "fine family," also took a moment to hedge his bets against what some are saying is the pending end of the world.
"There are some who believe the Mayan calendar marks the end of the world, I believe next Friday," a tongue-in-cheek Lee said. "If the world does end Friday, I want to say it's been good working with all of the commissioners. But I'll hedge my bets and say if we are to meet back here on Jan. 7, I'll wish all of you a merry Christmas."
District 2 Commissioner John Hayes offered more sobering holiday wishes.
"I wish everyone merry Christmas and the best of a very challenging New Year," he said.
Earlier the commission gave final approval to several measures including:
- Purchase, using Special-Purpose Local-Option Sales Tax VI funds, of a one-ton cab and chassis for $28,719;
- Purchase of a companion service body and crane, also using SPLOST funds, for $19,783;
- Purchase of 32.272 acres of land along the Flint River using $59,703.20 of SPLOST V greenspace funds to become part of a greenspace corridor;
- Reducing the county retirement plan's investment return from 8 percent to 7.75 percent and its salary scale from 4 percent to 3 percent;
- Funding ($262,321 from the 2013 Local Maintenance and Improvement Grant and $400,000 from SPLOST VI) 9.64 miles of county road resurfacing.