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Dougherty officials honored during 'listening session'

ALBANY -- Members of the Radium Springs Neighborhood Association honored Dougherty County leaders for what they described as their tireless efforts to improve the quality of life in their communities.

The awards came at District 2 County Commissioner John Hayes' quarterly listening session -- a time when he invites the community to come and meet with their elected and appointed leaders.

"We host these meetings because government doesn't really matter without all of you," Hayes said. "So, we try and give you as much of an opportunity to be heard on the issues that matter most to you as we can."

Honored Tuesday night were Hayes, County Administrator Richard Crowdis, Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful Director Judy Bowles, Albany Fire Chief James Carswell, Dougherty Police Chief Don Cheek, Permitting Director Tracy Hester, Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson, Code Enforcement Officer Jeannie Tucker, EMS Director Greg Rowe, Dougherty County sheriff's deputies, and Chuck Mathis, Bill Bradley and Donnell Mathis for Public Works.

Hayes also shared the floor with Dougherty County Commission Chairman Jeff "Bodine" Sinyard.

"You all are the prototype for how neighborhood associations should be around the country," Sinyard said. "It's evident that you care about your community and get involved. I wish we had more like you."

The guest speaker for Hayes' listening session was Dougherty County Schools Superintendent Joshua Murfree.

Murfree told the crowd of his goals to continue an upward climb in terms of both student attendance and parental involvement.

Murfree solicited feedback from the audience on an idea to modify the school calendar to incorporate more time during the summer for student learning.

He also talked about an experimental program called Parent-link, which incorporates mobile smartphone technology to help parents keep up-to-date on their children's school progress.