From left, Dougherty Library Board Director Walter Kelley, board member Brenda Hodges-Tiller and interim Library Director Pauline Abidde report on library system projects at the Dougherty County Commission’s work session Monday. (Carlton Fletcher)
ALBANY — Interim Dougherty County Library System Director Pauline Abidde was praised for “bringing stability” to the system during an upbeat report brought to the Dougherty County Commission at its Monday morning work session.
“Y’all’ve heard that old saying, ‘It’s all good’ … Well, it’s all good with the library system,” Library Board Chairman Walter Kelley said. “We’re 127 days into the 320-day contract on (renovation of) the Central Library project, and progress is going exactly as we’d hoped.
“The latest completion date we have is Feb. 2.”
Kelley also said that the Library Board’s Personnel Committee had narrowed a list of candidates for the vacant director’s position to five “highly-qualified” applicants, who will meet with the entire board in September. Library Board member Brenda Hodges-Tiller also passed along promising news on the reopening of the Westtown Library branch.
“We’ve mentioned January as our target date to reopen that branch, but now we’re hoping to get it open before that,” Hodges-Tiller said. “We’ve told Pauline we want to make that the best facility it can possibly be because this community deserves nothing but the best.”
Commission Chairman Jeff Sinyard lauded the library officials for their work during an “imposing time.”
“These last 16 months have been quite an imposing time on y’all, and each of you has done a magical job with the library system,” Sinyard said. “Y’all are the definition of public servants.”
The commission also heard a report about the ongoing Racial Healing Initiative begun recently by the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education. Initiative coordinators Harriet Hollis and Daaiyah Salaam asked commissioners to support the group’s efforts.
“We’re building momentum (with the project), and if the community sees (members of the commission) involved, they’ll know you’re serious about racial healing,” Hollis said.
Sinyard called the initiative, which is funded through a Kellogg Foundation grant, a “difference-maker.”
Commissioners also heard a report on the retiree group health insurance plan and were asked to consider a request to approve an alcohol consumption license at Wynfield Plantation at 5030 Leary Road. County Clerk Jawahn Ware told the board, “Wynfield has met all the requirements to receive an alcohol license, and we present this to you recommending your approval.”