Dougherty County Police Department staff recognized by interim Chief Jackie Battle at Wednesday’s Dougherty County Commission meeting are, from left, Animal Control Agent Tamara Piercey, support person of the year; Detective Donald Eubanks, Top Gun; and Patrolman Richard French, officer of the year.
ALBANY, Ga. -- Now that the Dougherty County Library Board has a full contingent of members, two having been appointed to the board by the Dougherty County Commission at a rescheduled meeting Wednesday, the man who serves on both boards says it's time to start addressing some of the issues that face the county's library system.
With Karen Liebert and Haryl Dabney selected Wednesday from among six applicants to fill vacancies on the seven-person Library Board, County Commissioner John Hayes said he expects the board to start the process of finding a full-time director, of re-evaluating the closing of two library branches and of making a decision on a contractor to start the stalled $5 million special tax-funded renovation of the county's main downtown branch.
"I think getting all the people in place is an important step for the Library Board," Hayes, who was selected to represent the commission on the Library Board in December, said after the meeting. "We had a great cadre of applicants, and I believe we made two good choices who will hit the ground running.
"I'm pleased that we're fully staffed; now we can get a permanent director in here and look at the branches that were closed. Frankly, I hope to get at least one of them re-opened, at least on a part-time basis."
Hayes has told the other members of the Library Board he'd like to see the board concentrate on the "infrastructure" of the system and let the County Commission take the Central Library renovation project, which was sent back to the architect for a rebid, through the bid process.
"I'm in no way suggesting that the members of this board aren't capable of making that decision, but my comments were to say that they could relieve themselves of the weight of a lot of responsibilities," the District 2 commissioner said. "I'm not a procurement specialist, but the county has staff who are. Not that the Library Board can't take advantage of staff's expertise as well, but I thought they might want to turn their focus to other issues.
"That's not the direction the majority of the board wanted to go, though, so we'll work together to get this thing moving forward."
Others who applied for the vacant Library Board positions were Susan Harper, Betty Hatcher, Eugene Black and John Burr.
Also at Wednesday's meeting, interim Dougherty County Police Chief Jackie Battle recognized three of the top members of her staff: Officer of the Year Richard French, Top Gun Detective Donald Eubanks and Support Person of the Year Animal Control Agent Tamara Piercey.
"I have an opportunity to work with Ms. Piercey (in court), and she does an excellent job," County Attorney Spencer Lee said. "She goes beyond filing citations to work with people and try to get them in compliance first."
The commission also granted a retail alcohol beverage license for Mike's Country Store No. 2, which will open soon at 2305 Liberty Expressway, and OK'd $23,501 in funding for a 2013 Dodge Police Interceptor for the Dougherty Sheriff's Office.