ALBANY, Ga. -- The Dougherty County Commission agreed Monday to wait until its next meeting on Jan. 28 to discuss possible replacements for two members of the Dougherty County Library Board of Trustees.
Chairman Guy Craft and board member Thomas Stonecypher resigned from the board in December. While the board has a handful of applicants, some commissioners Monday voiced a desire to wait until after the Jan. 18 application process to begin discussing possible replacements in order to ensure fairness and not to discourage any would-be applicants from tossing their names in for consideration.
Commissioner John Hayes, who was appointed to the board in December, said the appointments are "very, very, critical," given that the board is set to begin deciding on bids for the downtown Central Library branch's $5 million overhaul.
"I think we sometimes make appointments and it's purely an afterthought, in my opinion," Hayes said. "It's very important that we make careful appointments to that board; that we carefully consider all of the candidates for that appointment, because there are a lot of big decisions looming for that board."
Commissioner Gloria Gaines echoed Hayes' comments, saying that when $5 million of taxpayer funding is set to be spent, she would prefer they used county staff to make sure things were done properly.
"That board is facing an awful lot," Gaines said. "My hope is that our staff is helping them as they go through it because they're a lay board and it's taxpayer money. We don't need any mistakes. I hope they have some professional insight."
Hayes said that he too was concerned that the Library Board was not using the county's staff to go through the bidding process, but added that the consensus of the board was that they wanted to "give it a try."
"I personally feel that letting the commission take (control of it) was the better choice," Hayes said.
The funds to remodel the downtown branch were approved by voters in a special-purpose local-option sales tax referendum.