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District 5 Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines bids body farewell

Sitting commissioner steps down to run for commission chairmanship

District 5 Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines, flanked by District 4’s Ewell Lyle, left, and District 6’s Jack Stone, bid farewell to the board at Monday’s commission meeting. Gaines must vacate her seat to qualify to run for the commission chairmanship. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

District 5 Dougherty County Commissioner Gloria Gaines, flanked by District 4’s Ewell Lyle, left, and District 6’s Jack Stone, bid farewell to the board at Monday’s commission meeting. Gaines must vacate her seat to qualify to run for the commission chairmanship. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

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Judy Bowles shows Dougherty County Commissioners the national first-place Affiliate Award collected by Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful at the recent national Keep America Beautiful conference. (Staff photo: Carlton Fletcher)

ALBANY — If her friend and colleague has anything to say about it, Gloria Gaines’ farewell Monday to the Dougherty County Commission will be a temporary matter.

“Gloria’s just taking a little break,” District 6 Commissioner Jack Stone, who has served on that body for 28 years, said Monday after Gaines bid the board farewell. By law, Gaines must vacate her seat on the commission when she qualifies to run for the commission’s chairmanship, which will be vacated by long-time Chairman Jeff Sinyard at the end of the year.

Gaines said she plans to qualify Friday morning. Her known opponent for the chairman’s position, attorney Chris Cohilas, qualified Monday morning on the opening day of the week long qualifying period.

“Gloria will be back on January 1,” Stone said.

Gaines, who has represented District 5 on the commission for the past five years, expressed her respect for the men who have served as her colleagues during that time.

“I want you all to know that I have enormous respect for this body and your commitment to this community,” Gaines said. “It’s been a privilege to work with you. I look forward to interacting with you again in the future in some capacity, but until that time I say goodbye. Now I’m off to see the wizard.”

With Sinyard leaving, Gaines vacating her seat and three other commission seats (Districts 2, 4 and 6) up for grabs, the face of the Commission could change drastically by the end of the Nov. 4 general election.

Before Gaines said her goodbyes, the commission took care of a couple of items during Monday’s business meeting. Commissioners approved $1,798,289 in special tax funding to replace the roof on the Dougherty County Jail and recognized Judy Bowles and Keep Albany-Dougherty Beautiful for the organization’s recent first-place Keep America Beautiful award.

County Administrator Richard Crowdis, responding to a question from Stone, said the roof on the jail had “passed its life cycle,” necessitating the re-roofing. Special consultant David Maschke said the old roof had passed its 20-year life expectancy and that the new roof, to be installed by Jenkins Roofing Inc. of Tallhassee, Fla., would come with a 30-year warranty.

“We’re working with more advanced technology,” Maschke said. “This new roof — a modified bituman roof — is multilayered and will reduce energy costs at the jail.”

Sinyard praised Bowles and KADB for their work, noting that she and the organization’s many volunteers are often overlooked.

“They do such a great job, I think sometimes the community takes what they do for granted,” the commission chairman said.

KADB was one of 600 affiliates that competed for national honors at Keep America Beautiful’s national conference in Charlotte, N.C., Feb. 18.

“It was an honor to receive the first-place Affiliate Award on behalf of the KADB volunteers who are truly making an environmental impact in their community through hands-on involvement,” Bowles said.