Athens Mayor, Commissioners Take Center Stage at Classic Center

(From L-R) Commissioners Jerry NeSmith, Diane Bell, Mayor Nancy Denson, and Harry Sims discuss policy issues in a board development exercise on Tuesday, October 25, 2016.

ATHENS, Ga–If you go to the Classic Center Theatre today or tomorrow, you will not see actors on stage–just officials. Athens Mayor Nancy Denson and the Board of Commissioners are taking center stage to set goals and objectives for the county in 2017.

Leading the discussion is Doctor Phil Boyle of the University of Georgia’s Carl Vinson Inistitute of Government. Today, Boyle is leading board development exercises to prepare these officials for tomorrow, when they will set actual goals for 2017.

Tomorrow, Mayor Denson and the Commissioners will be mapping actual strategies for 2017 and give their feedback on the ideas proposed. Commissioner Jared Bailey says that he expects several initiatives to be discussed, like the anti-discrimination bill proposed earlier this year.

Ongoing objectives from past years will also be brought up, like powering ten percent of county facilities with solar power by 2018 and establishing more efficient criminal justice processes.

County Manager Blaine Williams says these exercises are important because they help provide context for the public choices they make and the citizens they represent.

Williams says “In any organization that has a board, it is healthy to every so often have some board development discussions. Too often, the only times [the Board of Commissioners] meet are in very highly structured formal meeting, usually with policy choices in front of them. And there’s not a lot of opportunity for group discussion on broader issues.”

Public feedback will not be heard, however spots are available if you want a front row seat to the meeting.

The meeting begins at 8 a.m. tomorrow and will last until 1 p.m.

By: Nathaniel McDaniel @nate8929