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Commissioners to consider elections director

By Billy Corriher

After meeting with the Clayton County Board of Elections and Registration last week, the county commissioners plan to vote on the board's recommendation of Annie Bright as the county's first director of elections. The Clayton County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9 a.m. today at its Smith Street complex.

The board will reconsider Bright's appointment, a motion that died from lack of a second after first being proposed at a meeting two weeks ago. The commissioners elected to instead meet with the elections board before making a final decision.

Elections board member Bob Bolia said he thinks Bright has the support to be approved by the commissioners.

Bolia said the only problem that could result from Bright's approval would be tension in the county's registration office, where Bright currently works for Interim Elections Director Sonja Casey, who also applied for the permanent position.

"It's going to make for a little turbulence in her job area," Bolia said. "That could be a problem."

The elections board argued amongst itself during the selection process, but unanimously selected Bright at its Dec. 29 meeting.

Crandle Bray, chairman of the board of commissioners, has said he would support Bright, but he's not sure if the commissioners will approve Bright.

"I hope we do so we can move on," he said. The election director, once approved, has to begin organizing the primary elections coming up in March. The commissioners also plan to establish qualifying fees for each county office.

The commissioners will consider an agreement with Waffle House, Inc., to lease the site of the former Riverdale Library on Ga. Highway 85. The company wants to tear down the building and put up a Waffle House restaurant.

County attorney Don Comer has been negotiating the terms of the lease. The county wants to lease the property for $1550 to $1600 a month for up to 10 years, when the company would have to buy the land.

When the County Commission meets at 9 a.m. it will also consider an agreement with Central of Georgia Railroad Company for improvements to nine existing railroad crossings in the county.

Bray said the crossing improvements will be funded through the Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, and is not dependent on approval of the state Department of Transportation's plan to implement a commuter rail line from Lovejoy to Atlanta.

"(The improvements) will make the crossings much smoother," Bray said.

With revenues from the SPLOST coming in, the commissioners will also consider a contract with CH2M Hill, Inc., for transportation management projects.

The commissioners will also consider a contract with consulting firm Robert & Company to revise the county's Comprehensive Plan.

The commissioners will consider applying to the Department of Natural Resources for funds to repair the dams at Reynolds Nature Preserve.