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Two commissioners on their way to Hawaii

By Justin Boron

The Clayton County government is sending two commissioners to Hawaii today.

Commissioners Wole Ralph and Virginia Gray will be attending an annual conference for the National Association of Counties for the next six days.

Ralph said he would be leaving today and staying at the Hilton in Honolulu.

He said the meetings are essential to learn how other local governments deal with urbanization issues like gang violence, employment problems, and loss of federal housing dollars.

Ralph said his past experience with the association during his tenure at the Department of Labor made him the likely candidate to go. But he said it wasn't his choice for the conference to be held in Hawaii.

"When I came to the board they were already going to Hawaii," Ralph said.

Gray could not be reached for comment.

In Henry County, officials felt the trip would be flat out inappropriate, said Julie Hoover-Ernst, a spokeswoman in the county's communication department, which was set to receive an award.

"In no way did we feel that it would be appropriate for us to spend taxpayers money to go to Hawaii," she said.