FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. – Talk of adding a chairman who would be elected by a county-wide vote to the Board of Commissioners sparked a heated back-and-forth between County Commission Chairwoman Cindy Jones Mills and Commissioner Laura Semanson at Tuesday’s work session.
Commissioners currently choose a fellow commissioner to serve as chair on an annual basis. Alfred John has been chosen as chair in 2022.
Semanson and John placed the issue on the agenda and, although no decision was made, the Board does appear to be leaning toward asking the state delegation to introduce h a home rule resolution to the state legislature.
As Commissioner Molly Cooper pointed out, however, “We need to have more information about what you’re proposing, hours specifically, where will the salary come from, is it going to come from the General Fund?”
Semanson and Chairwoman Cindy Mills snapped at each other repeatedly.
When Semanson said, “This is in the spirit of what people want,” Mills shot back, “This is what Laura Semanson wanted, not what the people wanted.”
Semanson snapped back, “You don’t want this and you’re going to use every element of it to fight it. I know why you don’t want it but let’s be honest. “When you have people who are hell bent on killing this before it gets discussed then there is a problem.”
The snarkiness continued throughout the 45-minute discussion.
Commissioner Todd Levent seemed to side with Semanson when he suggested the workload for a chairman elected county wide would require a full-time position. He also pointed out the soonest a candidate could run for that position would be 2024.
John, who remained quiet throughout most of the discussion seemed to lean in the direction of a county wide chairman when he said, “We can’t stay the way we have always been. The county is changing.”
He added, “I will never support something that intervenes in the professional side of the county. There is a professional side of the county and a political side of the county.”
Commissioners agreed to revisit the issue in two weeks.