What is a County Commissioner?

County Commissioners are essentially the backbone of the Bulloch County budget.

 

Currently the Board of commissioners consist of:

  • Chairman Roy Thompson

  • Vice Chairman Ray Mosley

  • Anthony Simmons

  • Curt Deal

  • Walter Gibson

  • Jappy Stringer

  • Robert Rushing

 

The County Commissioners are responsible for putting together the budgets for all county departments.

 

Such departments include:

 

  • Community services

    • recreation

    • health and human services

  • Development services

    • planning and zoning

    • building inspections and economic development

    • corrections (prison and probation).

  • Public works

    • solid waste

    • building and facilities

    • environmental code enforcement

  • Public safety

    • Animal Control

    • E-911

    • EMS-Rescue and rural fire


 

Commissioners terms do not have a limit, and those who are re-elected may stay in the position until they are ready to retire, said six-time Commissioner Walter Gibson.

 

“[We] just keep going until we’re ready to retire or we find something better,” Gibson said. “There comes a time in everyone’s life when [they] decide to do something else, when [they] start to look at other options.”

 

When budget needs arise, the departments will turn in their request and present them at the commissioners meeting. The committee then discuss and vote on the requests and determine what the county budget is at the end of the year.

 

“We get calls everyday from people, wanting us to check on the roads and such,” Gibson said. “They say it’s a part-time job but it keeps [us] busy seven days a week.”


 

A brief history and geography lesson

 

There are two commission districts in Bullock County. Commissioner Walter Gibson is in district two, while both districts “at large” by Chairman Roy Thompson.

 

“The commission was split into two districts after the citizens [of Bullock County] filed a suit in 1980”,  said Gibson. “They didn’t think it was being run correctly.”

 

There are two cities in District one and four cities in District two, said Gibson. The school board reigns over eight districts and the city council over five.

 

“A federal judge drew these districts, which is why they are the way they are,” Gibson said. “Some people find this confusing but that's the way it’s been set up.”


 

One’s Civic Duty

 

Three of the seven commissioner seats are up for reelection in November:

 

District 1B - Anthony Simmons (D) vs. Scott Brannen (R)

District 2B -   Walter Gibson (R) vs. Adrienne Dobbs (D)

District 2D -  Timmy Rushing (R) vs. Carlos Brown (D)

 

Gibson said that voting for the people in responsible for running and financing the programs within the county is important for the county’s to improve the county’s well-being.

 

“The [projects] and everything we work with affects everyone citywide and countywide,” Gibson said. “Every citizen in the county or city has the opportunity to participate in those programs. It’s our civic duty to vote and support our towns and county all over the county.”

 

Gibson said it is also important for local people to learn more about local positions.

 

“People should know about [the commissioner’s] positions,” Gibson said. “They should know about the city positions, about [the programs] provided through them. We hope to provide a better way of life and provides services to the people that they can benefit from sooner or later.”

Commissioner Walter Gibson

Georgia Southern University

Communication Arts Department

PO Box 8091

Statesboro, GA 30460

(912) 478-5138

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