January 19-- The new chairman of the Toombs County Commission and two incumbent commissioners took their oaths of office at the first meeting of the Commission in the new year Tuesday evening in Lyons.
After the oath, Chairman David Sikes said, "I never served in our nation's military and I've often regretted that. As I grew older, I asked myself how can I best serve the citizens of the United States. So, I threw my hat in the ring to be able to serve you politically, serve you wholeheartedly and to serve you with a humbleness and ability to give everything I have back to you. I take it very seriously and am very honored that you would give me this opportunity. It is a big deal to me and my family. You guys are now my family and I will work everyday day to the best of my abilities to exude that with your best interests in my heart. I will serve you with all that I can."
Toombs County Probate Judge Larry Threlkeld swore in Chairman Sikes with his wife, Brandy Sikes, holding the family Bible. He also swore in Commissioners Wendell Dixon and Darriel Nobles. Dixon will serve on the landfill and public safety committees while Nobles will work on the landfilll and recreation department committees.
Vice Chairman Jeff McCormick will serve on Roads and Bridges and the public safety committees while Commissioner Alfred Cason will be on the Road and Bridges and Recreation Department committees.
The Commission heard departmental reports from the county sheriff, EMS Director, Volunteer Fire Department Chief and the State Court Judge.
Sheriff Junior Kight expressed concerns about overcrowding of the county jail, increased pay for his jailers and deputies and the increasing dangers law enforcement officers face. He noted there we five homicides last year in the county and reported Toombs 911 received nearly 47,000 calls in 2016.
EMS Director Drew James reported the ambulance service handled 7,402 calls last year. He is planning on conducting a second edition of the EMS Youth Academy soon for young people ages 14 to 17.
County Volunteer Fire Chief Johnny Moser said he hopes to open a new fire station in 2017 to serve residents just south of the Vidalia city limits in an effort to provide better coverage and improve the department's insurance rating in that area.
He also promoted two volunteer firemen, John Hays (left) and Robert Tillman, from the rank of Lieutenant to Captain.
State Court Judge Tommy J. Smith briefed the Commission on the organization of the state court system, the local case load, the resources used and the revenues generated by the Toombs County State Court.
Toombs County Development Authority Executive Bill Mitchell reported an upcoming meeting with a solar company which is looking for 1,500 acres in the southern part of the county. It plans to install solar panels and sell electricity to Georgia Power, he said.
The Commission appointed Sam Polk to the Toombs County Hospital Authority and re-appointed Authority members Jeremy Joyner and Powell Collins.
It also renamed Howard Kaufold as county attorney.
The Commission voted to spend $7,140 for a year-long contract to maintain heart monitors in county ambulances and granted $19,405 to buy 25 security cameras at the Toombs County Detention Center.
The February meeting of the Commission will be delayed from February 21 to February 28 so commission members may attend a legislative day at the state capitol sponsored by the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia.