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May 3--  Three-term Toombs County Commissioner Louie Powell is not seeking re-election.

"I've always put 110% into serving the people of Toombs County, but I'm at the point now of having to concentrate on my business and my personal life," Powell said Thursday.

Commissioner Powell represents District 2 which includes most of the city of Vidalia.  In his early days on the commission, he worked to develop an orderly budget process.  He was the go-to guy for overseeing the county landfill, starting the county-operated ambulance service and worked with former Commissioner Steve Brown in developing the county manager form of government.

"When I came to the county, the goal was to have a county manager and the landfill was in a chaotic situation with the EPA and other agencies.  Basically, I've completed all the goals I had and Toombs County is in great financial shape and everything's done so it's time to let somebody else step up and serve the people," he says.

One disappointment Powell has is the current standoff between Toombs County and its muncipalities regarding allocation of local option sales tax collections.  

"The LOST negotiations got off to a bad start.  Yes, the county is in good financial shape, but in order to continue operating Toombs County without having to raise taxes, all the LOST negotiations is about is the equal distribution of sales tax dollars.  I would certainly hope we could have come to a conclusion without this thing going as far as it has.  I wish everybody could come back to the table and say let's work this out, but I haven't heard any news of that happening," he observes.

Qualifying for Powell's vacant seat opens later this month with Vidalia banker Wendell Dixon expected to run for the office.