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Counties organize for local troop surge
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Liberty County Commission Chairman John McIver has been elected to lead the growth management organization being established in connection with the expected influx of military personnel and related people.
"We've got to get everyone on the same sheet of music. There is no time to waste," McIver said.
The temporary steering committee led by McIver includes Michael Melton (Bryan County) as vice chairman, Faye Hussey  (Tattnall County) as secretary and Mike Riddle (Long County) as treasurer.
This committee will be responsible for composing the bylaws, budget and organizing the daily operational details.
Michael Wilson of the Defense Department's Office of Economic Adjustment said the application process for federal funding can be done in phases. Commitment documents from all the jurisdictions affected by Fort Stewart need to be included with application. Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission chief Sonny Timmerman will draft the resolutions and memoranda of understanding to be signed by participants at their council meetings and have back by the end of August.
The proposed allocation of votes in the organization is:
8 - Liberty County
3 - Bryan County
2 - Long County
3- Tattnall County (including Reidsville)
1 - Georgia Military Affairs Committee
One major item of discussion was the cost to each participant (10 percent matching funds). An estimated budget has been presented. And there was discussion of the salary, duties and hiring method for the director. A full-time assistant to the director will also be needed. The consultant's role was discussed to help insure there are no overlaps in work already completed.
In addition, they will be responsible for completing tasks as directed according to the scope of work set forth by the committee.
The next meeting is scheduled for July 29 at 9 a.m. in the LCPC conference room with the temporary steering committee.
Representatives at Monday's meeting included
Amber Lenofsky, OEA; Allen Burns, executive director, Coastal Georgia RDC; Anna Chafin, Liberty County Development Authority; Billy Edwards, city manager, Hinesville; Brandon Wescott, Liberty Consolidated Planning Commission; Chris Chalmers, Coastal Georgia RDC; Don Emmons, mayor, Midway; Donna Shives, LCPC; Hussey, Tattnall County manager; James Thomas, mayor, Hinesville; Jean Bridges, mayor, Glennville; Joey Brown, Liberty County administrator; McIver; Melton, Richmond Hill city manager; Wilson, OEA project manager;
Michelle Poppell, Long County administrative assistant;
Riddle, Long County Planning & Zoning; Sam Johnson, Liberty Regional Medical Center; Timmerman, Tim Works, Long County; Tom Ratcliffe, Georgia Military Affairs Committee; Bill Austin, mayor, Riceboro, and Wynn Carney of Pembroke.

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