Long County is without a budget for the fiscal year that began July 1 and after the commission’s last budget session Tuesday the county is also without a commissioner from District 5.
Bobby Walker, District 5 commissioner, handed his resignation to County Clerk MaryAnn Odum while commissioners were deliberating a proposed draft budget for the current fiscal year. The three-sentence resignation cites personal reasons and gives no details.
Walker asks that the special election to fill his seat be held in November when Long countians will vote on a special purpose local option sales tax referendum.
While the commissioners struggle to complete a budget, the county is operating under a continuing resolution allowing expenditures at previously authorized levels until the new budget is adopted.
The commission’s next regular meeting will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Officials believe they will need at least one more budget session to complete the document, which will then be advertised and a public hearing held.
Walker is a former chairman of the commission and was re-elected to his District 5 post last year. Financial transparency was one of the keystones of his campaign.
The Courier printed this profile of Walker during the 2016 campaign:
Bobby Walker, 56, is married with two children and five grandchildren.
He has attended several military schools and universities, including Miami Dade College, the University of Alaska and Washington State University, and he listed business management and human resources as his topics of study.
At the Carl Vinson Institute of Government at the University of Georgia, "I along with a couple more Long County members have the most extensive local government educations obtained in a four-year program," he wrote.
Walker grew up in Long County and is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Forest Service. He said much of the change the county has seen over the years "was for the better."
"The demographics of our community has changed enormously, and that is what will continue to make our community a more favorable place to start, and also raise a family," he wrote.
Walker wrote that his qualifications for the county commissioner seat "speaks for itself" based on his education and his "past record as a commissioner."
"I have a proven financial and human resources background, but common sense is 50 percent of dealing with members of our community," he wrote.
If elected, some of the initiatives Walker wants to champion are increasing the morale of Long County employees and keeping a financially transparent office.