The Long County Commission on Tuesday accepted the resignation of 4th District Commissioner Kent Hall.
“I had to take a look at my ability to serve the citizens of the county and the commitment that it would take to serve them like I should,” Hall said. “Unfortunately, I have some health issues now, and with these issues, I couldn’t continue to serve as I feel I should, so I stepped down on Friday.
“I do want to thank the people who had the confidence in me to put me in office, and I thank them for their support. It’s just one of those bad situations where I’m not going to be able to finish out my term.”
Hall’s resignation necessitates a special election to choose a successor. A date for the election has not yet been selected.
County Attorney Jay Swindell also resigned, effective May 23. Swindell, who has an office in Glennville, has been the commission’s attorney for several years. Chairman Robert Long said the commission is considering several attorneys to replace him.
The commission also approved a gun ordinance to restrict discharging a firearm in county neighborhoods. Sheriff Craig Nobles said earlier asked for the ordinance after authorities received reports of weapons being fired in neighborhoods. He said a restriction of the new law requires property owners who shoot at targets to build berms around their property to prevent bullets from straying.
Before the ordinance was approved, Brad Peek spoke against it, saying existing laws prevent people from unsafely firing weapons. He also said that owning and using a firearm is constitutionally protected. Instead of enacting new laws, he thinks authorities should do more to teach gun safety.
The gun ordinance passed, 3-1. Commissioners Dwight Gordon, Gerald Blocker and Long voting for it. Willie Thompson voted no.
Board of Elections Chairwoman Patricia Johnston complained to commissioners about elections-department supervisor Kierra Hamilton’s job performance and attendance. She reportedly has been insubordinate to the board of elections. Johnston said Hamilton called her “a liar, a hypocrite, and (said) that she was stupid.”
Johnston said she requested job descriptions for members of the elections board and office staffers for several months, but had not received anything.
Long told Johnston that since Gordon oversees the elections office and the board of elections, he recommends that she, Hamilton and Gordon “come to an agreement” on how to handle differences. He said there are no approved job descriptions.
Later, Long said he knew of no problems with Hamilton’s job performance and attendance. But since issues were brought to commissioners, they would investigate. He said Gordon is investigating Johnston’s concerns.
Commissioners also heard code-enforcement officer John Bradley report that exit permits will be required from now on to remove mobile homes from the county. The requirement ensures the property will be taken off the tax digest. There is no fee for the permit.