At a called meeting Friday the Long County Commission accepted resignations of Road Superintendent Wilford Morris and Recreation Director Henry Strickland, and began arranging to fill those and other vacant positions.
The resignation by Morris was effective Feb. 13; Strickland will remain until March 31. Long County is also seeking to fill a finance director position which has been vacant for months.
The commissioners promoted long time employee Norman Morris as the new road superintendent and are searching for a replacement for Strickland.
Commission Chairman Mike Riddle said, "Fortunately Henry (Strickland) is not leaving right away, and he has set us up to get through the remainder of baseball season. We really appreciate him for that and that is just another example of why we hate to see him go."
The commissioners also discussed the 2016 audit. Commissioner Bobby Walker said that there was no reason that the audit had not already been turned in by the previous board and with it not being submitted the county was in jeopardy of losing grants.
Walker also said that the problems now shown in the audit only justified what he had been saying over the last four years.
Riddle said that upon his assuming the position as chairman, he had met with the auditor and began addressing the problems noted in the audit.
"There are several problem
areas that were noted by the auditor, but we have been addressing them and are continuing to address them. We do not have a finance director, and the staff in the office is doing the best job that they can, with their knowledge and training to make corrections.
This is why it was imperative to begin the search to hire a finance director." Riddle added that the final day for applications to be turned in for the finance director was on Friday. "Today at 5 p.m. we will have all of our candidates for this position, we will begin the interviewing process as, soon as possible and get this position filled as, soon as we can."
Land owners have complained to the commissioners that they are unable to access their property because of the county ditch clearing operations and a lack of proper pipes or culverts to hold water flow.
Walker said, "This is happening because no pipes (culverts) are in the ditch."
Riddle, said that after researching the issue with commissioners Clifton DeLoach and Willie Thompson, and also gathering information from Chief Code Enforcement Officer John Bradley, the decision was made to provide two culverts to a landowner who could not access his land,
"This obviously has been a continuing problem, and we need to clear this up today," Riddle said.
After a heated discussion among the commissioners, Bradley said he had provided inaccurate information to the commissioners, and that the ordinance had been changed requiring that landowners install the culverts because it was private property.
In an effort to assist citizens with the cost of installing the culverts, the commissioners agreed that the county would install them and provide the dirt. The landowners only need to purchase the culvert.