The new leader of Columbia County's government was sworn in Thursday.
Ron Cross became the first at-large elected chairman at the helm of the commission in more than two decades. He said he hopes to continue the exemplary leadership Columbia County has experienced in the last 12 to 15 years.
"I think we've only touched the threshold of what we can do in this county," he said.
Also sworn in Thursday was new District 1 Commissioner Steve Brown.
After the swearing-in ceremony, commissioners met for the first time in 2003. First on the agenda was the election of their vice-chairman.
That slot went to Tommy Mercer - who attended the meeting despite his recent heart bypass surgery. Mercer thanked his wife, friends and family for their prayers and support.
"My family and my county family really rallied around me," he said.
Meanwhile, the Columbia County Board of Education maintained the status quo on its leadership team for the new year Friday morning.
When the board met in a called meeting Friday morning to elect officers, Wayne Bridges was returned to his chairman's seat for the second year, while Mildred Blackburn retained her position of second in command as vice-chairman.
Steve Brown takes the oath as a new Columbia County commissioner Thursday from Probate Judge Pat Hardaway. Standing with Brown is his wife, Susan.
Photo by Chris Thelen
The board voted to maintain William Fleming as its legal council.
Also that morning, Probate Court Judge Pat Hardaway swore into office newly re-elected board members Blackburn and Regina Buccafusco.
The board also voted to keep the same meeting times and dates. The board meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m.
The board took no action on member Lee Muns' request to hold at least two Saturday public forums during the year in which the parents would have the opportunity to address the board outside the constraints of a formal board meeting. Currently, people wishing to address the board are only allowed three minutes to speak.
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