Road construction and the Department of Family and Children Services were concerns of Columbia County residents who attended a town hall meeting Wednesday on the steps of the Evans courthouse with state Sen. Jim Whitehead.
During his first "Wednesdays with Whitehead" meeting in Columbia County, freshman Sen. Jim Whitehead takes notes as residents Richard Hogue and Lisa Lindsay share their concerns.
Photo by Donnie Fetter
Ann Cushman, a co-owner of Cushman Paint and Body, asked the first-term senator to stop the state Department of Transportation from constructing a concrete median on Washington Road.
"This isn't just about a convenience issue for my customers, but that is a factor," Cushman said. "It's also a safety issue. It will create some problems."
Whitehead, R-Evans, said he is already in conversations with DOT officials about the issue and other road projects in Columbia County.
Issues such as the one Cushman discussed were the reason Whitehead chose to hold open forums each Wednesday in one of the counties he represents.
Last week's meeting in Evans was the first "Wednesdays with Whitehead" gathering in Columbia County.
About five to 10 people attended the casual discussion, and Whitehead said he met with county officials about their concerns earlier in the day.
He said he will hold the Wednesday meetings until the next legislative session begins in January.
"I want to have a step on what people are concerned about," Whitehead said. "If I can't take care of it right away, then I can take care of it with legislation."
Some problems already had solutions.
Grovetown resident Richard Hogue asked the lawmaker to help ease the load for caseworkers in the county's DFCS office.
Whitehead told him the state budget, which still had to be signed by Gov. Sonny Perdue, includes funds to hire 500 new employees for DFCS.
Other problems might require a little more effort.
Grovetown Mayor Dennis Trudeau asked Whitehead to intercede on the city's behalf with the DOT on a water main issue but without getting the city on the DOT's bad side.
"They're not going to get disturbed," Whitehead assured Trudeau. "I'll do it in a very sweet way."
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