The Columbia County Planning Commission introduced three new members and elected officers Thursday during its first meeting of the new year.
The two returning planning commissioners were elected as board officers. Jean Garniewicz was elected chairwoman, and Jim Cox was elected vice chairman.
The new planning commissioners were appointed by Columbia County commissioners during their Jan. 6 meeting.
Retired Army Col. Thom Tuckey was selected by Commissioner Trey Allen to represent District 2. The Martinez resident, who is executive director of the CSRA Alliance for Fort Gordon, was assigned to Fort Gordon from 1993 to 1999 and returned to the post in 2001.
"I think everyone's desire is to ensure that as Columbia County grows that we continue to follow some kind of long-range growth plan and do it in a smart fashion and ensure that the needs of the county, as well as the growth projected (for the county), doesn't come in conflict of other activities out there," Tuckey said.
Harlem resident Bob Newkirk, appointed by Commissioner Scott Dean to serve District 4, served on the planning commission in 2002. He has lived in the county since 2000.
Newkirk noted the importance of following proper growth models and spoke positively of his fellow planning commissioners and the Planning and Development staff.
"I'm looking forward to working with everyone on the board," said the sales representative for International Paper.
Commissioner Charles Allen chose Evans resident Gary Richardson to represent District 3. Richardson owns Sparkle Express Car Wash on North Belair Road and Sparkle Self Serve Car Wash on Washington Road and has lived in the county for 14 years.
"I hope to represent everybody," he said. "I want to listen to all sides. I've been on both sides."
Also at the meeting, board members decided to postpone consideration of a rezoning at 247 Settlement Road off Bobby Jones Expressway until Feb. 5.
The half-acre property is currently zoned single family residential and could meet requirements for a special district zoning. Plans for the property feature a parking lot for employees at the future site of a new Golden Corral at 231 Bobby Jones Expressway, next to the restaurant's current location.
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