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Battle, Nichols thanked

Two outgoing Decatur County Commissioners, Glenda M. Battle and William K. “Bill” Nichols, were recognized by their peers Tuesday morning.

Board of Commissioners Chairman Palmer Rich presented commemorative plaques to both Battle and Nichols, while County Administrator Tom Patton read a resolution approved by the board recognizing Battle’s 24 years of service as a county commissioner. County officials, friends and family attended a reception held for Battle in the County Administration Building following commissioners’ regular meeting there.

A registered nurse and Bainbridge native, Battle was first elected in 1984 and became a certified county commissioner in 1991 after completing 48 training hours. Battle served as president of the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia in 1996-1997. She was the 2002 recipient of ACCG’s Emory Greene Leadership Award. The Bainbridge Pilot Club named her Decatur County Woman of the Year in 1998.

Patton said Battle’s advocacy was key to the creation of an E-911 for Decatur and Grady counties in the early 1990s. She was also a notable supporter of the Emergency Medical Service, where her brother, Larry, is a paramedic, and has served on a number of local and regional civic agencies’ boards of directors.

Nichols is generally believed by local elections observers to have been the first Republican candidate to win office in Decatur County when he was elected to the Board of Commissioners in 2004.

A retired businessman and part-time pilot, Nichols said he was inspired to run for office after it appeared to him that a World War II airplane hangar located at what is now the county industrial park was in jeopardy of being demolished. Nichols advocated for the hangar’s preservation and renovation. During his term, the county also used state and federal funding to improve the Industrial Air Park, including a new modern terminal building, which features several amenities for visiting pilots.