County to appoint new Recreation Authority member

Published 11:55 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Decatur County Board of Commissioners has concluded Recreation Authority appointee DeFrance Gurley is not eligible to serve because he does not fulfill the requirement of being a resident of the county for at least two years.

Last Tuesday, the board voted to appoint Gurley to serve through Dec. 31, 2016, along with Jeff Lynn to serve through Dec. 31, 2017, and Brandon Conley to serve through Dec. 31, 2018.

Questions on Gurley’s residence were not brought up until after he was appointed to the Recreation Authority.

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“From my understanding, I was thinking he was (a Decatur County resident),” Decatur County Commission Chairman Dennis Brinson said.

Brinson, who owns Classic Designs Barber and Beauty Salon, said Gurley came to his shop on a weekly basis. Though records indicate he lives in Powder Springs, a suburb of Atlanta, Brinson said Gurley was in the process of moving to Decatur County to be with his family.

As for a replacement, Brinson specifically named someone that all five other commissioners have agreed to.

“We did pick somebody else, we just have to go through the formality of it at our next commission meeting,” Brinson said.

However Commissioner Pete Stephens said nobody has been picked yet, but a replacement would hopefully be chosen at a special called meeting scheduled for Thursday at 7 p.m.

Commissioner Russell Smith said the Recreation Authority was as important as the Hospital Authority and the Industrial Development Authority, and his preferred to select somebody who has children involved in the recreation system.

“I want to make the right people on there,” Smith said. “Until tomorrow night, until we discuss it, I don’t want to throw a name out.”

The special called meeting will take place at the County Commission Building in Bainbridge.

The Recreation Authority is a result of a new service delivery agreement written in March. Three members chosen by the Bainbridge City Council and three chosen by the Decatur County Board of Commissioners will be responsible for providing recreational services throughout Decatur County, providing park services throughout Decatur County, developing, providing, maintaining and operating projects and developing and providing athletic and recreational programs, activities and services.

The Recreation Authority’s first meeting will be Tuesday, July 7, at noon at the Potter Street Community Center.