From the Jackson, GA newspaper-The Progress-Argus
By Special to the Progress-Argus (537)
As of Friday, August 9, 2013
© Copyright 2013 Jackson Progress-Argus
State Rep. Susan Holmes (R-Monticello) recently hosted a meeting of local government officials, state officials and key members of the Georgia Department of Transportation. The meeting, which was held Aug. 1 at the Monticello City Hall, included county commissioners, mayors, city council members, county administrators and city administrators from Butts, Jasper, Jones and Monroe counties.
State officials present included state Rep. Robert Dickey (R-Musella) and state Sen. Burt Jones (R-Jackson), along with DOT Board Member Jamie Boswell, DOT Board Vice Chairman Jay Shaw, Thomaston District Engineer Thomas Howell and Milledgeville District Engineer Jimmy Smith.
Holmes’ district spans the southern half of Butts County, all of Jasper County and portions of Jones and Monroe counties.
Two GDOT districts fall within her district and this meeting was designed to bring together the district engineers and board members from those districts with the policymakers in the district to discuss transportation issues.
After a lunch provided by Holmes, introductions of all in attendance were made followed by presentations from GDOT officials. Shaw discussed how the DOT was adjusting to fiscal changes and policies that have been made over many years, as well as the impact that the Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax was having on counties that voted in favor of it. He assured the officials present that GDOT was committed to work with counties on their transportation projects and encouraged regional projects that could garner greater support by GDOT.
He also encouraged officials to get to know their district engineers and call on them for help.
Boswell, of Athens, represents Butts County on the state board and was appointed to the position in April. He expressed his appreciation to Jones and Holmes for their input on his appointment and affirmed his commitment to work with the board and local governments wherever possible to make GDOT more accessible.
Holmes addressed the local government officials in attendance, stating “I want all of you to get to know these folks from Georgia DOT and for them to get to know you. They’re here to answer your questions and if they don’t know the answer, they’ll get it for you.”
Holmes also indicated that she would like to have more of these kinds of meetings in the future to bring local and state government officials together to work on common issues and to have open communication. “We’re all in this together,” she said.
Attending from Butts County were Commissioner Roger McDaniel, Commissioner Mike Patterson and County Administrator Michael Brewer.