Columbia County Chairman and Chairman-Elect get ready for transition in January


Columbia County Chairman Ron Cross is packing up and getting ready to say, “Goodbye,” to a position he’s held for most of this century.

“I probably want just a little bit of time to do nothing and I’ve had some conversation about doing some things part time and full time which I may not want (smiling.) We’ll give it some time first,” said Cross.

Cross says he rarely thinks about his legacy.

But there are some things he’s going to miss.  

“Particularly the quality of life aspect. The success of the Evans Towne Center Park has just been tremendous, getting the Plaza there, creating our downtown,” said Cross.

Cross also helped consolidate 7 volunteer fire departments, with little to no funding to, into what is now Columbia County Fire Rescue.

But he says he can’t take all the credit for the county’s successes.

“I can’t say enough about the support of the citizens. I was elected four different times, we’ve had about three or four SPLOST programs,” said Cross.

As Cross starts to move out, Chairman-Elect Doug Duncan is already working to move in.

“Ron and I have met a number of times. He’s been very gracious with his time to make sure I understand things that he has in place to keep the county moving forward,” said Duncan.

Duncan says his years on the commission have helped shape him.

“I went in with a lot of preconceived notions with government and how it operated…how efficient it was or wasn’t and just being able to sit on the other side of the fence and watch that operate,” said Duncan.

It’s on-the-job training Duncan says he’ll take with him when he takes over the chairperson’s role in January.

Cross says he’s thankful to have worked with what he calls a strong staff in Columbia County and Duncan says that staff is one of the reasons he feels comfortable heading into the position.

Duncan will be sworn in at the commission meeting on January 2.

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