After 16 years Columbia County has a new leader in charge. Wednesday evening, Doug Duncan was sworn in as Commission Chair with his wife, Jean, and daughter, Molly, by his side.
“I will support the constitution of the United States, and this state, so help me God,” repeated Duncan.
Columbia County will have a brand new look for the 2019 year. Doug Duncan, Connie Melear, and Dewey Galeas are all stepping into their new roles.
Moving from vice chair, Chairman Duncan says he’s learned a lot from former Chairman Ron Cross.
“Ron served for 16 years,” said Duncan. “He was a good chairman, he had a good vision, and I learned from him. I plan on keeping the county moving forward.”
With the torch now passed, Duncan says his main focus is being patient and listening to people’s concerns.
“It’s to do the best for the whole county,”explained Duncan. “That’s the focus you have to take a step back and make sure property owners are heard. “As well as people who may live nearby who may not want that to happen. You have to be open and listen to everybody.”
NewsChannel 6 reporter Devin Johnson also spoke with the new commissioner of District 4. He tells Devin he has a massive responsibility to the citizens.
“They all have unique concerns and views,” said Dewey Galeas. “We have a county that is growing so fast, and I have to move that along.”
Galeas says his call to action is make sure his district isn’t left out.
“Living in the district for 26 years I know what those concerns are like to live in District 4. My call was to make sure my neighbors have representation in a growing county.”
Controlling taxes and improving roads in Columbia County are essential goals for Chairman Duncan.
“The key thing is to keep moving in the right direction and build these roads up that is already planned. Also to find ways to widen roads where we can, where may not be able to wait until a complete road project is ready to be implemented.”
During the first council meeting of the year, Gary Richardson was elected vice-chair.
The next council meeting will be Tuesday, January 15, 2019.