Sunday, December 11, 2016

Oconee County Commission Chairman Davis Honored At Reception At Civic Center

Davis Sees Bright Future

More than 75 people showed up at the Oconee County Civic Center this (Sunday) afternoon to honor retiring Board of Commissioners Chairman Melvin Davis for his 16 years of service to the county.

Brian Kemp, Georgia Secretary of State, thanked Davis for his service to the county, the local community and the state of Georgia.

Tommy Lyon, Elbert County chair and president of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia (ACCG), said Davis was “a friend of mine and a hero of mine.”

Ross King, executive director, ACCG, said Davis’ service on a statewide basis was "nothing short of profound.” Davis was ACCG president from 2011 to 2012.

Rep. Regina Quick, with Rep. Chuck Williams at her side, read a resolution from the Georgia House of Representatives congratulating Davis on his retirement and extending “best wishes for continued health and happiness.” Quick and Williams represent Oconee County in the House.

Davis, in his responses, thanked the citizens of Oconee County for “allowing me to serve you.”

Program Details

Those who attended the program were first given a chance to sign a memorial book for Davis and then to greet him in a receiving line.

Superior Court Judge Lawton Stephens, Left, and Davis, Right

The program began at 3 p.m., and John Daniell, replacing Davis as Chair in January, launched the formal program about 40 minutes later.

Davis, 76, was accompanied in the receiving line by his wife, Esther.

People drifted in to congratulate Davis even after the formal comments ended about 4:15.

The scheduled session ended at 5 p.m.

Gracious Comments

Davis said the county had changed a lot in the 16 years he had been Chair and that the county has a “bright future.”

Davis thanked the county staff as well as the members of the Board of Commissioners with whom he worked and served for the last 16 years.

Davis said that the members of the Commission had not always agreed but that the disagreement had been professionally managed.

Davis said he was confident in the leadership of Daniell and the Commission coming aboard in January.


In the video below, I’ve included 30 seconds of clips from the receiving line and then the formal part of the program.

Davis’s comments start at 22:30 in the video.

OCO:Davis Retirement from Lee Becker on Vimeo.


Anonymous said...

Melvin Davis was allowed to amass more power than any one commissioner should have. Too many weak or passive other commissioners enabled Davis to basically govern unimpeded.

The commissioner chair should not be paid a six figure salary when there is a professional county manager also being paid a six figure salary. Not very conservative Republican to pay both those salaries.

Melvin Davis governed in an autocratic manner, and set Oconee on a Gwinnett County-like course. He strangely ignored the county's farmland and greenspace, one of the county's most attractive features; he virtually shut out respected farmland/greenspace advocate Russ Page.

Why is there so much unspent SPLOST funds from previous years? Why is the Animal Shelter board such an embarrassment? Why are there so many fast food establishments?

FOM's, Friends of Melvin's, such as out of county developer Frank Bishop, Athens realtor/State Transportation Board member Jamie Boswell, Doug Dickens, Land Use & Transportation Chair Abe Abouhamden, IDA Chair Rick Waller, Ken Beall, etc., benefitted from Melvin's reign.

The commission chair position should be limited. No woman or man should be allowed to be county commission chair for 16 years. Let the commissioner elect the chair every year or every other year.

There is no better symbol of the Melvin Davis tenure than the electronic billboard by QT. Hoping for a better Oconee under Daniell . We deservve bbetter.

Anonymous said...

I am new to Oconee, but wow!?!?!?! Only 75 people turned up after 16 years of service. This speaks volumes.

Lee Becker said...

It is very difficult to estimate the number of people who attended. People were not counted as they entered the reception.

I counted people in the large room where the comments were made three times during the comments and came up with 55, 60 and 65. As the speakers made their comments, additional people came into the room. At the end of those comments, I counted at least 10 people in line to greet Davis and sign the book. That is where my estimate came from.