Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Boswell Gets New Five-Year Term Representing Oconee County On State Transportation Board

***GDOT Makes Announcement***

Athens commercial realtor Jamie Boswell has been reappointed as District 10 Representative to the Georgia Transportation Board.

A caucus of state representatives and senators whose districts include at least part of the 10th Congressional District selected Boswell in a meeting on February 21 or Feb. 22.

No record of the deliberation or candidates considered is public.

Boswell had indicated in advance that he was seeking appointment to his third five-year term on the state Transportation Board, which names the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Commissioner.

The Board also designates which public roads are encompassed within the state highway system, approves long-range transportation plans, oversees the administration of construction contracts, and authorizes lease agreements.

Boswell was one of seven Transportation Board members selected in caucuses at the Capitol on Feb. 21 and 22, according to a GDOT announcement.

Selection Procedures

State law dictates that the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President of the Senate must call together the “caucus” of eligible voting members from the state House and state Senate to make the decision for respective Congressional Districts.

Boswell Picture From GDOT

Within 15 days after each that election, according to the law, the Speaker of the House and the President of the Senate “transmit a certificate of such election to the Secretary of State” who issues the “commission” of the appointment.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has not reported the selection of members of the Board, but GDOT issued a press release on Feb. 23 stating that “Over a two-day period between February 21 and 22, a caucus of Georgia state representatives and senators from Congressional Districts 2, 5, 7, 9, 10, 13, and 14 held elections for the State Transportation Board at the Georgia State Capital.”

Based on documents provided to me by GDOT in advance of the meeting, 19 members of the state House of Representatives and 10 members of the state Senate were eligible to vote for the 10th Congressional District representative.

Included are Houston Gaines, who represents the Marswood Hall and Bogart precincts in Oconee County in the 120th House District, and Marcus Wiedower, who represents the remainder of Oconee County in the 121st House District.

Also included is Sen. Bill Cowsert, who represents all of Oconee County in the 46th Senate District.

The 10th Congressional District, which consists of all or parts of 18 counties, including Oconee and Clarke, stretches from the Savannah River to just east of Atlanta.

No public record exists indicating which members of the caucus attended the meeting. Voting is by secret ballot.

The General Assembly has exempted itself from Georgia Open Records and Open Meetings laws, which it passed.

Gaines, Wiedower, and Cowsert are Republicans.

Boswell Background

Boswell is a graduate of the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business with a major in real estate. He also attended Georgia Tech.

He is president and owner of the Boswell Group, which includes insurance, real estate and appraisal companies.

According to an interview Brittany Wagner did with Boswell when he was chair of the Board of Transportation in 2017 and that was published in the GDOT magazine Milepost, Boswell got his real estate license in 1966 and founded his company in 1995.

Boswell put his name forward for the State Transportation Board in 2013 after working with GDOT to receive approval for a real estate project, Wagner wrote.

The Boswell Group currently lists a large number of properties along SR 316 in Oconee County. That route is undergoing massive redesign as the state attempts to convert it to a limited access highway in Oconee County.

Other Appointees

According to the GDOT news release, the caucus for the 2nd Congressional District appointed Cathy Williams to replace Johnny Floyd. Williams is CEO NeighborWorks Columbus, nonprofit that promotes and provides access to fit and affordable housing.

Floyd is president of a timber company, a realtor, and a banker.

The caucus for the 5th Congressional District reappointed Stacey Key to the Transportation Board. Key is president and CEO of the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council.

The 7th Congressional District Caucus appointed Curt Thompson, a lawyer, to replace Kevin Abel, according to the GDOT news release.

The boundary lines for the 6th and 7th Congressional Districts were redrawn by the General Assembly following the 2020 Census to increase the number of Republicans representing Georgia in Congress.

At present, Kevin Abel, Board Chair, is listed on the GDOT web site as representing the 6th Congressional District.

Rudy Bowen is listed as representing the 7th Congressional District on the Transportation Board.

Able is president of Abel Solutions, an IT support firm, and Bowen is a retired a developer and home builder in metropolitan Atlanta.

Additional Members

According to the GDOT news release, Emily Dunn from the 9th Congressional District and Dana Lemon from the 13th Congressional District also were reappointed.

Dunn is a registered nurse, and Lemon is president of W.D. Lemon & Sons Funeral Home.

In the 14th Congressional District, Micah Gravely replaced Jerry Shearin as representative to the Transportation Board. Gravely owns a business development company. Shearin owns multiple businesses, including insurance.

Ann Purcel, whose term representing the 1st Congressional District does not expire until 2027 , is a former teacher and real estate salesperson.

Dennis McEntire continuing in the 3rd Congressional District is a former general manager of Newnan Utilities.

Robert L. Brown Jr. in the 4th Congressional District is a President and CEO of R.L. Brown and Associates, an architectural and construction management firm.

Tim Golden, representing the 8th Congressional District, is a partner, Capitol Benefits Group LLC.

Jeff Lewis and Greg Morris, in the 11th and 12th Congressional Districts, both list their occupations on the GDOT web site as small business owners.

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