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County Commissioner Bill Smith retires
County recognizes 14 years of service with reception
Smiths Couch Nevil
City Manager Tom Couch, left, and Commission Chairman Garrett Nevil, far right, presents the Smiths with a painting of the Bulloch County Courthouse Tuesday night at a reception in Bill Smith’s honor. - photo by HOLLI DEAL BRAGG/staff
    After 14 years of budgets, zoning issues, road complaints, and exciting new county projects, Bill Smith stepped down from the Bulloch County Commission. Tuesday Smith was honored with a reception just before his successor Robert Rushing took over the reins by participating in his first commission meeting.

    The drop-in reception from 4-6 p.m. Tuesday in the community room at the Bulloch County Annex was open to the public. Refreshments were served and Smith was presented with a special gift from the commission.

    A room full of community leaders and friends of Smith and his family looked on as Bulloch County Manager Tom Couch spoke a few words before unveiling a painting of the Bulloch County Courthouse.

    "I'm sure we all want to thank you humbly and deeply from the bottom of our hearts," Couch said, wishing Smith well in his retirement from the board and citing several accomplishments.

    Bulloch County Board of Commissioners Chairman Garrett Nevil praised Smith for his public service to the community over the years.

    "Public service is certainly a wonderful thing that we have people like you," he said. "You certainly have been an asset to the Board of Commissioners and certainly to the citizens of Bulloch County. We appreciate you and all you did."

    Smith stepped forward to thank the commission.

    "It's been a very special time," he said. "I've gotten a lot of  gratitude and the community has certainly given back to me as well. I've enjoyed being here for 14 years, enjoyed working with the county staff. We have had great leadership from all aspects, and I'm going to continue to be a part of it. I'm just going to be on  the opposite side of the bench."

    Several fellow commissioners shared thoughts as well.

    "Bill's been a good friend and an asset to the county," Anthony Simmons said.

    "I've certainly gained some wisdom from you and enjoyed working with you these last two years," Roy Thompson said.

    "I respect what you've done for the county," said Walter Gibson.

    Former Commission Chairman Johnny Parrish said "What you've done for the people in this county is immeasurable." Statesboro Mayor Bill Hatcher expressed appreciation for the years of working together with Smith and said "you exemplified what a public servant is all about."

    Visitors enjoyed socializing and speaking with Smith before the county commission meeting began.

    Commissioners addressed several zoning issues before approving bids for shop equipment, discussing fees regarding the county sign ordinance and meeting during executive session for discussion of litigation, personnel and land acquisition issues.

    Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at 489-9414.

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