The Cave Spring City Council held a ceremony dedicating their chamber to Mike Ragland, a former council member, author and local historian who died suddenly in March.

Mayor Pro Tem Tom Lindsey said Ragland’s wife Martha Ragland and their daughter Bekki Fox were among the relatives, friends and supporters who crowded into the chamber Tuesday, then reconvened for a reception in the adjoining room.

“There wasn’t a dry eye in the house,” Lindsey said. “We all loved Mike so much and he did so much for Cave Spring ... he was one of a kind.”

Ragland also was a retired Rome police major and a Rome News-Tribune columnist. He died March 16 after spending the day signing and selling his books at Welshfest in Rockmart.

Lindsey has temporarily taken on the mayoral duties while Mayor Dennis Shoaf is battling Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It’s a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its nervous system.

“Fortunately, most people eventually recover from even the most severe cases of GSB,” the National Institutes of Health fact sheet states.

The city’s charter allows elected officials to miss only four meetings before their position is called into question. However, the council on Tuesday approved an indefinite leave of absence for Shoaf, whose term ends Dec. 31.

Also on Tuesday, council members received a draft of the alcohol control ordinance they’ve been working on since voters approved liquor sales in the city earlier this year.

Plans are to include provisions for a full range of venues — including craft distilleries, farm wineries and tasting rooms — while maintaining the unique character of the historic small town. Lindsey said the changes are nearly complete. A work session is scheduled for 4 p.m. June 4.

“I don’t foresee anything else coming up. We’ll probably just have one more meeting where we hit the highlights of everything we’re doing,” he said.

Council members also tapped a new website provider, Romega Digital in Rome. Lindsey said their old contract was up and they opted to go with a local company.

He said the city’s website,, could be down “for a day or two” this week while the information is being transferred to the new service, although it’s also possible visitors will see no change.

“In the next few weeks, when we get some breathing room, we’re going to look at a redesign,” he said.

Note: This article was updated to correct the location of Welshfest.