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At 2:30 the afternoon of Dec. 30, Probate Judge Christy Anderson swore in the members of the new Walker County Board of Commissioners at the courthouse in LaFayette. The meeting was not open to the public but is posted on Facebook.

Each member of the new board took a turn standing before Judge Anderson, left hand placed on a Bible held by one or more relatives, right hand raised, and swore that he was legally qualified to be a commissioner, that he had no financial conflicts of interest, that he would perform his duties to the best of his ability and that he would uphold the Constitution of the United States and the constitution of the state of Georgia.

The commissioners will take office on Jan. 1 and will hold their first meeting on Jan. 4 — a special called meeting with just two items on the agenda: the election of a vice chair for the board and a decision about the board’s meeting schedule for the coming year.

The road to a multi-person commission after 80 years of a sole commissioner form of government, said Walker County Public Relations Director Joe Legge in the video of the swearing-in, was a long one. Legge referred people to a page on the county’s website that details the journey, beginning in 2017 when the Georgia General Assembly “drafted a bill outlining the composition of a five-person board, their duties, powers, district maps and other related matters.” Then-Governor Nathan Deal signed the bill into law on May 2, 2017, and Walker County voters agreed to the change on Nov. 6, 2018, when 80% of them voted yes to it.

Tamara Wolk is a reporter for The Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga., and Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga.

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