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Buford's Beard inducted into government hall of fame

He is already a legend in Buford, but now Philip Beard has made the Georgia Municipal Government Hall of Fame.

Beard was inducted Tuesday into the Georgia Municipal Association's hall at the association's annual convention in Savannah.

Beard has served on the Buford City Commission since 1975, including the last 10 as commission chairman. He has also served as chairman of the city's Board of Education. Under his leadership, Buford has maintained its distinctive identity amidst the fast growth of Gwinnett County, according to a press release. He also led a downtown resurgence that resulted in a thriving downtown.

"Chairman Beard's record of accomplishment is long and impressive," said GMA Executive Director Jim Higdon. "He is quick to give credit to others, but those who really know him know that his city would not be what it is today without his leadership, vision and determination."

The Hall of Fame honors municipal officials who exemplify the best in public service, and who, throughout their careers, have made extraordinary contributions to their communities and Georgia's cities.

More honors

Beard's induction was just one honor locals received during the convention.

Snellville Mayor Jerry Oberholtzer was elected to the Board of Directors for the association.

Oberholtzer also serves as chair of GMA's Transportation Policy Committee.

"We are pleased to have Mayor Oberholtzer serving on the GMA Board of Directors," Higdon said. "He has always provided great leadership to GMA, and I'm sure will continue to do so as a member of the board."

In addition, Buford and Suwanee were two of 14 cities recognized with the "Certified City of Ethics" designation. In eight years, a total of 189 cities in Georgia have received the designation.

"Integrity and high ethical standards have long been a priority and standard operating procedure for the city of Suwanee," Mayor Nick Masino said. "Our ethics ordinance, adopted last November, codifies into a single document the city's previously existing ethics regulations. We're proud to be recognized officially as a City of Ethics."

Sen. Renee Unterman, a Republican from Buford who chairs the Senate Ethics Committee, said, "Suwanee has been a city of ethics in practice for a long time. I'm proud that they've taken measures to be officially recognized as such by the Georgia Municipal Association."

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.