LETTERS: BOC welcomes Nash as new leader

We would like to warmly welcome Charlotte Nash as the newly elected Chairman of the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners. When she takes the oath of office as chairman later this month, the board will be whole again for the first time in nearly half a year.

This is a significant milestone because, as the only commissioner who is elected countywide and officially serves in a full-time role, the chairman participates in the day-to-day operations of county government, represents the county at official events and on state and regional boards, and, perhaps most importantly, develops the county’s annual budget. As part-time district commissioners, we not only represent the people of our district, but we have full-time jobs, run businesses and have other civic obligations.

Quite unexpectedly last October, the duties of the chairman had to be delegated among the four district commissioners. Much of the chairman’s duties fell upon the board’s vice chairman, District 1 Commissioner Shirley Lasseter. Since that time, this board has worked diligently together to conduct the business of Gwinnett County while continuing to fulfill our other obligations. Despite being down to three commissioners at the end of 2010 and then adding two newly elected commissioners in 2011, we made certain not to let any county business go unaddressed. Some of our more notable accomplishments during this period were:

• Conducting the first-ever citizen forum listening sessions in each of the four commission districts;

• Pressing for the clarification of public water supply and recreation as authorized uses of Lake Lanier;

• Balancing a budget that started with a $45 million deficit;

• Representing Gwinnett at the Atlanta Regional Commission and the Association County Commissioners of Georgia;

• Improving emergency response by opening three new fire stations; and

• Representing all residents and businesses of Gwinnett County through the oversight of county operations.

We want to make certain that the people of Gwinnett County know that we proactively and aggressively conducted their business throughout this unusual time. We look forward to continuing this level of service for the people of Gwinnett alongside our new chairman. Together, we will continue to professionally, ethically and transparently guide this organization toward innovative and fiscally conservative county government services. We will continue to listen to you.

Lastly, three of us would like to acknowledge the extraordinary job that Lasseter has done as vice chairman for the past six months. We know she is looking forward to a change in pace and turning more of her focus back to her district. We thank her on behalf of the people of Gwinnett County.

— Shirley Lasseter, District 1 Commissioner

Lynette Howard, District 2 Commissioner

Mike Beaudreau, District 3 Commissioner

John Heard, District 4 Commissioner