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Commissioners vote to hold more public hearings on zoning

The Grady County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to schedule additional public hearings on the proposed county zoning ordinance.
The action followed a request made by Commissioners T.D. David and Al Ball to hold public sessions similar to the nine originally scheduled hearings throughout the county.
The time, date and location of the two additional or a joint meeting held specifically for residents of Districts 4 and 5 were not decided Tuesday night. The Cairo Messenger will announce the meeting times and locations on the newspaper’s website when they are made available.
“To date, I know of no one in District 4 or 5 who has attended the four meetings we’ve held so far. It’s my sworn duty to ensure my constituents have practical access to a meeting. Attendance at an outlying location is a hardship for many in our districts. These two districts, lying mostly within the Cairo city limits, account for 10,000 of the 25,000 taxpaying citizens of Grady County. I wish to set up a meeting, or meetings, at a central location such as the Agri-Center or the courthouse, on a day and time deemed to be easiest for the people to attend. Certainly, as with all other meetings, it will be open to all Grady Countians,” Commissioner David stated Tuesday night.
He sought his fellow board members’ approval to schedule the additional meetings.
Commissioner Ball agreed and stated, “I feel like the citizens of Districts 4 and 5 deserve the same set up and procedure as the citizens in the other districts.”
Ball then offered a motion, which was seconded by David, to hold additional meetings.
The full board approved and the Dist. 4 and Dist. 5 commissioners will work with Grady County Administrator Rusty Moye to arrange for a place, date and time for the additional listening sessions.
In other related business Tuesday night, the board:
Heard public comment from Tony Ward, Hwy. 319 South, who complained about the behavior of participants at the first four public hearings. He urged commissioners to “keep the meetings under control” and he expressed sympathy for the facilitators. “These meetings are not a good image of neighborly or decent acting people,” Ward said. Ward, a Beachton resident, is a vocal proponent of zoning. On the other hand, commissioners also heard from John Gainous, 1047 Cedar Springs Road, who opposes the ordinance. “The hearings have definitely shown the citizens of Grady County are against zoning,” Gainous said Tuesday night.

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