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Copeland announces reelection plans

Grady County’s first female county commissioner said this week that one term is not enough and she plans to seek reelection to another four year term.
“One term is not enough to learn all about the county and what all is involved. In the first term you are learning, attending training, gaining a better understanding of how county government works. In a second term, I hope I will be a better commissioner because I can build on my first term experiences and all that I have learned,” District 4 Commissioner LaFaye Copeland said this week.
If reelected, Commissioner Copeland said her number one priority is to see the Tired Creek Lake project completed.
Secondly, she wants to be more aggressive in improving county roads and last, but not least, her third goal is to maintain current tax rates.
“We have to continue to be conscious of how we spend the taxpayers’ money. It’s not my money we are spending, it’s all of ours,” she said.
Commissioner Copeland is anxious to see Tired Creek Lake filled with water, because she said taxpayers only see the money the county is spending on the project, but they haven’t seen results.
“Once we get water in that lake they will see that we have spent the money wisely. That lake will be a big plus for Grady County,” Commissioner Copeland said.
Another project the District 4 commissioner said she wants to see completed is the construction of a splash pad at Barber Park.
“I was always in favor of the aquatic center being at Barber Park. Once that project is complete the taxpayers will see that we are doing what we said we would do,” she said.
Commissioner Copeland said she is against keeping secrets from the public. “We should be as open as possible, not keep anything secret from the taxpayers. I’m all for open government and government in the sunshine,” she said.
The first-term commissioner credits veteran commissioners Elwyn Childs and Charles Norton for guiding her and answering her many questions during her first term in office.
“My hat is off to Commissioner Norton and Commissioner Childs. I can call either one at any time and they will take time out to listen and answer my questions,” Commissioner Copeland said.
She added that the entire board works well together and she thanks them for treating her fairly and allowing her to express her opinion even when it was in opposition to the majority.
“It’s ok to disagree. Otherwise, what would we be? Nothing but a rubber stamp board. We can disagree and still work good together,” she said.
Looking back on her first term, Commissioner Copeland said she is proud to have been the first female elected to the board and the first woman to have served as the chairman of the board.
“I’m also proud that during my first term we implemented the monthly recognition of a county employee of the month. We needed to do more to recognize our hardworking county employees,” Commissioner Copeland said.
Ms. Copeland, 59, serves as a long-term substitute teacher for the Grady County School System in addition to her service as county commissioner.
An active member of Bethlehem AME Church, she is the former chairman of the Grady County Democratic Executive Committee, former officer of the Grady County Chapter of the NAACP; and former board member of the Jackie Robinson Boys and Girls Club and United Way for Grady County.
She has received numerous honors for her community service and volunteer work including the 2014 Grady County Woman of the Year award from the Cairo-Grady County Chamber of Commerce, NAACP Humanitarian Award and the Drum Major for Justice and Peace Award. She has also received a Special Congressional Recognition for Outstanding Achievement and Public Distinction Award from U.S. Congressman Sanford D. Bishop Jr. In 2015, Commissioner Copeland was one of 26 women to be awarded a Servant Leadership Award from the Georgia Women’s Legislative Caucus. She was nominated for the award by Rep. Darlene Taylor.
Ms. Copeland is married to Ernest Miles and resides at 307 Sixth Street SW in Cairo. She is the daughter of Vivian Copeland Hill and the late Isaac Smicky Williams.
Ms. Copeland earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1999 from Albany State University.
“I hope in my first term I have done a satisfactory job. I know I will be a better commissioner in a second term. I will maintain an open door policy and I always try to help everyone. I am not just the commissioner for District 4. I am a county commissioner and I will continue to work hard to represent all Grady Countians, not just District 4,” she said.
” I would appreciate the vote and support of every resident of District 4,” Ms. Copeland said.

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