Commissioners hear Sheriff ‘s update


The regular meeting of the Emanuel County Board of Commissioners convened on Tuesday, May 15, 2023. Chairman Hugh Foskey called the meeting to order at 6 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Board Room of the John C. Coleman County Office Building. Members present were Chairman Foskey, Vice Chairman Jim Sherrod, Commissioner Timmy Oliver, and Commissioner Ricky Thompson, who was attending his first meeting following his election. The invocation was given by County Attorney Richard McNeely followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

The first item on the evening’s agenda was the request by Melissa Clements to address the commissioners on concerns with a specific road near her home in the county. She detailed problems that she was experiencing with maintenance and drainage and requested assistance. The next agenda item was a required public hearing in connection with an application for an alcohol license submitted by Michelle Roundtree of The Country Corner retail store. Following previous submission of all necessary documentation and requirements by Roundtree, Chairman Foskey then opened the floor for public comment. Hearing none, a motion was made and seconded and was unanimously carried.

Sheriff Jeffrey Brewer came before the Commission and provided a presentation on the status of operations and activity at the Emanuel County Sheriff’s Office and Jail. Sheriff Brewer highlighted the growing volume of calls, duties and general activity of the department and the effort to control the rising costs of delivering the many services of the Sheriff’s office throughout the county. This includes shifting to a more efficient and economical vehicle management and maintenance control program and the implementation of the latest hi-tech methods to combat the rising challenges in criminal activity, including gang violence and the growing threat of fentanyl and other lethal drugs.

Routine business followed with the approval of the minutes of the two previous commission meetings with a motion for approval made by Commissioner Oliver and seconded by Commissioner Sherrod. There was no old business, and consideration then moved to new business. County Administrator Guy Singletary provided information concerning the recent difficulty with the arrangements for cleaning and maintenance of county facilities. Citing the need to provide more reliable and professional performance of those duties, bids were sought from several companies. A low bid of $110,160 by American Facilities Services for a 12-month contract covering all county facilities was significantly cheaper than competing bids and was approved by the commission. In other new business, Singletary discussed the need for an appointment to the EMS Council. In light of his long career and qualifications in that field, Courtney Terwilliger was recommended for that position, and confirmed by the commission. Administrator Singletary also discussed the need for an appointment for a seat on the Emanuel Medical Center Hospital Authority Board. The Administrator stressed the need for a qualified individual to fill this position and provide the dedicated involvement to help in the continuing progress of our local hospital. Interested applicants may express their desire to be considered for this position by contacting the County Commissioners Office or by contacting their own commissioner directly.