Appling Co. Living 2015 - Page 87

Communities are like families. Increased positive communication among the community’s leadership is cited as being key to the community’s cohesiveness and to the success of recent projects. Leading that effort are: (L to R) City Manager, Jeff Baxley; Mayor of Baxley, Steve Rigdon; County Commissioner Chairman, Lewis Parker; County Manager, Lee Lewis. While families have a deep love and admiration for each other, there are squabbles, disagreements and sometimes a breakdown in communication. It takes real leadership to avoid that happening and, when it does, to reunite the family. Likewise, communities are full of people who care deeply for both their community and their fellow citizens. But, everyone doesn’t always get along. Communication breaks down. Factions are formed. Distrust and animosity creeps in and progress stalls. And, as in families, it takes real leadership to bring people together and to work with others for the “greater good”. These are the communities that make progress, that work together – in spite of each other - to fulfill the citizen’s needs and build a better quality of life. Appling County is one of those communities. And Lee Lewis, Appling County Manager and Jeff Baxley, City Manager, are quick to cite their community’s elected leadership as the reason for the harmony and success. “When you look at what’s gone on in our community with the same leadership, it shows that the people of Baxley like the direction our community is headed,” said Jeff Baxley. It is a fact that, with few exceptions, the citizens of Baxley have elected the same council members for the past 18 years. “They don’t see problems. They don’t see drama. They allow the process to work and everything runs smoothly,” he explained. Lee Lewis agrees, “We have great elected officials that are supportive and look to us to help guide them by sorting through all the options and providing information in a professional manner.” “Everybody is working together in unison,” stated Lewis Parker, Appling County Commission Chair, whose family has been involved in Appling County politics for over 100 years. He explained how Appling County’s governmen BV