It wasn’t the usual Lumpkin County Board of Commissioners meeting. Of course, normal discussion and approval the agenda preceded but the main topic of conversation was the city manager Stan Kelley.
The meeting was in honor of a soon-to-be retired Kelley, as well as the dedication of a building named after Stan.
State Senator Steve Gooch said a few words on Kelley’s behalf. Stan had the least amount of experience, according to Gooch, out of the 47 applicants when they were going through the hiring process. Gooch said that Kelley was the man for the job.
“It took a couple of years, but we really became a fine oiled machine,” Gooch said. “We had to take the politics out of the day-to-day decisions, which is different…it’s hard to separate the politics from the decision-making when you have one person making all those decisions. Stan made those decisions based on merit and what was best for the community as a whole – didn’t please everybody but we did a good job.”
Kelley has done a great job since day one, according to Gooch, and said with county government, usually city managers last two-four years with constant turnover. Kelley has been in his position since 2005. A total of 15 years.
“It says a lot about our community and how we’ve embraced change and put a lot of confidence in the elected officials that run the county,” Gooch said.
As Kelley’s resolution states, during his years serving as the county manager, Kelley has been the spearhead of many projects, thus “increasing the quality of life for the citizens of Lumpkin County.”
Some of those projects include a new Justice Center, Library, Splash Park, “All-Accessible” Playground and the forthcoming Aquatic Center.
Chairman Chris Dockery said he is thankful for Kelley’s integrity throughout the years and it has much respect for him.
“I appreciate his honesty, I appreciate his faith, I appreciate his leadership,” Dockery said. “He sets an example for this board and I am certainly not ashamed or afraid to say that…his character, his morals, his values, the way he carries himself at work…it certainly sets the bar for this community.”
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