Com­mis­sioner Bur­ford re­signs from board ahead of house clos­ing

The Standard Journal - - FRONT PAGE - By Kevin Myrick Ed­i­tor

The Polk County Com­mis­sion will soon have to pick a sec­ond new mem­ber to join the board or have it go to the grand jury after an an­nounce­ment from a lo­cal at­tor­ney who stepped down late last week.

Former Com­mis­sioner Ste­fanie Drake Bur­ford made her res­ig­na­tion of­fi­cial on Aug. 31 after she an­nounced her plans to move to west Cobb County in the com­ing weeks.

Bur­ford said in a state­ment that she is in the first stages of a planned move to western Cobb County, and had planned for the Aug. 30 ses­sion to be her last. Mov­ing trucks were in front of her and her fam­ily’s Rock­mart house on that morn­ing.

Bur­ford, an at­tor­ney based in Cedar­town, said she plans to keep her of­fice which she has owned for the past 12 years. Her res­ig­na­tion came just as she was en­ter­ing the eighth month of a new term in of­fice.

“This move is what’s best for my fam­ily, which is my top pri­or­ity. West Cobb puts us closer to my hus­band’s job, but not far from mine, closer to my fam­ily in Gwin­nett, and closer to my daugh­ter’s school,” her state­ment read. “She has been en­dur­ing an hour and twenty minute ride to school and my hus­band’s com­mute has been the same.”

She added in her state­ment that her house had been listed for some time on the mar­ket, and that de­lays in an in­spec­tion of her Rock­mart house by the buyer forced an ex­ten­sion of their con­tract’s clos­ing.

“It has been com­mon knowl­edge that I have a con­tract on my house, which has been pend­ing for quite a while,” Bur­ford’s state­ment said.

The clos­ing on the house was set for Tuesday, ac­cord­ing to Bur­ford’s state­ment. She had planned to take part in the spe­cial called ses­sion for votes on the mil­lage rate, re­ports on the fire plan and in­ter­views of new county com­mis­sion­ers dur­ing their Aug. 30 ses­sion, but later re­ported she was stuck in Ma­ri­etta due to heavy rains that pelted the area that evening.

She said since the clos­ing on her Rock­mart house was planned for next week, she said since it would be fi­nal­ized then there would be no point in tak­ing part in September meet­ings, al­ready pushed for­ward to Sept. 11 and Sept. 12 for the county’s reg­u­lar monthly ses­sions.

Bur­ford is the sec­ond com­mis­sioner to an­nounce her move this year, with former District 1 Com­mis­sioner Ja­son Ward hav­ing fin­ished a move to Jack­sonville be­fore the end of the sum­mer and of­fi­cially re­sign­ing his post on July 31. He an­nounced his move in late May of­fi­cially, and re­mained on the board, hav­ing pre­vi­ously taken part in meet­ings by tele­phone.

His house re­mains on the mar­ket lo­cally.

It’s been al­most a full month since he re­signed, and started a 60-day clock to pick a new com­mis­sioner via board vote from can­di­dates who have sub­mit­ted their names to the com­mu­nity.

In­ter­views for that po­si­tion were held on Aug. 30 as well (see page A3), with can­di­dates be­ing given an op­por­tu­nity to answer ques­tions posted by the board to help de­cide the po­si­tion. The board has to agree by at least a 4-1 ma­jor­ity to pick a new mem­ber, oth­er­wise it goes to Polk County’s Grand Jury to de­cide when they sit next fol­low­ing the end of the 60 days in September, with can­di­dates drawn from ap­pli­ca­tions made to the Polk County Board of Elec­tions.

Bur­ford’s District 3 seat will have to un­dergo the same process, and the clock on the 60-day time limit be­gan on Aug. 31 with her res­ig­na­tion.

Com­mis­sion­ers would have to vote unan­i­mously with­out Ward’s seat be­ing im­me­di­ately filled to re­place Bur­ford with a can­di­date for the job from District 3, lo­cated on the east­ern side of Polk County.

Kevin Myrick / Standard Jour­nal

Mov­ing trucks wait in front of the home of former com­mis­sioner Ste­fanie Drake Bur­ford last week in Rock­mart.

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