Commissioner Burford resigns from board ahead of house closing
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.
Moving trucks wait in front of the home of former commissioner Stefanie Drake Burford last week in Rockmart.