BLUE RIDGE, Ga – Former Post One Earl Johnson took a moment to clear up the details surrounding his extended time in office.
Johnson acknowledged that he’s comfortable continuing to serve the county for a period of time while Post One-elect Johnny Scearce continues to recover. However, he did put a time limit on his return – 90 days or six meetings.
“I’ve always taken my position here very seriously,” Johnson remarked. “Our current circumstances in Fannin County it’s unordinary and unusual event that’s taken place.”
Additionally, Johnson asked to abstain from all votes unless he was needed to break a tie between Chairman Jamie Hensley and Post Two Glenn Patterson. He wouldn’t receive any compensation from the county either.
“This is a new administration, new times, moving forward – essentially my role would be here if needed,” Johnson stated.
County Attorney Lynn Doss reviewed the terms of office again commenting that the newly elected officials must be “elected and qualified.” For that reason, Johnson’s term carries over until Scearce is qualified.
“[Scearce] could take the oath of office via Zoom, but he has expressed to wait until he is a little stronger and he could actually be back in Fannin County,” Doss added.
She also stressed the issue that if the Post One seat sat empty and a mishap befell one of the two existing commissioners, then county government would halt. The county would no longer have a quorum to pass or fail business. Day-to-day functions would continue, but larger decisions couldn’t be voted on.
According to the law and Doss, the only person available to serve as Post One until Scearce takes his oath of office is Johnson.
“I’m just trying to make a good gesture and help Fannin County government continue to move forward. As of the last election, it was very clear that people wanted a different direction,” Johnson commented.
Hensley added he had no objection to it, and Patterson commended Johnson as a “valuable asset” for county government.