Some new faces were voted in to the Richmond Hill Planning and Zoning Commission and Richmond Hill Convention and Visitors Bureau during the Feb. 17 city council meeting.
Council unanimously approved the appointment of Rob Connor to the P&Z Commission and Doug Goolsby to the CVB Board. They also approved the promotion of P&Z Commissioner and former councilman Billy Albritton to P&Z Chairman.
Connor replaces Les Fussell, whose term has expired. Mayor Richard Davis said Connor should do well, noting he recognizes him as one who has helped with the Seafood Festival. Connor, who works as a site engineer for McShane Construction, has also been on the Board of Directors for the Richmond Hill Recreation Association for two years now.
"I just wanted to get more involved in the community," Conner said of his appointment. "My dad was heavily involved in his hometown, and I’d like to follow in his footsteps."
Albritton is no stranger to the P&Z Board. He rejoined the P&Z Commission last year, but has served the commission on and off for 13 years – including a run as chairman from 1998-2000 prior to becoming a city councilman. He replaces Commissioner Fussell in the chairman role, who was promoted earlier this year when former chair Amanda Pommerenck resigned.
"I’m pleased to be back as chairman," Albritton said. "I feel we accomplished a lot under my leadership before, and I plan to do the same this time."
Albritton was involved in the creation of the current P&Z ordinances, which he plans to help update "and make more user friendly." He said he also plans on coordinating training for newer members and getting involved with workshops between the P&Z Commission and city council.
"I don’t know anybody that know the ordinances more than Billy does," Councilman and Mayor Pro-tem Floyd Hilliard said. "I’m really pleased that Billy is the chairman because I think he’ll lead the planning and zoning where we need to go this year."
The P&Z Commission is now complete with Albritton and Conner joining Rey Osorio, Brian Baraniak and Curtis Sanders.
As for the CVB, Goolsby’s appointment still leaves the board with one member shy. Goolsby joins Chairman Keith Page as well as fellow members Kenny Patel, Brandy Williams and Jody McIntyre. Goolsby and his wife Georgia own Beef ‘O’ Brady’s.
Mayor Davis said he endorses Goolsby’s appointment, saying he is very active in the community and is a big supporter of youth athletics.
"I gladly accepted the appointment because I see this as another outlet to give back to this community," Goolsby said. "In working to bring people to Richmond Hill, it could potentially bring more business to our restaurant as well."
Goolsby is the only restaurant representative on the board since the recent resignation of Steamer’s owner Danny Butler.
In other business:
- Police Chief Billy Reynolds announced a shift in his roster. After 15 years of service, head of patrol Major Gary Lee is retiring in April. Capt. Mike Albritton, current head of the Criminal Investigations Division is being promoted to Lee’s spot. Current Georgia Bureau of Investigations Agent John Barry will join the force to head up the CID. CID will see another change as detective Dana Strickland is transitioning to patrol while K-9 officer Doug Sahlberg moves into CID.
- An upcoming commercial complex adjacent to Hobart, entitled 17 South Retail Center and being developed by Lloyd Murray and Jim Singleton, was approved for clearing and grubbing only. P&Z Director Steve Scholar said he anticipates the duo to come back with a master plan in the near future. A local doctor has already signed on to inhabit one of the retail spaces, and Murray said he has several other business that have expressed interested. Murray also said he anticipates a ground breaking by sometime next month.