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Utility board members react to resignation
If Glynn County Commissioner Bob Coleman wants to quit the water-sewer commission, then so be it.

That was the sentiment of fellow county commissioners and utility board chairman Clyde Taylor on Wednesday after learning about Coleman's resignation from the Brunswick and Glynn County Joint Water and Sewer Commission, effective Nov. 1.

"I think it's disappointing and it's childish," Taylor said. "You don't just quit because you don't win every vote."

Coleman announced his resignation Tuesday after being on the losing end of last week's 4-1 vote to build a new administrative facility at a property on Gloucester Street. He wanted to table the vote until January, when the board will undergo a major change in configuration and membership.

Currently, the board is made up of two county commissioners, two city commissioners and one citizen.

But voters approved a referendum in July changing the board's representation. After Jan. 1, the board will have one county commissioner, one city commissioner, three citizens appointed by the Glynn County Grand Jury and two citizens who will be elected Nov. 6.

Taylor said waiting until January would just delay the inevitable.

The new board would reach the same conclusion, which is to build the new administrative building at the site of the old Days Inn, he said.

He said the commission has already invested $800,000 in the purchase of the property and demolition of the building.

"(Coleman) is way off base in his criticisms," Taylor said. "The new board will find out there is no other property suitable."

If Coleman didn't like how the utility board was handling the issue, he had other options, Taylor said.

"You stay and try to make an impact," he said.

Taylor anticipates the board will leave the seat vacant, and the county commission will wait until January to appoint a new member.

In his letter of resignation, addressed to Taylor, Coleman wrote: "I can neither rely upon the performance of the staff nor can I rely on the outside legal counsel for competent advice regarding the business activities and transactions of the JWSC. Worse, I have lost confidence in the other board members in either their understanding of this sacred trust or their ability to observe a minimum standard of care."

Fellow JWSC commissioner and citizen representative Tony Sammons said Coleman's remarks about the utility staff upset him the most.

"I don't know what made him say those things about our staff," Sammons said. "We've improved our services and reduced costs, saving nearly $1.4 million."

But if Coleman cannot be constructive on the board, it's time for him to go, Sammons added.

"I'm surprised he wanted to pull out with only two more months left," Sammons said. "But if he felt like he couldn't contribute, I guess it's his time."

Coleman's decision to step down doesn't help the utility board move forward, Taylor said.

"It makes you wonder why you expect anyone to sit on this board," he said.

City Commissioners Cornell Harvey and James Brooks, who also serve on the utility board, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

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