Later this week, Cindy Jones Mills will take a seat in the Forsyth County commissioners’ meeting room, facing the audience instead of watching with it.
The newest commissioner has spent the months since her election to the District 4 post in August learning and getting ready to begin her four-year term.
“[I’m prepared] as much as you can be ahead of time,” she said. “I look forward to working with the men that are on the board. I think they all have much more experience than me, and I think they have all been very helpful in mentoring.”
Mills unseated incumbent Commissioner Patrick Bell in the Aug. 21 runoff for the Republican primary, which secured her the job since no Democrats or independent candidates ran in the November general election.
Probate Court Judge Lynwood “Woody” Jordan Jr. performed her swearing in ceremony last week before a large crowd of family, friends and residents.
Placing her hand upon her great-grandfather’s Bible bound with duct-tape, Mills took the oaths of loyalty and office.
“This Bible signifies so much of why I ran for commissioner,” she said. “Because of the heritage and the history of my family here in Forsyth County and for the way they loved the county and they loved the land.”
Mills said she wants to make her grandmother and other ancestors proud by doing what’s right for the county.
After the ceremony, Mills said she completed her commissioner training earlier in the month. She learned a lot during the four days of classes put on by the Association County Commissioners Georgia, and also had opportunities to network.
Since August, the commissioner-elect has spent time attending commission meetings, including closed sessions, and sitting down with the county staff.
“Ultimately, I want to meet with all the departments and just understand what it is they do and talk about how we might make it more efficient,” she said.
Efficiency is a top goal for Mills, whose priorities for the start of 2013 also include county operations, transitioning the sheriff’s office and reviewing the recent local passage of the energy excise tax for manufacturers.
She hopes to be a commissioner who can unite the other four members of the governing panel in a working relationship.
Overall, Mills said she’s anxious to get started.
“I’m excited to have the opportunity,” she said, “and I appreciate the support that got me here.”