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Newest officials make debut
Animal shelter likely first test
Amos Pete
Pete Amos - photo by Submitted

Commission meeting

• When: 5 p.m. Thursday

• Where: County Administration Building, 101 E. Main St., Suite 220

• Other agenda topics include:
 — A public hearing for Solutions Foundation, which seeks to change conditions to allow for a drug rehabilitation clinic on Hwy. 141.
 — Discussion of a compromise agreement between the county and Advanced Disposal.
 — Second public hearing and possible vote on amending county parks rules to repeal the prohibition of certain weapons. The measure would align with state laws, county officials have said.

— Alyssa LaRenzie

The Forsyth County commission will welcome two new faces at Thursday’s meeting.

Commissioner Pete Amos will take over the District 1 seat from Charles Laughinghouse, who opted not to seek a third term.

In the District 3 post, Commissioner Jim Harrell will be succeeded by Todd Levent, who won a primary election runoff between the two men.

Amos and Levent, who are both Republicans, said they are eager to get started.

“Being the two new boys on the block, we had to catch up,” Amos said.

They have tried to do so by attending commission meetings, both open and closed sessions, and meeting with various county department heads.

Both new commissioners identified a county-built animal shelter as an issue they will be confronting right away.

On Dec. 16, the commission approved a proposal to build a shelter.

Commissioner Patrick Bell, however, was quick to announce he would move to rescind the vote at Thursday’s meeting, when the two new commissioners came aboard.

Amos said the commission on Thursday will also face some zoning issues, which he’s had some background in dealing with during his time on the planning board.

Budgetary issues likely will be a concern throughout the year, Amos and Levent agreed.

“We’re also going to be looking how to streamline a little better if possible,” said Levent, who also plans to work toward rebuilding the county’s reserve fund.

Amos also mentioned Lanier Golf Course and Bethel Park, two matters over which the county is tied up in court.

“Those are the issues that are pressing, that need to be handled and taken care of,” he said.

No matter the topic, the incoming officials agreed that cooperation among commissioners is essential.

“We’ll get a lot more done that way,” Levent said.

Said Amos: “I’m looking forward to getting to working with the other guys and getting things done for the county.”

Both men also plan to keep the lines of communication open with their constituents.

“You try to keep the public as informed as possible, be very transparent, be as honest and sincere as you can and keep a smile on your face,” Levent said.