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Mecum wins commission chairman seat
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We The People: Follow the links for county-by-county and statewide election results

Hall County Board of Commissioners
Chairman, Republican

Dick Mecum 69.33%
Tom Oliver (I) 30.67%

What’s next: Mecum wins the GOP nomination and faces no Democratic foe in November.

Former Hall County Sheriff Dick Mecum soundly beat incumbent Tom Oliver in Tuesday night’s Republican primary runoff for chairman of the Hall County Board of Commissioners.

"I’m very, very grateful to the people who came out and voted and were able to see what we were talking about," Mecum said.

"The people of Hall County are wanting a more modern and professional style of government. They want something more transparent and representative of what their needs are ... so we’re truly happy the way things turned out."

Oliver congratulated Mecum on a "great job" in his campaign.

"I feel very fortunate having served two terms as chairman," he said. "I have about 3« months to go (in the term) and I’m excited about it. There are a few things I’d like to get done.

"I have no regrets. It was a good campaign."

Mecum, who captured 69 percent of the vote to Oliver’s 31 percent, won’t face Democratic opposition in the Nov. 6 general election.

The chairman post, which carries a four-year term and an approximate $33,000 in pay, is elected by the county at-large. The key responsibility is to run commission meetings and work sessions, as well as vote on matters before the board.

Mecum’s term will begin Jan. 1. Oliver’s third term ends on Dec. 31.

Mecum said he’s ready to roll up his sleeves and go to work.

He has said that, if elected, he would like to see Hall go to a county manager style of government from a county administrator one.

"It changes the way things are done in the county, from the standpoint of it begins to remove the county commissioners from the old style of government, of when the county commissioners are micromanaging the operations of the county," he said in an earlier interview.

In that new style, the commission would serve more as "overseers" in government, Mecum said.

In the coming months, Mecum said he plans to set those changes, which need to be approved legislatively, in motion.

"I’ll be working with the current county commissioners and with the county attorney to see if we can get that set up," he said. "I’ve pretty well written the legislation already. I just need the county attorney (Bill Blalock) to take a look at it and give me some thoughts."

Mecum, who was sheriff from 1981-1992 and later served as a U.S. marshal, said he was inspired to run for office largely based on years of seeing Hall stalling out when it came to economic progress, especially as growth crept northward from metro Atlanta.

"Hall County has everything going for it, but it has not prepared itself to take advantage of the current situation, which I think is sad," he has said.

Oliver said he was seeking a new term to finish work that’s in progress, such as putting sewer up Ga. 365 in northeast Hall and seeing permitting completed for the 850-acre Glades Reservoir.

He said his plans now turn to family and business.

"I have plenty of opportunities, and I look forward to them," he said.

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