COVINGTON, Ga. — The community formally said goodbye to Nancy Schulz Tuesday, Dec. 1, before she took her seat for her last scheduled Newton County Board of Commissioners session before she leaves office.
Business and political leaders and her former and current commission colleagues honored Schulz for her work during a reception before the meeting.
Schulz lost a re-election bid to a fourth term in her District 3 seat to Alana Sanders in the June Democratic primary and is to leave office Dec. 31.
Speakers praised her for closely monitoring county fiscal matters and helping champion zoning changes that helped increase property values in her rapidly developing northwestern Newton County district.
Sheriff Ezell Brown recalled he worked hard to convince voters to elect Schulz to her first term in 2008.
He said he knew he had to be prepared for “a Nancy Schulz question” about his office’s funding requests because she was so meticulous in seeking answers.
“I always prepared for that,” he said.
Serra Hall, vice president of project development for the Newton County Industrial Development Authority, became emotional as she recalled working with someone she said was a leader who could show compassion.
Chairman Marcello Banes laughingly recalled that his wife and mother thought so much of Schulz that they strongly urged him to apologize to her after some harsh words during a meeting.
County Manager Lloyd Kerr joked that her tendency toward fiscal conservatism ran counter to the traditional image many have of the political party she represented.
“This is a Democrat, right?” he said to laughter.
Kerr said he hoped she would remain involved in public affairs in Newton County. He said her work on a county strategic plan completed in recent years “did a lot” to improve the quality of life in the county.
Former two-term commissioner Lanier Sims said Schulz was able to stay in office long enough to see “the fruits of her labor.”
He said her work to strengthen zoning laws for new residential developments helped increase the quality of construction and increase home values by an average of 50%.
Commissioner Demond Mason, who succeeded Sims in the District 2 seat, said he knew before every meeting that because of her hard work, “Nancy is always going to know her stuff.”
Other speakers included Covington/Newton County Chamber of Commerce President Debbie Harper, former county chairman Kathy Morgan and commissioners Ronnie Cowan and Stan Edwards.
Schulz said she made it a priority to get to know her constituents’ wants and needs soon after her election in 2008.
She urged her colleagues and community leaders to continue to work to improve the quality of life for Newton County residents.
“Keep that momentum going,” she said.