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BOC appoints new P.R. director
BOC: $16,000 raise tabled
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The Board of Commissioners approved the appointment of Tonya Parker as Rockdale County’s new Director of Public Affairs.

Parker was one of two finalists, along with Alicia Cardwell-Brown, that were named on Dec. 28. She previously served as Community Relations and Public Affairs Director for Further Development, LLC.

Parker said she plans on representing the community’s needs, and not only communicating with it but also listening to what it says.

“I will make sure to do this position justice on behalf of the all Rockdale citizens,” Parker said. “There are many positives in the county to build on, and I plan to hit the ground running.”

Oden, Van Ness and Nesbitt had the opportunity to meet with Parker before they made their decisions, and all said they found her personable and the right person for the job.

“One thing that really struck home to me is Ms. Parker really has approachability,” Nesbitt said. “It’s important that when a person is in a P.R. role that they are the type of people that can work internal and external, meaning with the government and its employees and with the community.”

Van Ness added that the Oregon graduate, who has freelanced for the News, could use her experience in newspapers to help while with the county.

“I really enjoyed talking about the future of Rockdale County with her,” Van Ness said. “I’m sure the local media will love the fact that you had experience with newspapers. I appreciate you opening doors for communication.”


$16,000 raise tabled

The Rockdale County Board of Commissioners voted to take a controversial raise for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program coordinator off the agenda during a voting session on Tuesday.

The $16,000 pay increase for Tanesha Lanier was tabled at the meeting by a vote from Commissioner Oz Nesbitt and a second from Commissioner JaNice Van Ness.

Following the vote, Van Ness said she was pleased with the decision.

"I would like to commend my fellow commissioners for deleting the vendor contract for NSP this morning," she said. "I think that really helps to boost morale in the community.

"I've heard from a lot of employees who were unfortunately concerned about coning to speak this morning because of job security. I commend you for thinking of them and deleting that item from the agenda."

The raise would have brought NSP coordinator Tanesha Lanier's annual contract for 2011 from $52,000 to $68,000.

Lanier was initially hired at the beginning of 2010 at a rate of about $41,600 a year. If the raise had been approved, her salary would have increased 65 percent from 2010 to 2011. Her salary is funded by federal NSP funds.

Rockdale has been awarded about $4.7 million total through several allocations of NSP funding since 2009 to purchase, fix up, and resell foreclosed homes in neighborhoods to occupants and to provide assistance to homebuyers.