Anyone who showed up early to the Houston County Commission meeting Feb. 17 would have found the room filled with some of the county’s most prominent residents.
Those included the likes of former Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue, retired longtime state representative Larry Walker and others.
They were there to pay tribute to Mike Long, who retired last year after serving as county attorney for 36 years.
In keeping with Long’s no-frills style, his ceremony was a simple affair that consisted of various people standing up and saying a few words about him, with refreshments served afterward. One of the speakers was Ned Sanders, who served as chairman of the County Commission. Shortly after Sanders was elected for the first time, he had his first meeting with Long.
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“I was wondering, how do I deal with a county attorney?” Sanders recalled. “I had never really dealt with an attorney on a day-to-day basis like that. When Mike left, I had a warm spot in my heart that I could trust Mike Long and that whatever advice he gave me, I needed to follow it.”
Long was the final speaker, and said he has appreciated the relationship he has had with the commissioners over the years.
“I can truly say there are very few commissioners I worked with that didn’t do a good job, that didn’t have the best interest of the county at heart,” he said. “You didn’t see a lot of bickering going on.”
To contact writer Wayne Crenshaw, call 256-9725.