Politics & Government

Political Notebook: Ceremony held for state agency focusing on criminal justice reform

Georgia’s newest state agency, the Georgia Department of Community Supervision, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

Born of recommendations from the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform, DCS represents the next phase in Gov. Nathan Deal’s ongoing criminal justice reform efforts, according to a news release.

The department will be the sole entity charged with the supervision of about 145,000 adult felony offenders and Class A and Class B designated juvenile offenders.

“The creation of the Department of Community Supervision represents another step forward in advancing our criminal justice reform efforts,” Deal said. “With the official opening of this department, Georgia will no longer supervise offenders by what they did but rather by where they live and the unique demands of their surroundings.

“As a result, we will provide a more efficient system of oversight and support for these families and neighborhoods. Today, we are taking that bold step forward as leaders by launching this new state agency so that Georgia can be safer, more prosperous and an even better place to call home.”

MACON-BIBB EXECUTIVE SECRETARY BIDS FAREWELL

Macon-Bibb County Mayor Robert Reichert said goodbye Friday to his executive secretary Nadine Simonds as she retired after a three-decade career in local government.

Since 1980, Simonds worked in several departments with the city of Macon before becoming executive secretary in December 2007.

“Nadine will be sorely missed; she has done wonderful work,” Reichert said this week.

Simonds is the wife of Gene Simonds, who retired June 30 as Macon-Bibb’s director of the Facilities Management Department.

“Her knowledge of how the government works, who to contact when a need arises in this office and how we interact with our partner agencies and other governments has been invaluable to us,” Macon-Bibb County spokesman Chris Floore said.

Simonds spent this week helping with the transition of new executive secretary Sharon Juhan. Juhan arrives from Ohio where she worked in a variety of jobs, including as a legislative assistant and policy project manager.

MOMENTS OF LEVITY

While the debate over the relocation of the Macon-Bibb County Senior Citizens Center became contentious at times during a July 28 commissioners meeting, there were a couple moments of humor.

One of the developers behind a project took on the job of passing a microphone to people in the crowd. Most of the comments came from seniors against his proposal.

When the microphone briefly disappeared, Mayor Robert Reichert joked that the developer might have eaten it.

The president of a local senior citizens organization also drew laughs while responding to a presentation that mentioned a basketball gymnasium several times.

“We have basketball at Adams Street (senior center),” Golden Group President Leroy Thomas Sr. said. “The ball has no air, and the goal is not used.”

Commissioners agreed at the work session to explore sites near Central City Park for relocation of the senior center. Seniors at the meeting said they prefer that area because it’s downtown near events and doctors.

Writer Stanley Dunlap compiled this report.

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