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Commissioners vote not to rename annex

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During the Aug. 3 Board of Commissioners meeting, County Manager Carlos Tobar gave an update on the potential renaming of the government annex. Many supporters were present to share their disappointment with the decision made by the board.

After hearing from community members, Tobar presented a report that shared that all three candidates were considered. However, none of the names received the support needed for renaming.

“All three candidates met the criteria. One individual received three nominations,” shared Tobar during his report.

In an earlier meeting, Tobar explained that at least one of the names had to receive support from three commissioners before moving on to a final vote.

Citizens who supported naming the government complex after late county commissioner Oscar Davis Sr. spoke on their disappointment after the announcement.

Clarence Hall believes that even the other two candidates would agree that Davis was the correct answer.

“If Mr. Kidd or Mr. Ussery were here tonight, they would tell you to do the right thing,” he said.

NAACP President Cynthia Ward-Edwards shared that, based on the guidelines established by the Board of Commissioners, naming the building after Davis would have been the only suitable answer.

“8-10-2 guidelines state that buildings or properties can be named or renamed after persons that have specific significant contributions to the wellbeing and betterment of Baldwin County, Georgia. Nobody else than Oscar Davis Sr. meets the requirement,” she said.

During the discussion, Edwards questioned how the votes were tallied. Tobar shared that two commissioners affirmed support for renaming the building after Davis. The other three commissioners voted to keep the building name the same.

The Milledgeville Chapter of the NAACP nominated Davis along with other members of the community. Edwards shared her frustration with the decision.

“Everything that you guys have asked us to do we has done, decent and in order,” she said.

In March, the NAACP held a presentation to share that they would like the building named after Davis. Along with the presentation, they also produced a petition with over 300 signatures and numerous letters of support.

Voting was anonymous, and how commissioners voted was not shared during the meeting. District 3 Commissioner Sammy Hall shared that he voted for the building name to remain the same and his reasoning.

“This building, as well as other county-owned buildings, belong to and represent all citizens of Baldwin County. After all, they did pay for it,” he said. “Therefore, it is not a black and white issue, and I don’t support naming the annex after anyone.”

The next Board of Commissioners meeting will be on Aug. 17 at 6 p.m.