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Troup County’s Accountability Courts Coordinator honored

Troup County has named its latest Strongest Link Award recipient.

Denise Smith, Troup County accountability courts coordinator, received the award Thursday morning during the Troup County Board of Commissioners’ work session.

The county began giving out the award in August to recognize that all county employees are linked together to form a chain.

“That chain provides the residents of Troup County with excellent service, and that service is only as strong as its weakest link in the chain,” said Wesleigh Whittle, administrative assistant for the county’s human resources department. “Therefore, all employees should strive to be the strongest link in the chain.”

Whittle said there were seven nominations in January, and Smith had been nominated several times in the past.

“She is always looking for ways to improve her program and is open to constructive criticism, which demonstrates maturity and professionalism,” Smith’s nomination form said. “She is a team player and is never found to be engaging in disruptive office behavior such as gossip or complaining. She is always positive and focused on her work. You will never see her without a smile on her face.”

Also, during the work session Thursday, Troup County Solicitor Sandra Taylor asked the county board to lift the hiring freeze to employ a legal secretary.

“We need to post it as soon as possible,” she said.

The Troup County Solicitor’s Office is responsible for prosecuting all misdemeanors, traffic offenses and ordinance violations in the State Court of Troup County.

Taylor said the office files about 1,800 accusations a year, and many of those have multiple counts. Additionally, the office handles about 1,000 to 1,500 traffic citations each year. Taylor noted her office also needs to hire a beginning attorney position.

Troup County Elections Manager Andrew Harper also requested to promote two part-time employees to full-time due to the increase of registered voters in the county.

“When I took over in that office in 2014, we had 34,460 registered voters, and now we have increased to 43,324 as of Jan. 14, and it’s steadily increasing,” Harper said. “So, that’s almost 9,000 more registered voters.”

The impact to the county budget will be an increase of $38,364.

Harper said a new voting system has caused the county to set up several demonstrations, plus internal learning and more paperwork.

“This will be going on with the new system for a while,” he said. “And I don’t see us letting up anytime soon in the next couple of years.”

The board of commissioners will meet again at 9 a.m. on Feb. 4.