The newest Effingham County commissioners won’t take their seats for another two weeks. But they’re eager to get going.
Wendall Kessler, the incoming chairman, and incoming District 1 commissioner Forrest Floyd took their oaths of office Thursday afternoon in the Historic Effingham Courthouse, after each won election to their respective posts in November. Both Kessler and Floyd have been to elected officials training at the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.
Kessler also will be participating in Leadership Southeast Georgia to prepare himself for his new role.
"You want to try to gather the best information make the best factual decisions you can," he said.
Kessler also has met with the Effingham Industrial Development Authority and came away enlightened by what he learned.
"We’ve been meeting with the IDA and other people and getting up to speed," he said.
Kessler defeated Franklin Goldwire in the November general election, and he succeeds Dusty Zeigler, the county’s first at-large elected chairman. Zeigler opted not to run for re-election.
Like Kessler, Floyd won a contested race for the Republican nomination, and he beat Democratic incumbent Bob Brantley in the general election.
"I’m a little bit nervous," Floyd said, "but I’m looking forward to it. I think it is going to work out well. It’s been an overwhelming experience, but I’m lookingforward to the challenge."
Floyd also said the training he has received so far has been beneficial, and he and Kessler have gotten along well. He hopes that translates to the commissioners’ work.
"I think Wendall and I clicked together well," he said. "I think we’ll be able to work well together and hopefully bring to the commission that teamwork spirit."
Kessler is preparing himself for the possibility of criticism.
"Somebody was telling me that I was being sworn in today so that I could be officially sworn out," he said. "Everything you do, I’m pretty aware of the fact that you’re going to make 50 percent of the people happy and 50 percent unhappy."