THOMASVILLE -- Long-time Thomas County Commission Chairman Josh Herring was elected to his sixth chairmanship Tuesday.

Herring chaired the board in 1999 and 2001-2004. He was unanimously elected to head the panel in 2005.

Commissioner I.L. Mullins was re-elected vice chairman with no opposition.

Herring, a Boston farmer and cotton gin owner, is beginning his 15th year on the commission.

He said his priorities this year include the urban service district agreed upon by Thomas County and Thomasville governments. The area will allow the expansion of city services to accommodate growth in unincorporated areas governed by county government.

Also, Herring wants to expedite paving of roads using Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST) money earmarked for the work.

The need for county office space is crucial, Herring said, in reference to a proposed plan to build a new courthouse and restore/renovate the historic courthouse.

"We've got to do something with some room somewhere," he said. "Security is a real issue."

Commissioners named Bruce Warren county attorney for 2005, Twink Monahan was named county clerk, and Donnie Baggett is the 2005 safety coordinator.

Senior reporter Patti Dozier can be reached at (229) 226-2400, ext. 220.

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