Water authority members sworn in, honored
by Sarah Fay Campbell
A new member took the oath of office to begin a term on the Coweta County Water and Sewerage Authority Wednesday, and an outgoing member was honored for her service.
Mary Ann Sullivan is leaving the board after seven years. Laurie Bartlett was appointed to succeed her.
Bartlett was sworn in by Authority Attorney Melissa Griffis.
Sullivan was one of the three members appointed when Coweta County spun off the county water system into an independently operating entity. Chairman Neal Shepard was also an original authority member, as was Bud Butcher, whose term expired in 2011.
When they first joined the authority, then General Manager Ellis Cadenhead “said there is going to be some heavy lifting,” said Shepard. There were times authority members spent days in mediation, working on the contract with Griffin and meeting with attorneys. There was also the lawsuit filed over faulty polybutylene pipe.
“Our first few years were very difficult,” Shepard said. “It was real challenging, but it was a lot of fun.”
“I appreciate everything you’ve done for the organization,” he said to Sullivan. “It’s been a true pleasure.”
“It has been more pleasure than stress and distress,” Sullivan said. “We’ve gathered together a good group of employees, and I don't think there is any group that can succeed” without good employees.
Shepard said that, when he was talking to representatives from the Niagara water bottling plant that is locating in Coweta, “four or five people told me they have never dealt with an organization that was as responsive as the authority’s employees.”
During the meeting, Shepard made some comments to help bring Bartlett up to speed, and recommended that she take a tour of all the authority's facilities.
The authority’s next meeting is scheduled for July 9 at 9 a.m. in the board room at the authority’s headquarters on Corinth Road. The budget is set to be approved at that meeting.