Athens businessman wins spot on GDOT Board

By Walter C. Jones
Morris News Service
ATLANTA – An Athens real-estate appraiser is the new representative on the State Transportation Board for the 10th congressional district, upsetting board member and retired veteran legislator Bobby Parham.
Parham had served in the Georgia House from 1975 until 2009.
Jamie Boswell won a five-year term in secret-ballot voting Wednesday by legislators who represent parts of the district. When sworn in at the April meeting, he will be one of five newcomers to the 14-member board and one of the few board members who never served in the General Assembly.
Boswell says he’s isn’t aligned with any philosophy, such as those who favor mass transit over roads or vice versa. Instead, he’s keeping an open mind and relying on his background in commercial real-estate appraising, including 25 years on transportation projects.
“Being in the real-estate business, I understand how transportation affects property values,” he said, noting that problems like a malfunctioning traffic signal have an economic impact beyond tying up cars.
Local legislators say they’re pleased he won.
“It could be good for Athens to have somebody local serving on that board who knows the people and the legislators in the area,” said Sen. Bill Cowsert, R-Athens.
Rep. Regina Quick, R-Athens, said, “I feel like he understands the issues.”
For instance, he’s traveled along Georgia Highway 316 to get to the Department of Transportation in downtown Atlanta and has a firsthand appreciation for the importance in removing traffic lights that add to the traffic delays there. He has avoided the road himself for the last five years.
He’ll brings his background as president of The Boswell Group, which includes property appraisal and insurance sales. He also a former member of the Athens City Council, active with the Athens Area Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of the University of Georgia.
“I personally know Jamie Boswell, and his expertise … not only with real estate but in business in terms of helping people who are trying to develop real estate, means he understands the issues from the business side of what the Department of Transportation does,” Quick said.
Also Wednesday, legislators elected one of their former colleagues, ex-Rep. Roger Williams of Dalton, to the open seat from the 14th District and re-elected Emily Dunn in the 9th. Neither was opposed.


More Local

Suspect in Union City killing arrested

The man suspected of killing a Newnan woman in Union City in early April was arrested by authorities in Atlanta late Monday. Irwin Clint Dre ... Read More


Public safety officials converge for Mantracker

Public safety personnel and law enforcement officers from all over Georgia are crowding to Coweta County this week for the 2014 Mantracker P ... Read More


College, career readiness

Coweta schools score higher than state

The Georgia Department of Education released the results of the College and Career Readiness Performance Index earlier this week, and school ... Read More


Suspected robbers extradited to Columbia County

The two suspected armed robbers arrested in Newnan last week were extradited to Columbia County on Monday to face numerous charges. On Monda ... Read More


Community Responds to shootings

Easter event first of several planned

Wet weather nixed the egg hunt at Central Educational Center on Saturday, but the atmosphere at the Community Easter Fest was one of buoyant ... Read More

2 arrested for sale of marijuana

Two people were charged with selling marijuana last week following undercover investigations by the Newnan Police Department, including one ... Read More