Shannon Whitfield 'leaning toward' shifting from single commissioner to five-person board

Republican Walker County commissioner candidate Shannon Whitfield, center, applauds with supporters as favorable results arrive at an election return party at the Bank of Lafayette's community room on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016, in Lafayette, Ga.
photo Shannon Whitfield

Walker County's next commissioner believes the best form of local government sits next door.

Shannon Whitfield, who will take office Jan. 1, said last week he is "leaning toward" shifting from a single commissioner to a five-person board, with one elected official working full-time to manage day-to-day business. The other four would earn part-time salaries, working only during commission meetings.

Whitfield's inspiration? Dade County, where this style of representation resides.

He believes this structure - a "four plus one" government - would be the easiest way to transition from the county's current setup: a sole commissioner who makes every decision, without a vote.

"That's the easiest [type of government] to transition to from a sole commissioner," Whitfield said of the Dade County model.