Valdosta Daily Times

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January 13, 2010

Homerville Mayor Peg Blitch brings service home

HOMERVILLE — Peg Blitch is possibly one of the few people in Georgia to have served in all three branches of government.

She worked in the judiciary as a probate judge, in the legislature as a state representative and senator, and now, in the executive branch as Homerville’s new mayor.

Blitch defeated 18-year incumbent Carol Chambers in last November’s election with 59.1 percent of the vote. She hit the ground running. Immediately after Blitch and city council members Tom Kennedy and Jamayla Morehead were sworn in on Jan. 1, the council held a two-hour work session, according to The Clinch County News.

Among the subjects discussed during the work session were the city’s Better Hometown Program, certain issues involving properties outside the city limits being taxed as city properties, the closed Homerville State Prison, the Okefenokee Occasion coming up on Jan. 13, a $150,000 loan taken out by the city in 2007 to cover operating expenses, and the open police chief position.

Ever since she left the General Assembly, Blitch said people have called her periodically asking her to run for mayor. She said her main goals as mayor are to get the city’s finances in order and to make sure the Homerville City Council is responsive to the needs of Homerville’s citizens.

“Everybody is going through economic hard times right now,” she said, “but Homerville doesn’t need to be.”

She admitted that going from the General Assembly to mayor of a small town might look like a demotion to some people. Asked whether being Homerville’s mayor is a full-time job, Blitch said, “No, but it’s getting to be.”

Blitch said she plans to present a formula to allow the city council to take a more active role in decisions affecting the city. She plans to maximize their strengths and abilities by letting them serve in areas in which they have expertise and experience, she said.

The Homerville mayor is married to former Alapaha Circuit Judge Brooks E. Blitch, who served as a judge for 28 years in the Alapaha Judicial Circuit of Clinch, Lanier, Berrien, Cook and Atkinson counties. Her husband was sentenced to three years probation and fined $100,000 in federal court after pleading guilty to honest services wire fraud on Sept. 11, 2009. The ethics complaints were dropped in 2008 when Brooks Blitch resigned as judge.

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