Local Government

Athens, Georgia unified with Clarke County on January 14, 1991.

Legislative branch
–Commissioner Emails
Executive Branch
Judicial branch

Legislative

The legislative branch of our unified local government is composed of 10 commissioners and the mayor.

Athens-Clarke County commission district map.
Click here to find out which district you’re in.

Mayor Kelly Girtz

1 – Commissioner Patrick Davenport
2 – Commissioner Mariah Parker
3 – Commissioner Melissa Link
4 – Commissioner Allison Wright
5 – Commissioner Tim Denson
6 – Commissioner Jerry NeSmith
7 – Commissioner Russell Edwards
8 – Commissioner Andy Herod
9 – Commissioner Ovita Thornton
10 – Commissioner Mike Hamby

What’s the commission up to these days?

The Athens-Clarke County Mayor and CommissionCopy / Paste to email the entire mayor and commission:
kelly.girtz@accgov.com
patrick.davenport@accgov.com
mariah.parker@accgov.com
melissa.link@accgov.com
allison.wright@accgov.com
tim.denson@accgov.com
jerry.nesmith@accgov.com
russell.edwards@accgov.com
andy.herod@accgov.com
ovita.thornton@accgov.com
mike.hamby@accgov.com

Executive

Manager Blaine Williams
Blaine Williams, Manager of Athens-Clarke County

Athens-Clarke County is run day-to-day by Manager Blaine Williams, the highest executive position in our local government. The manager is appointed by the mayor and commission, and must follow their directives, but is otherwise free to run the local government as he sees fit. The manager is responsible for hiring and firing staff, such as the assistant managers and department heads.

There are two assistant managers in the ACC government. These positions are currently held by Deborah Lonon and Josh Edwards. Each assistant manager oversees roughly half the departments of the local government.

Judicial

The judicial branch includes judges, the courts, defenders and prosecutors. We have several courts in Athens, each responsible for different types of cases:

Municipal Court handles traffic offenses and other misdemeanors like shoplifting and underage possession of alcohol. Judge Ryan Hope oversees the municipal court in Athens, he was appointed by the mayor.

Magistrate Court handles bond hearings, evictions, civil claims and abandoned vehicles. Patricia Barron is currently the Chief Magistrate of Athens, she was elected by the people and serves four year terms before coming up for re-election.

Probate Court seems to be a catch-all for anything left over, such as marriage licenses, weapons carry licenses and guardianships of minors. It is run by Judge Susan Tate.

Superior Court is an entrance to the state judicial system and handles state felonies, There are four judges serving on Superior Court, each are elected.

State Court is another way to enter the state system, and it handles misdemeanors.

How is our judicial system structured on a national, state and local level? Watch the video above for an introduction to the judicial branch of government.