The mayor and commission makes up the legislative branch of our local government. They craft and pass local ordinances and set the ACC government’s yearly budget. You can view individual commissioners and their voting records below:
1 – Commissioner Patrick Davenport
2 – Commissioner Melissa Link
3 – Commissioner Tiffany Taylor
4 – Commissioner Allison Wright
5 – Commissioner Dexter Fisher
6 – Commissioner Jesse Houle
7 – Commissioner John Culpepper
8 – Commissioner Carol Myers
9 – Commissioner Ovita Thornton
10 – Commissioner Mike Hamby
Copy / Paste to email the entire mayor and commission:
Athens-Clarke County is run by the ACC Manager, a position currently held by Blaine Williams. This is 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 in accordance with the law. The manager is responsible for hiring and firing high-level staff, such as the assistant managers and department heads.
There are two assistant managers in the ACC government. Josh Edwards and Niki Jones. Each assistant manager oversees roughly half of the departments in the local government.
Our jail and courthouse are overseen by the Sheriff, a position currently held by John Q Williams.
The judicial branch includes judges, the courts, defenders and prosecutors. The top prosecutors in Athens are District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez, whose office handles all felony cases, and Solicitor General Will Fleanor, whose office handles all misdemenor cases.
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.
Magistrate Court handles bond hearings, evictions, civil claims and abandoned vehicles. Ben Makin is currently the Chief Magistrate of Athens, he was originally appointed as a magistrate judge in 2012 and was appointed to Chief Magistrate in 2022.
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 Schaffer.
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.