Local Government

Commissioner Emails
Executive Branch
Judicial branch


The mayor and commission is the legislative branch of our local government. You can view individual commissioners and their voting records below:

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 Jesse Houle
7 – Commissioner Russell Edwards
8 – Commissioner Carol Myers
9 – Commissioner Ovita Thornton
10 – Commissioner Mike Hamby

Copy / Paste to email the entire mayor and commission:


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.

Sheriff John Q Williams
Sheriff John Q Williams

There are two assistant managers in the ACC government. Josh Edwards and Niki Jones. Each assistant manager oversees roughly half the departments of the local government.

Our jail and courthouse are overseen by the Sheriff, a position currently held by John Q Williams.


Deborah Gonzalez
District Attorney Deborah Gonzalez

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 CR Chisholm, 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. 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 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.