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Swales mum on decision to leave CVB


Kristin Mamrack



The Lowndes County Board of Supervisors likely will vote Tuesday to accept the resignation of George Swales from the Columbus-Lowndes Convention and Visitors' Bureau. 


Swales, who served for six years on the CVB board and was chairman of the board until he was succeeded July 16 by board member DeWitt Hicks, resigned from the board this week. 


He confirmed his resignation, but declined to comment Thursday. 


"George's wisdom will certainly be missed," said CVB Executive Director Nancy Carpenter. "He has been a great asset to our board, both as a chairman and as a board member for other members. He has been a great friend to me and to tourism.  


"He is an individual who really has spent his life in public service," she added, noting Swales is a retired U.S. Navy commander. "And the state will really miss him. It would really benefit the state of Mississippi if we had more George Swales. He has contributed more than he has ever taken, because he's such a giver." 


"George is a very capable public servant," said Lowndes County Board of Supervisors Board President and District 1 Supervisor Harry Sanders. "He did a wonderful job and he volunteered to do a job that's really tough. I really appreciate what he did over the last six years and I hate to see him leave, but I understand, with all the turmoil that's been going on with that board, he'd rather just go home to the peace and quiet." 


The county will advertise the vacancy on the CVB board and take applications to fill the position until Aug. 15. The supervisors will consider the applicants and are expected to appoint a replacement to the CVB board during their Aug. 30 board meeting. 


The position is an at-large appointment, so "anyone is eligible" to apply, said Sanders, noting Swales "said he would be more than happy to stay on (the board), until we got a replacement, as long as it didn't go very long." 


Swales, along with CVB board member Rissa Lawrence, was an at-large appointment of the county. 


CVB board members Bart Wise and Mark Castleberry also were appointed by the Board of Supervisors. 


CVB board members Bernard Burkhalter, Whirllie Byrd and Nadia Dale were appointed by the Columbus City Council. 


CVB board member Harvey Myrick was a joint appointment between Sanders and Columbus Mayor Robert Smith.




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