Crawford County commission chair dies

ROBERTA, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – Election day is less than a week away and officials say times will be tough for residents in Crawford County. 

The Commission Chair, Dean Fripp, passed away this week from heart complications. 

In a moment of reflection, some called him a man who was one with nature.

“In my opinion he was born a 100 years too late,” County Manager Pat Kelly said. “He loves his horses, loved to ride horses.”

Kelly remembers the six year commissioner working hard for the people he served. 

“When he first became a commissioner he was very very committed to insuring that the tax payers in this county were not going to get an increase,” Kelly said. 

During that time, the county didn’t raise its millage rate. It’s something Fripp prided himself on achieving. 

“Once you got to know him, he’d break his back for you,” Kelly said. 

As election comes closer, Kelly is planning on another one being on the horizon. 

“There’s over two years left in Mr. Fripp’s term and we will be required to have a special election,” he said. 

Residents will vote on a new commissioner in November in District 5, and will have to do the same in March to replace Fripp. 

“The folks that come forward and want to be commissioners in this county have good hearts and want to do what’s right for the county. We don’t always agree but at the end of the day we can sit down and eat dinner together,” Kellly said.

He says in politics, changes come often, but no one can replace Dean Fripp. 

“He always said figure it out, and that’s what we did. He’ll be sorely missed,” Kelly said. 

Kelly adds no one will be appointed interim chairman. The county vice-chair, Paul Chapman, will continue his role until January 1st. 

Commissioners will vote for a new chair that month and operate with a four man board, instead of five, until the special election in March. 

Funeral arrangements for Dean Fripp have been set up. A ceremony is scheduled to be in Fripp’s parents’ hometown of Ellaville just outside of Americus. 

The funeral is scheduled for Friday, October 31st at 2:00 p.m. at Ebenezer Cemetery. 

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