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Zeigler changes affiliation to independent

POSTED: April 29, 2010 9:22 p.m.

The chairman of the Effingham County Board of Commissioners was elected to office two years ago as a Republican.

But he’s registered now as an independent.

Dusty Zeigler said he is changing affiliation but he is not abandoning his principles.

“My ideals and my values will be with the Republican side of the table,” he said. “The switch is because of what is going on with the local Republican party and the leadership. I think they are sending a clouded and confusing message.”

Local attorney Mickey Kicklighter is currently the chairman of the Effingham Republicans, and he is representing Park West Effingham in two lawsuits against the county.

In the most recent filing, Park West is suing the county for $102,000, the amount it claims it has paid the county in impact fees for reuse water.

The county filed a motion to dismiss April 16. The first suit, filed August 2009, charges the county with violating the state’s development impact fee statute. Park West also filed suit against the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority.

The plaintiffs allege the county entered into a water-sewer service agreement that requires the developer pay a certain minimum number of impact fees per year and that requirement is in violation of the developmental impact fee act.

According to Kicklighter, the plaintiffs tried for six months prior to filing the first lawsuit to work with the county in a way to resolve the issue without litigation. The county told them the only reason that requirement was in there is because it was forced upon them by GEFA.

“It is a shame that I have to file lawsuits to get our county government to obey Georgia law,” Kicklighter said.

Zeigler expressed his concern over some in the party taking the county to task for its spending.

“And at the same, there are people suing the county and driving up the costs for the county,” he said.

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