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Keep Oconee County Beautiful Director Resigns, Replacement Candidate Found In-house

At a meeting on Mar. 1, Oconee County Commissioners will vote on the recommendation of Angela Helwig to replace Esther Porter.

There are leadership changes in the works for the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Committion.

Esther Porter, executive director of the Keep Oconee County Beautiful Commission, tendered a letter of resignation that was brought up at the Oconee County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night.

Porter has held the position since Nov. 2009 and will be succeeded by the organization's chairwoman Angela Helwig if officially approved by the commissioners next week.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to take on this position,” Helwig said at the meeting.

Porter announced she would officially resign as soon as the board named her replacement, Helwig said in an interview Wednesday.

Helwig has worked for the county as an administrative secretary for 11 years and said she doesn't mind stepping into the unpaid position, which formerly came with a salary during the administration of Porter's predecessor, John McNally.

“I am willing to do it without compensation,” Helwig said. “I do think that probably a lot more could be done if it was a full-time position but, again, I am passionate about it and willing to do it as it is.”

The local commission, which is an affiliate of the non-profit national organization Keep America Beautiful, Inc., is aimed at increasing citizens' knowledge of environmental stewardship through outreach projects in the community.

With twelve commission positions appointed by the, along with additional auxiliary members, the organization hosts events such as recycling phone books, curbing cigarette butt littering and chipping Christmas trees to provide free mulch to citizens. On April 30, the group will head up a Countywide Cleanup Day as part of the Great American Cleanup.

Helwig joined the organization as one of the appointed KOCB commissioners in 2003 and remained in the position until 2006 when she became an auxiliary member. Last July, she was reappointed onto the commission.

“I just believe very much in what they do,” she said. “I thought it would be a good fit for me to take on the responsibility.”

Melissa Steele February 24, 2011 at 02:48 PM
Thanks to Ester for all her hard work over the years, and thanks to Angela and all the other KOCBC members for their dedication and service. Roadside litter in Oconee, as well as all over the world, is a major problem that few address, so commissions like this one are of monumental importance! I encourage all Oconee citizens to take part in Adopt-A-Mile programs for your neighborhood, or better yet, establish one if none exists! I will be writing an article about this public service very soon. Please join me and my friends within "Rose Creek Stewardship" in Adopting A Mile! Contact Angela Helwig for more details and an application.

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