Sunday, December 16, 2007

11/30 - Lanier Authority votes in Donohue

Date November 30, 2007
Section(s) Local News
The Brunswick News

It's official: Bill Donohue, executive director of the Jekyll Island Authority, has a new job and a new title.

The board of the Lake Lanier Islands Development Authority voted to accept a recommendation of Gov. Sonny Perdue and named Donohue head of the north Georgia authority.

The vote was unanimous, said Eric Garvey, marketing director for the Jekyll Island Authority.

All members of the Jekyll Island and Lake Lanier Islands authorities are appointed by the governor.

Donohue, who has served as the Jekyll Island Authority's executive director since September 1997, will officially assume his new position Jan. 1, 2008.

Donohue will replace Kevin Clark, named interim state property officer. Clark will lead the Georgia Building Authority and State Properties Commission.

When announcing the appointment Nov. 20, Perdue said Donohue had a wealth of experience that included a stint as executive director of the North Georgia Mountains Authority.

Donohue will be packing his bags at a time when Jekyll Island is at the threshold of a $441 million redevelopment that includes new hotels, a new shopping district and new conference center.

His new job may be just as challenging, though. He will be taking over at a time when Lake Lanier is at its lowest level, due to the protracted drought in north Georgia, dropping as much as 16 feet since May.

Created in 1962 by the state General Assembly, the Lake Islands Development Authority manages Lake Lanier and oversees its development. In addition to the lake itself, recreational features include a water park, the state's largest wave pool, a resort hotel, camping and an 18-hole golf course.

Marshall Guest, deputy press secretary for Perdue, said during the initial announcement that there was no set timetable for replacing Donohue.

Michael Hodges, a member of the board of the Jekyll Island Authority, says the plan to rejuvenate Jekyll will continue as planned.

"I believe redevelopment plans for Jekyll Island, which are in the formative stages, will continue unimpeded through the combined efforts and commitment of the fine staff, which Bill assembled, as well as the board of the Jekyll Island Authority," Hodges said in a statement Sept. 20.

Donohue is also chairman of United Way's fundraising campaign. He could not be reached for comment.

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