One of Clayton’s finest retires

Fire Chief, Chief of Staff, and longtime resident Alex Cohilas will retire on December 24 after 35 years of service to Clayton.

His accomplishments are too lengthy to name here, but include being the youngest person to ever be named Chief of the Fire Department at age 45, being named Director of Clayton County’s Emergency Management Agency, and most recently being appointed Chief of Staff by the Board of Commissioners.

I have had a few opportunities to speak with Chief Cohilas about various county issues over the years, and his love for Clayton was always plain. He always expressed his desire to see this county prosper, and had some great ideas for improving and moving us forward. Not only do I wish him well, but also hope that his successor makes some of those ideas reality.

Assuming there will be a successor, do you have any thoughts on who should be the next Chief of Staff?

The Clayton County Board of Commissioners has kicked off the holiday season with a toy drive for Clayton county’s underprivileged children ages 6 months–12 years old.

“The [BOC] along with city of Riverdale are pleased with the support they have received from the community,” says BOC PR Officer Jamie Carlington. “Organizations such as AmeriGroup, the Clayton County Board of Health, Southern Regional and Atlanta Gas & Light have really stepped up to assist with the Toy Drive. However, we still are in need of financial donations and new, unwrapped toys.”

Drop off locations are located throughout the county, including all Clayton County Fire stations, Parks and Recreations facilities, and the BOC office (112 Smith Street, Jonesboro). Thursday, December 16, 2010 is the deadline they can accept donations from the public.

44 comments Add your comment

I see stupid people

December 6th, 2010
4:34 pm

Which one of Clayton’s finest retired?

pip

December 6th, 2010
5:51 pm

Congratulations Chief — Long and distinguished service. Have a happy retirement.

Your time only marred by your associations of the past few years.

So are they gonna hire 3 guys to do all the jobs and power Cohilas was given — by the Starr influenced BOC. Guess you will just have to raise up another public servant for your bidding BOC.

Clayton resident

December 6th, 2010
7:37 pm

Congratulations to Chief Cohilas, he’ll be missed he did some good during those 35 years. Hopefully he’ll find another way to contribute in Clayton and not jump ship.

The Shadow

December 6th, 2010
7:52 pm

All that is-is not. Wade Starr will soon have a professional transition within Clayton County as the Board of Commissioners give. him the “okie dokie” to be Chief of Staff.

I am sure that part of Chief Cohilas’ departure will be his out-briefing of all the “investigations” with which he was tasked by the Board.

And how about those vile “criminal” allegations you personally made against Chief Turner? If they wer criminal, where are the criminal charges? It just shows you lost no sleep rail-roading him.

On your departure don’t be remiss in apologizing to your co-workers for your foul-mouth and ungentlemanly demeanor. Did you speak to your Mother or Grandmother like that?

Of course with Mr. Starr being selected as the new Chief of Staff, more people besides Lee Scott can pump gas into their privately owned vehicles from the county pumps. (oh, thats right, CCPD was told to take down the hidden gas pump camera while investigating).

And Clayton County Government Employee’s can expect further political intrusion into their county email and internet habits. After all, each employee is being surveilled and even most recently terminated for reading anti-Starr opinions. (County Employee’s: be warned, every keystroke you make is be monitored ALL THE TIME for political purposes).

So goodbye Mr. Cohilas. Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

Congratulations on your new position Mr. Starr. You have further free reign to pillage the county along with your three cohorts on the Board.

The Fact Of The Matter

December 6th, 2010
10:34 pm

Chief Of Staff Alex Cohilas was indeed in my opinion a great chief of staff for Clayton County and because the Chairman of this county was and is an absentee, ineffective, sorry, incompetent, trifling. unimportant, lazy, do-nothing chairman who passes all of the duties and responsibilities that he is suppose to do as Chairman of Clayton County to Chief Cohilas, Chief Cohilas was doing the job of three people as he was still the Fire Chief of Clayton County, his present position as Chief Of Staff, and well as doing the Chairman’s work.

Unfortunately, as great as Chief Cohilas was, he only do what the real Chairman of Clayton County Wole Ralph, also with Commissioners Singleton and Hambrick and the “big daddy” of them all and the grandmaster, ruler, and power behind the three Wade Starr allowed him and let him do.

It was amazing that Chief Cohilas who is a man of great integrity and who has a genuine and sincere love for Clayton County and who wants only the best for this county lasted as long as he did as he was elevated to the position of Chief Of Staff near the end of 2008 by a three vote majority of Commissioners Ralph, Singleton, and Edmondson and opposed by Chairman Bell and then Commissioner Gray.

He had a great plans to make the departments of this county which had suffered under Chairman Bell’s authority or lack thereof (Chairman Bell was a sorry, do-nothing, uninterested, ineffective, bumbling chairman then as he is now) but when Commissioner Hambrick became Commissioner at the beginning of 2009 and along with Ralph and Singleton, voted to elevated Wade’s position in the county, which gave him great power and authority, increased his salary tremendously, gave him great control of everything in Clayton County (including the SPLOST monies which is presently sitting in the bank not being spent on projects that the elected officials promised the citizens of Clayton County said it would be spent on if they voted to approved the SPLOST which they did), Wole and Wade now have full control, authority, might, and power in Clayton County and run the county like they want to (Commissioners Singleton and Hambrick even though they have minds of their own give their votes to Wole and rubber-stamp without question everything that he wants to do and all three do and pass anything that Wade wants passed) and Chief Cohilas had to do the things that they wanted him to do, even things that Chief Cohilas had reservations and concerns about.

Wade even sits in on all of the Executive Sessions of the Commissioners. This is how powerful the three have allowed him to become in Clayton County. This man is so powerful that the Commissioners send him to “talk” to Clayton County employees who voice positions that are in opposition to their decisions and who might be a threat to them.

Chief Cohilas is irreplaceable and whoever the supreme three of Chairman Ralph, Commissioner Singleton, and Commissioner Hambrick and the powermaster of them all “Big Daddy Chairman” Starr put in his place (remember, Chairman Bell and Commissioner Edmondson have no power and no say and can do nothing because they are in the minority of two) will be a Chief Of Staff with no real power, no real authority, no real leadership ability, no guts, no respect from any department head, a virtual ineffective weakling who will be in over his or her head, because the “mighty” three along with the “big daddy” will totally, completely, and fully control this person whereas Chief Cohilas did have some power, authority, and respect because people knew how great he made the Fire Department, knew of his long tenure with the county, and knew that he did not take any mess off of anyone.

Chief Cohilas is indeed one of Clayton County’s great citizens, superstar Chief of the Fire Department and as Chief Of Staff and will be greatly missed by all in this county who appreciated all of the work that he did and his tireless efforts to better this county and right many of the wrongs that have been done to this county by past and present crooked, corrupted, and unethical elected officials and politicians of this county who have essentially wrecked this county and have made this county worse instead of better.

2DPoint

December 6th, 2010
11:02 pm

I believe this thread is starting out fairly. Chief Cohilas HAS done some wonderful things for Clayton County. I’ve been concerned about him over the past few years with some of the power shifts on the Board of Commissioners. Not long after the started double-dipping as Chief of the Fire Dept AND Chief of Staff for the BOC, his wings got clipped. Thirty five years however is enough and he’s done his time.
Hope he enjoys his retirement but am saddened at what he leaves behind.

another Clayton resident

December 7th, 2010
8:55 am

I’m not a big fan of this BOC but isn’t this supposed to be about Cohilas’ hard work for the county over the years? 35 years of anything is bound to have some highs and lows and I think Cohilas had more hi’s than lows. good luck to him in the future

Cohilas Supporter

December 7th, 2010
12:17 pm

It is indeed a very sad day for Clayton County on the retirement of Chief Alex Cohilas from Clayton County Government.

I was aware that he would be retiring as Fire Chief but it was a great surprise and shock to hear of his retirement from his Chief Of Staff position.

Chief Cohilas was a great man of integrity and had to have great inner strength and had to hold his tongue as he had to deal with the real Chairman of Clayton County Wole Ralph and his now arrogrant, controlling, egotistic, and heavy-handed power, authority, and rulership over the entire Clayton County Government, the elevation of the Shadow Super Chairman and Controller of the three (Ralph, Singleton, and Hambrick) Wade Starr who totally, completely, and fully overruled anything that Chief Cohilas wanted to do to better this county and improve the governmental departments in Clayton County if he did not agree with his plans, decisions, or actions, and most-of-all, Chief Cohilas had to take on the work of the most sorriest, laziest, and most absent Chairman in the history of Clayton County Chairman Eldrin Bell, who was virtually absent from his office, never put in any work, collected a paycheck for doing nothing, travelled all over the state of Georgia, the United States, and everywhere else on the County taxpayers monies, stating that it was for county business but doing nothing at all for Clayton County, and in the weekly Clayton County Board Of Commissioners meeting, when citizens would complain about problems with governmental departments during the public comment section, Chairman Bell would point out Chief Cohilas and tell them to direct their problems to him and he would solve them.

Now that this great man of integrity, hard worker, and one of Clayton County giants Chief Alex Cohilas is completely gone out of Clayton County Government, the full domination, control, dictatorship, and rulership of Clayton County, the Clayton County Government, the Clayton County Budget, the Clayton County Monies, and most important of all, the over 100,000,000 Millions of Dollars in SPLOST monies that now sit in the bank, not being used for the the citizens of Clayton County as it was intended to be used for, but will be further be used for the corrupted elected officials and powerfully-connected rich few in and outside of Clayton County who funnel the money back to the corrupted elected officials and politicians under the umbrella of Consultant Work or Shadow or Dummy Companies, will be under the total control, rule, and power of the real Chairman Of Clayton County Wole Ralph and the Shadow Supreme Chairman of all three (Ralph, Singleton, and Hambrick) Wade Starr with no one (Chief Alex Cohilas), no newspapers (The Atlanta Constitution, The Clayton News Daily, The Clayton Neighbor, Creative Loafing) to do investigative and uncover reporting under the Open Records Act on Clayton County’s SPLOST to bring to light and expose all of this corruption, stealing, unethical, and possible illegal behavior, actions, conduct by all of these elected officials like The Atlanta Constitution Newspaper uncovered in Gwinnett County and Cobb County, and The Atlanta Public School System, Wole, Wade, Sonna, Gail, and the few who are in their inner circle control all of the monies and everything else in Clayton County (the Clayton County Board Of Commissioners set the budgets for all departments, courts, district attorney’s office, sheriff’s office, etc.) they will have full reign and authority to do as they please with no one to stop them.

With Chief Cohilas’ full retirement from Clayton County Government and with the last real moral voice with some power and authority gone, this is what willl and is already (because it has already started and will now go full steam ahead with no interferece or opposition from anyone) happening in Clayton County.

With Chief Cohilas gone from Clayton County, there is no real hope for this county and all of the corrpution, mess, inaction, nonuse of our SPLOST monies will continue and worsen, the over twenty-six governmental departments will become leaderless and ineffective, and Clayton County will continue to sink into its cesspool of mess and all that is wrong that was created by its past and present corrupted, crooked, unethical, and sorry elected officials and politicians.

Chicken Fingers

December 7th, 2010
3:51 pm

Hey hey-ey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye
Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey-ey, goodbye

pip

December 7th, 2010
5:28 pm

So – 20 years ago we had the white corrupt leadership of Charlie Griswold and Crandell Bray as county commissioners. The names have changed – skin color has changed. Now the commisssioners are corrupt and black. And it is a sad commentary of this county and its citizens, now and then – that the reason Charlie and Crandell were able to stay – because of their race – is the same reason – Wole, Hambrick Sonna and Wade will be able to stay – because of their race. The more things change – the more they stay the same.

SynamonSays!

December 7th, 2010
8:43 pm

It is so disheartening to read and see how everything that Kim blogs about ends up being an opportunity for some ignorant, mean-spirited and obviously hateful individual(s) to attack the three commissioners that are successfully moving our county forward?

Alex Cohilas is a good person that the commissioners put in place and I am sure he did a good job. I am not familiar with staffing issues with the various departments so I am not the one to speak on that. What I do know is that the commissioners saw fit to employ him as an interim chief of staff and that says a lot about their ability to govern.

On another note to you vile haters, as for all this nonsense about Wade Starr, get over your anger, jealousy and vengeful heart against this man. Thank goodness there is someone in Clayton County, born and raised here who can not be bamboozled and bought out! He knows the history of the county and has remained here with his family.

I implore those of you who read this blog to support the work of our appointed and elected officials based on what they do, not the vicious attacks that are spewed on this blog. There are those of us who are working desperately to remove the negative image of ignorance and stupidity that we do not deserve. It is up to all of us to raise the bar in how we communicate and engage ourselves in this county.

Somepins Gotta Be Did!

December 7th, 2010
10:17 pm

Move, Alex, move! That’s what the rest of have done! Ha!

oldtimer

December 7th, 2010
11:07 pm

All is not as it seems…He is not what he appears….met him once..a** H***…but each to his own.. good ridance.

Mr. Percy

December 7th, 2010
11:29 pm

Psst! I heard Miss Gail got called out tonight at the BOC meeting for playing pitty pat with some Housing Board funds. Anybody got the 411 on it?

OH NO SHE DIDN'T

December 7th, 2010
11:32 pm

Why is a county board member touching housing board money? Inquiring minds wanna know.

Rosey (as in rose colored glasses)

December 8th, 2010
12:18 am

Congrats! It is indeed a blessing to be able to retire. I wish him the best.

Upstanding

December 8th, 2010
7:24 am

Ballyho, perhap this was a great county employee; he may have done great things but this county will survive. Sorta like Tasha Bell and her child. While Troy Dell West enjoys Xmas at home in south Georgia. We’ll NEVER forget T. Graham!

Nospin

December 8th, 2010
8:03 am

Isn’t this the guy who said the CCPD was like lint on his pants, and had a filthy mouth?

Nospin

December 8th, 2010
8:40 am

Upstanding

Aren’t those white people terrible?

some more nonsense

December 8th, 2010
10:41 am

Somebody tell me why channel 2 will come to a BOC when two women call them about some mess, but when it comes to good things we can not get them to cover anything in Clayton. Oh yeah they left angry, why?..no dirt! The housing authority accusation against Hambrick was nonsense and the accusers looked crazy last nigh after the media left. lol. lol.

Huh?

December 8th, 2010
11:24 am

Doesn’t matter if Hambrick’s guilty or not, she’s a black elected official in Riverdale. She’ll get reelected until the district lines change under the new republican rule.

Mahmood Sez

December 8th, 2010
12:58 pm

First of all; My family and I would like to extend our best wishes to the Fire Department Chief Cohilas, on his retirement.
It is very thoughtful and generous for the commissioners to be lending a helping hand of kindness during the Holiday Season.

WeWillMissTheChief

December 8th, 2010
1:32 pm

Congratulation’s are in order for the retirement of Chief Cohilas and for his 35 years of dedicated and loyal service to the citizens of Clayton County.

WeWillMissTheChief

December 8th, 2010
1:45 pm

I concur with Synamon; Please have faith in our officials to make Clayton a much better place.

pip

December 8th, 2010
6:04 pm

Synamon – take of your rose colored glasses — or is it black coated glasses. You know – if it is black – there can’t be no problem. The problem is the same as when BOC of Bray and Griswold screwed this county. The only difference on the BOC now is the color of their skin. It least – as a person of lighter complexion – I have no qualms about calling a corrupt politician – “a corrupt politician” – black or white. Sad when people don’t have the guts or the common sense to do the same. Some feel that – If you kiss enuff backsides – it may eventually bear fruit.

Roach

December 8th, 2010
8:25 pm

“Have faith in our officials???” Seriously? Seriously? In Clayton County?
No, no, go ahead–you can finish all the Kool-Aid. I don’t want any.

Riverdaleonmymind

December 8th, 2010
9:11 pm

Chief Alex Cohilas; As you retire, I would like to extend our appreciation for the many years of service you have given to serving the citizens of Clayton County and to our communities. God bless you!

I can handle the truth

December 8th, 2010
9:44 pm

Please review wbstv’s hompage for information concerning the BOC fiasco.

Thank You Kimberly

December 8th, 2010
11:44 pm

Kimberly, I want to take the time and write this thank you for your weekly Clayton Talk Blog that allows the citizens of Clayton County who I do not feel have a real voice in this county and who do not think any of our elected leaders and politicians truly care about the citizens, how we feel about our county, and do not want to care, to voice our views, opinions, and thoughts whether they are good and supportive or not of your topic for the week.

I am always impressed that you are such a positive light in Clayton County and you see the good in everything, even in some of the topics where there is no good when your blog topics report on the concerns and issues of a particular problem in Clayton County whether it is with the Clayton County School Board Of Education, the Clayton County School System, etc.

There is in my opinion no other media outlet for citizens to comment about how we truly feel about a particular issue, concern, or problem in this county.

Your weekly Clayton Talk Blog Topics are always positive, insightful, informative, enlightening, warm, and even when you report on topics that are controversial to some and even when you report on topics that some of the elected leaders (Clayton County Board Of Commissioners, Clayton County School Board Of Education, etc) do not like, they are not really displeased with you because you report the information with professionalism, courtesy, and respect as it relates to them , they are really displeased because it allows intelligent, educated, knowledgeable, and in-the-know citizens to write about the ugly truth about these elected officials and their true feelings for the citizens who want only what is good for this county and nothing more and exposes the negative, underhanded,things that they are doing that virtually everyone knows about, but are unable to do anything about it because these elected officials have so much power, authority, and might and know that unless they do anything that is criminal and illegal, that is the only way that they can be removed from office so they all make decisions and take actions that are not in the best interests of this county, do not move Clayton County forward but move us backwards, threaten, intimidate, and menace all employees of Clayton County who have views different from them and who may be a threat to them and their unethical actions that enrich and profit themselves and their well-connected friends, associates, and business partners, and hurts the taxpaying citizens of Clayton County.

I am also greatly impressed that when you report on topics that one can view as controversial in that it could upset, anger, and enraged the elected officials, elected leaders, elected politicians of Clayton County, your positions are always neutral, unbiased, and impartial and if you have taken a position on a particular issue, it never shows in your blog topic that you have written on for the week and you keep your position personal and out of your columns.

The people who post strong, blunt, direct, and forceful thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints on your columns and postings only do so because we have no other outlet for our voice, thoughts, opinions, and viewpoints to be heard.

All of our elected officials lie, misstate, and misrepresent themselves to the citizens of Clayton County telling the citizens what we want to hear and that they will do the “will” of the people of this county if they are elected, and when they are elected, they turn completely against the citizens who elected them to their positions of high prominence, power, and authority and instead of working with the people, they turn into the dictators, rulers, intimidators, and tyrannical people that they really are with virtually unlimitie power, authority, and command, not listening at all to the citizens of this county, doing what they want to do in this county, using the county’s taxpayers monies for purposes not what it was intended for, not using the SPLOST monies on the programs that it was intended for, and running Clayton County as their own personal kingdom.

Thank you Kimberly for all that you do and even if some of us do not share your positive, optomistic, uplifting, warm, rosy, and positive progressive views on Clayton County, at least, if we write our opposing thoughts, viewpoints, and opinions in a professional, thoughful, and educated way without the use of vile, vulgar, gutter, offensive, and language that is not approved for use in your blog by you, your editors, and The Atlanta Journal And Constitution and do not threaten anyone that would cause you to censor and remove our post, we know that our post will be printed and even if it does not help the situation, at least we were able to express our views.

Kimberly, you are more than fair, neutral, balanced, and unbiased to all, your columns and weekly blog topics are of superior quality and quantity, well-written, well-researched, informative, insightful, enlightening, encouraging, uplifting, and you are one of the very few in Clayton County who are one of Clayton County’s great citizens.

Theodore Rice, ThD

December 8th, 2010
11:49 pm

The best thing that I can do for Clayton County is not be part of it. Please change the name…perhaps it will change the image. How about Starr County…after Terrell and Wade? Or, what about Cinnamon County? Cinnamon smells sweet and is good for your health. I take two Cinnamon capsules each day and even sprinkle it in my coffee. Yes, this is my vote — Cinnamon Couty, Georgia. Who the heck is Clayton anyway? Or, Cohilas County. Alex would assuredly agree to this, right? He’s been saving the County for years, right? What about Bell County? We could even use a bell for the symbol. For whom the bell tolls? It tolls for Elgrin who apparently is never on the job.

Nospin

December 9th, 2010
9:29 am

Thank You Kimberly

That was a very great post! Blind obedience is very dangerous. Always question authority, or it will try to take over you(or rob you). Its all about checks, and balances.

Riverdaleonmymind

December 9th, 2010
10:51 am

Words of inspiration is what the citizens of Clayton County needs the most to boost our trust , hope, faith, and morale.
I seldom post here, however, I would like to commend our host for providing us with a moral compass and guide to our county. The progress and success of our county depends on everyone to make a more positive impact, instead of bringing others down to their level.

Riverdaleonmymind

December 9th, 2010
6:48 pm

Before it gets too late; I thought that I would mention that Our Clayton County Library System has so much to offer our residents during the Holiday Season.

http://www.claytonpl.org/features/programcalendar.pdf

SynamonSays!

December 9th, 2010
6:50 pm

pip, don’t get off track state your own opinion and move on. my opinion is my own shaped by my experiences. you sound like someone who has to kiss ass, i don’t.

Riverdaleonmymind

December 9th, 2010
7:00 pm

If anyone feels like donating your time to feed the hungry on Christmas, it would be a joy to have you with us.

http://www.hoseafeedthehungry.com/volunteer.aspx

TapDancingKay

December 9th, 2010
9:57 pm

Congratulations on your retirement and have a very happy life !!
We will surely miss your service in Clayco.

Riverdaleonmymind

December 9th, 2010
11:15 pm

When the citizens of Clayton County, Elected The Board of Commissioners, did any one of our Commissioners promise anyone a rose garden or make false promises that they couldn’t keep ?
Its very sad, that some of our citizens don’t appreciate the good life that we have in Clayton County.

SynamonSays!

December 10th, 2010
8:16 am

Riverdaleonmymind, thank you for all your words!

Riverdaleonmymind

December 10th, 2010
1:35 pm

In my own opinion; Most of these petty grievances are without merit, displays little or no importance to the operations of our county government, and implies nothing but contempt for our elected officials.

Mahmood Sez

December 10th, 2010
2:28 pm

Riverdaleonmymind; Your words of wisdom is very inspirational to this forum.Thank You.

WeWillMissTheChief

December 10th, 2010
3:25 pm

“Thank You Kimberly” ?; How could you use Kimberly to spew out your swords of hate for our officials ?
Its often said that in order to get a foot in the door, one might think abut using honey, instead of vinegar.

(( All of our elected officials lie, misstate, and misrepresent themselves to the citizens of Clayton County telling the citizens what we want to hear and that they will do the “will” of the people of this county if they are elected, and when they are elected, they turn completely against the citizens who elected them to their positions of high prominence, power, and authority and instead of working with the people, they turn into the dictators, rulers, intimidators, and tyrannical people that they really are……)) Blah, Blah, and Blah.

Exposure

December 11th, 2010
1:30 pm

Notice how the “progressives” always come to the rescue of these con artists in government offices. Very dangerous people. They want blind obedience. NO WAY!

Straight No Chaser

December 11th, 2010
11:47 pm

@Riverdaleonmymind

Petty grievances you say? How about something that the commissioners are obligated to do. Splost money was taken up to build recreation centers in the county correct? Yes it is a Fact!! Let’s look at District 3 Olé Ralph’s district. Ground was broken for the district 3 Rec center right before elections in 2008 (classic political move). It is now 2010 and not one ounce of concrete has been poured. When Ralph’s office was called to inquire about when the rec center would be built his office stated that after a lawsuit with the contractor/developer was settled the district 3 center would be built. Well when you check the Clayton county court site for pending cases against the commissioners regarding rec centers there is none to be found!!

What is being done with the Splost money!!!??

Riverdaleonmymind

December 13th, 2010
3:14 pm

I was looking forward to having more negative comments, from our peanut gallery. This shows that our attitudes are beginning to that on a new perceptive. :)

(( Straight No Chaser ; @Riverdaleonmymind

” What is being done with the Splost money!!!?? ” ))

Sir; I would recommend that you attend a BOC Meeting; I’m not at liberty to answer such questions at this time.