CUMMING, Ga - A heated squabble between two political foes that involved name calling is going to cost county taxpayers.
Forsyth County Commission Chairman Jim Boff has requested the presence of a Sheriff's Deputy at all meetings from now until the end of the year. His request comes after a heated exchange between Boff and longtime political foe, Commission Vice-Chairman Patrick Bell.
During an October 23rd work session, Bell called Boff an idiot. The exchange escalated from there.
"Nobody wants you in office," Boff said in response to Bell's insult.
"Well, that doesn't matter," Bell responded. "You're still an idiot."
Later, Bell could be heard mentioning something under his breath about Boff getting knocked in the head.
"Did you just say I was going to get knocked in the head?" Boff responded.
"I said you could," answered Bell.
"By who?" Boff asked.
"I don't know who," Bell responded.
Taxpayers already foot the bill for the deputy who sits in on regular commission meetings. The Forsyth County Sheriff's Department says it hasn't yet decided how it will staff the additional work sessions and other gatherings through the end of the year.
Both men blame the other for the added burden on deputies and Forsyth taxpayers.
"I shouldn't be threatened," said Boff. "I didn't threaten anybody. I didn't call anyone names."
Bell says he shouldn't have called the chairman an idiot in a public meeting, but he doesn't understand why Boff is taking his comment as a threat.
"He has requested the deputy to make me look bad and grand stand," said Bell. "I can't accept responsibility for a bad decision he's making."
A spokesman for the county said it premature to estimate the cost of a deputy staffing the extra meetings, although it's believed there will only be three before the end of the year.
Bell lost in his re-election bid and won't return to the county commission next ye