March is "National Caffeine Awareness Month"
April is "Celebrate Diversity Month"
Mar-Apr 2014

In This Issue
Employee Spotlight: Joan Peri
Pet Corner
New Hires, Promotions, & Retirees
2014 Mayor's State of the City
High Speed Rail Fact Sheet
Trim Your Tax Liability to Uncle Sam
Healthy Recipes
Healthy Food Quiz
Upcoming Community Events
Quick Links
Employee Spotlight
Joan Perin, Forensic Auditor 


Joan Perin
















Joan Perin was employed as Forensic Auditor on December 2, 2013. Her job duties include conducting internal audits for compliance and process improvements and evaluating internal controls for fraud detection and prevention.


She described being a forensic auditor as that of a "Financial Puzzle Solver." This might consist of records reconstruction in the event of a fire or computer malfunction. In a criminal investigation, it might involve tracing missing money through various accounts. Joan is a CPA and has a Master of Forensic Accounting. Prior to moving to Columbus, she was a consultant for the past 13 years and spent over 10 years in healthcare.


Joan is a native of Jacksonville, Florida. Since joining the CCG Family, she discovered that even beyond finding the work interesting, she loves the town and the atmosphere. Everybody she's met has been friendly, and Columbus is a very pretty area. She prefers smaller towns to larger towns. Finally, she's accustomed to being around water, and it's nice that there's a river here.

In her spare time, she enjoys cooking and outside activities such as gardening.   She is an animal lover and plans to start volunteering at the "Begin Again Farms," an equine rescue center in Ellerslie, Georgia. The philosophy that she lives by is of unknown origin: "Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking." That speaks volumes about personal integrity.



Pet Corner
April is National Heartworm Awareness Month










For more information on how to protect your pet from heartworms, please see the link below.


For more information or to view adoptable pets, please clink in the link below.


Remember: **CCG employees may adopt for FREE at the Columbus Animal Care & Control Center**

($50 charge for spay/neuter voucher applies)


Welcome and Congrats to Our New Hires, Promotions, & Retirees
Dec 2013/Jan 2014

New Hires



Matthew Dolan

Samuel Stadler


Human Resources

Corey Jones


Internal Auditor

Joan Perin



Garry L Moore


Muscogee County Prison

Melissa Jones

Curtis Bey

George Moore

Jonus Barnes


Parks & Recreation

Jamecia Adams

Kelsie Bailey

Nathina Grier

Charlie Jackson

Deshanti Lewis

Estella Lokey

Towanda McCloud

Edward McWilliams

Jarek Fleming

Gaquilla Hunter-Mathews

Robert Jackson

Kimberly Webster

Sharon Calhoun

Jamonte Williams

Elizabeth Wise

Perry Brown

Police Department

Jamie Bailey

Jonathan Hastings

James Overby

Adrian Sellers

Amanda Miller

James Root

Frederick Kearney

Paul White

Antrellis Williams

Derek Bachman

Douglas Gregory


Public Works

Courtney Pierce

Brandon Mefford

Katina Davis

James Battle

Sukhvir Kumar

Jason Mayo

Alexander Bryan

Curtis Haney


Sheriff's Office

Casey Sparks


State Court

Tia Whaley


Superior Court

Rhonda Baltrusaitis

James Mullins



Alexander Earley

Royalle Bowman

Dexter Jones

Kathleen Ward

Andrew Smith




Larry Sturges                      

Survey Technician


Public Works

Matthew Hubbard

Equipment Operator I


Steven Johnston

Equipment Operator III


Brandon Wright                 

Animal Control Officer II


Sheriff's Office

Deandra Charles                

Deputy Sheriff


Daveion Crowell

Deputy Sheriff


Edward Dickerson             

Deputy Sheriff


State Court Judges

Benjamin Richardson

State Court Judge




Fire & EMS

Lee Spencer


29 Years of Service


Parks & Recreation

Betty Hobbs

Parks Maintenance Worker I

28 Years of Service


Police Department

Joseph Goodwin

Police Officer

32 Years of Service


William Johnson

Police Sgt

24 Years of Service


Public Works

Bert Darling

Waste Equipment Operator

15.5 Years of Service


Phillip Naylor

Animal Control Officer

20 Years of Service



Newsletter Archives
Check out our archive section for previous editions here


Newsletter Staff

Sherry Evans

Jackie Goodwin 

Vickie Hughes  

Rosana Juestel

Donnie Kent

Susan Lathan 

Jenni McDonald

Sheila Risper

Jenny Teague

Cindy Ware
Sofia White


Suggestion Box
How Can We Improve City Government.
Send your suggestions

311 Citylink

2014 Mayor's State of the City
3rd Annual Address
  •   Columbus, Georgia Named Top 100 Best Places to Live by 
  • Columbus Whitewater course named among the Twelve Greatest Man-made Adventures on the Planet by USA Today.
  • Reclaimed our status as second largest city in the State of Georgia; 116th largest city in the United States. 
  • Reduced Unemployment Rate to 7.6%, adding jobs with NCR, Wellpoint, Pratt & Whitney and Hostess. 
  • CCG Parks and Recreation Department goes from worst to first - named Georgia Recreation and Parks Association Department of the Year. 
  • Council unanimously passes proposed Urban Service District incentives and Redevelopment District ballot issue. 
  • Made good on promise to voters by opening Citizen Services Center, Aquatic Center, Recycling and Sustainability Center, and Columbus' first Dog Park at Oxbow Meadows (funded by SPLOST or OLOST proceeds). 
  • Entered into partnership to bring Westville outdoor living museum and camp ground to Oxbow Meadows in South Columbus. 
  • Re-opened Boxwood Recreation Center and Comer Gym - rebuilding community and investing in neighborhoods. 
  • Opened CCG Health and Wellness Center saving employees and taxpayers $186,000 per month through reduced deductibles, co-pays, drug costs and other savings.
  • Reformed City Worker's Compensation Administration System to save taxpayers an estimated $200,000 per year in administrative costs,and potentialmillions more in efficient claims process.
  • Reduced animal euthanasia rate from 80% in 2010 to 38% in 2013 through Save-A-Pet program, drawing national recognition.

Mayor's State of the City Address Video  


Citizen Service Center
Citizen Service Center
Recycling Center
Recycling Center

High Speed Rail Fact Sheet 

  • The Mayor's Commission on Passenger Rail has been meeting for just over two years.
  • The Commission (partnering with the city Planning Department and the Georgia Department of Transportation) engaged Atlanta-based HNTB to study the feasibility of High Speed Passenger Rail from Atlanta to Columbus (and perhaps on to Mobile and Tallahassee).
  • Georgia Department of Transportation grant monies and private donations funded the $360,000 feasibility study.
  • The study concludes that a High Speed Passenger Rail line between Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta and the Columbus Airport is feasible.
  • The study identifies three alternative routes and technologies for said rail.
  • The primary proposed design is to have an Express High Speed Electric Train, with top speeds of between 150-220 mph, on a dedicated line up I-185 to I-85, along state owned right of way.
  • This Express train would require approximately 90 miles of rail and would reach Atlanta within 61 minutes, with one stop in Newnan, Georgia.
  • The estimated cost of a one-way ticket on the Express line is $41.42.
  • The electric Express rail could be completed in 16 years - about the length of time it takes to have a large bridge built or a major road expansion completed from concept.
  • The 2030 Express rail ridership, including the stop in Newnan, is estimated to be 1.1 million one-way trips per year.
  • Revenues from ticket sales and other associated goods and services ($23.6 million) would exceed the cost of annual operations and maintenance of the line ($19.5 million) in its first year of operation, making the line profitable and capable of paying off any bonds needed for rail construction.
  • The 90-mile electric rail line would cost approximately $3.9 billion (assuming a generous contingency of 30%), which cost is in line with rail and other major transportation projects.
  • Express rail is estimated to create a minimum of 11,000 jobs (the equivalent of nearly four Kia plants).



Trim Your Tax Liability to Uncle Sam

Participating in the 457 deferred compensation program is an easy way to save for retirement. The bonus is that you get tax credits for participating. Here are four ways deferred compensation can help trim your income tax bill each year.

  1. Enroll and participate - Payroll deductions lower your taxable gross income. In turn you pay fewer taxes to Uncle Sam. You don't pay taxes on the deferred compensation account until you start taking retirement withdrawals .
  2. Increase your deferral - If you already participate, you can increase your contribution any time during the year. The more you contribute, the less you pay in taxes during the year.
  3. Make your plan to the max - For 2014 you can contribute up to $17,500 or $23,000 if you are age 50 or older. Again, the more you contribute, the less you pay in taxes.
  4. Get caught up - Special provisions are available to employees over 50 years of age and those who are within three years of normal retirement. The Age 50+ Catch-Up and Special 457 Catch-Up provisions are designed to help you save more money during your last years in the workforce and trim your tax obligation.

Contact Human Resources for more information or visit the HR Benefits webpage at for more info on the various plans available.


Healthy Recipes


Chicken Enchilada Casserole  

Yield: 8 Servings

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes


This is a really good, lower-fat version.



1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken breasts

1 1/2 cups onions, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup beer

1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper

1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes, drained

1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced (divided)

2 (2 1/4 ounce) can sliced olives, drained (divided)

2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained

5 Tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander seed

2 cups 1% low fat milk

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half

1/2 cup fat free sour cream

1/2 cup salsa



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat 2 1/2 quart casserole dish with cooking spray.
  2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side, or until done. Remove chicken from skillet and let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.
  3. Re-coat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper and tomatoes; cook 15 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 Tablespoon green onions and 1 Tablespoon olives for garnish. Stir in remaining green onions, olives and chilies into chicken mixture; set aside.
  4. Combine flour, salt, cumin and coriander in medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.
  5. Place cheeses in bowl; toss well and set aside.
  6. Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of casserole dish. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 cup sauce and 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set aside remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture.
  7. Bake, uncovered, for 40 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, reserved green onions and olives; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and salsa.

Nutritional Information- Per Serving (casserole divided into 8 equal portions):

Calories 254, Calories from Fat 111, Total Fat 12g, Sat Fat 6g, Cholesterol 35mg, Sodium 542g, Potassium 341mg, Carbohydrates 23g, Dietary Fiber 3g, Sugar 5g, Net Carbs 20g, Protein 13.5g



Amazing Flour-less Brownies (Gluten Free!)   


1 (14 oz) canned low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained

2 large eggs

1/2 cup cocoa powder

3/4 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon oil

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk (or dairy, skim)

1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground coffee or instant coffee

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided



  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a nonstick 9 x 9-inch square baking pan with baking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on all sides.
  2. Blend the black beans, eggs, cocoa powder, sugar, oil, almond milk, balsamic, baking soda, baking powder and coffee in the blender until smooth and pour into a bowl. Fold in 1/2 cup chocolate chips until combined. Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips evenly over the top of the brownies.
  3. Bake the brownies until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30 to 32 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely before slicing them into squares.

Nutritional information: Servings: 16, Size: 1 brownie, Calories: 144, Fat: 5 g, Carb: 26 g, Fiber: 3 g, Protein: 4 g, Sugar: 17.5 g, Sodium: 150 mg, Cholesterol: 23 g


Healthy Food Quiz

What is your nutritional IQ?


Test your Food IQ and Enter in for a Chance to Win a $5 gift card to Subway! All questions have to be correct to be eligible for the drawing. Please send answers to by April 11, 2014.    

CCG Employees Only

**Please note that a winner was not selected for Jan/Mar 2014 Health Foods Quiz.**

(All questions have to be correct to be eligible for the drawing.)


1.If you eat lots of fruit you do not have to eat any vegetables.     


a. True  b. False


2.  You can't overdose on vitamins because they're vital nutrients.  

a. True  b. False

3. Adult women and men need the same amount of iron per day.   


a. True  b. False

4. Eating salads may promote bone health. 

a. True  b. False

5.When eating more fiber, you should drink less fluid, to avoid bloating. 


a. Yes  b. No

Upcoming Community Events
Mar/Apr 2014


Columbus Cottonmouths Hockey Games

vs. Fayetteville FireAntz

March 6 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


vs. Bloomington Thunder

March 7 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


vs. Bloomington Thunder

March 8 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


vs. Pensacola Ice Flyers

March 13 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


vs. Knoxville Ice Bears

March 15 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


vs. Louisiana IceGators

March 16 - 4:00 pm

Columbus Civic Center


Columbus Lions Arena Football

Vs. Richmond Raiders

April 5 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


Vs. Albany Panthers

April 11 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


Vs. Albany Panthers

April 26 - 7:30 pm

Columbus Civic Center


For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit



CCG Memorial-A Celebration of Life

March 11 - 4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Join us for our 6th Annual CCG Memorial: A Celebration of Life, as we honor and pay tribute to the life and work of the active and retired employees of the Columbus Consolidated Government who passed away in the year 2013.

Plaza Level, Government Center

For more information, please call 706-653-4017


globetrotters Harlem Globe Trotters

March 12 - 7:00 pm

The world famous Harlem Globetrotters have been thrilling families and millions of fans for 88 years, all the while innovating the game in exciting new ways. Take your kids to to vote for their favorite, craziest rule. Then, get your tickets to the game, where you will see the winning rules put into live action.

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


Frankie Beverly and Maze

March 14 - 8:00 pm

Supershop Entertainment, presents The Heart & Soul Tour featuring Frankie Beverly and Maze with special guest K. Michelle.

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


Zac Brown Band

March 19 - 7:00 pm

Here in Columbus, three-time GRAMMY winners and multi-platinum artists the Zac Brown Band.

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


disney Disney on Ice Presents: Princesses and Heroes

March 21        10:40 am & 7:00 pm

March 22        6:00 pm

March 23        2:00 pm

Come experience a magical Disney fantasy on ice! Rev up for non-stop fun!

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


Special Olympics Motorcycle Poker Run

March 29 - Registration 9:30 am

Help send local athletes to the games. All proceeds go to benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department

Chattahoochee Harley-Davidson on 3230 Williams Road

For more information, please call 706-653-3173 or 706-324-4294 or visit


spring Spring Fling

April 4-5     11:00 am - 12:00 am

April 6           1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

April 7-11     5:00 pm - 12:00 am

April 12       11:00 am - 12:00 am

April 13          1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Celebrate the beginning of spring with rides, concessions, games, and more at the Spring Fling.

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


color vibe Color Vibe 5K Run

April 19 - 9:00 am

Get ready for the most colorful fun-filled day of your life! You'll have more color on you than your happy levels can handle! So get your friends and family stretched out for this amazing color blast event where you'll get blasted with color while you run the Color Vibe 5K. Color Vibe is here, and you're about to get tagged!

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, visit


He Is Risen Easter Celebration

April 19 - 4:00 pm

Chosen Generations invites you to join in an evening of praise, worship, healing and deliverance as we celebrate the death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST!

Columbus Civic Center

For more information, call 706-653-4482 or visit


Special Olympics Car, Truck, and Motorcycle Show

April 26 - 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

This charity event will benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department

Uptown Columbus on Bay Avenue at 10th Street

For more information, please call 706-653-3173 or 706-225-4108


Special Olympics 12th Annual Pistol Match

May 3 - 8:00 am - 12:00 pm

This charity event will benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department

Police Pistol Range-Cusseta Road

For more information, please call 706-653-3173 or 706-225-4132


Special Olympics Gold Tournament

May 16 - Tee Off: 12:30 pm

Help send local athletes to the games. All proceeds go to benefit Georgia Special Olympics. Sponsored by the Columbus Police Department

Bull Creek Golf Course

For more information, please call 706-653-3173 or email or


Columbus Consolidated Government - | 100 10th Street | Columbus | GA | 31901