Cordele City Manager Edward Beach passes away

Published 4:45 pm Tuesday, December 1, 2020

 

 

Cordele City Manager Edward Beach died unexpectedly Tuesday at Crisp Regional Hospital.
“This is a huge shock for all of us,” said City of Cordele Human Resources director David Wade. “I’ve known Edward since we were kids. He seemed to be slowly getting back to good health.”
Beach had suffered the loss of a leg this summer but had started working again part-time.
“The City of Cordele has suffered a great loss,” Wade said. “He was a real professional. You couldn’t get anything past Edward. He always had an answer.”
The Cordele City Commission postponed its scheduled meeting Tuesday until Wednesday.
Beach earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Georgia Southwestern College in 1988 graduating magna cum laude.
A native Cordelian, he worked at Roobin’s Department Store, a Cordele landmark, as head accountant and office manager from 1986 until the store closed in 1992.
He opened his own business, Beach Gifts, Inc. d/b/a The Gift Shop in a historic home that he renovated on 18th Avenue.
Beach joined the city in November 2001, as a financial services administrator where he was responsible for all accounting records of utilities, property tax, and business licenses, budget preparation and monitoring, accounts payable and receivable, general ledgers for sixteen City funds, the capital improvements program, treasury management, and preparation of the City’s Annual Financial Report.
In 2010, he was named City Clerk and Assistant City Manager and in July, 2012, he was named interim city manager and a year later was named City Manager.
No funeral plans have been announced.

 

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Beal-Shephard tries to weather the storm over City HallBy Neil B. McGahee Managing Editor Cordele City Commissioner Vesta Beal-Shephard was elected in 2001 to represent the people of Ward One. By all accounts, she has done a very good job of relating to the citizens living in her ward. Recently, however, a dark cloud has settled over City Hall. From the first day of his term, newly-elected commission chairman Joshua Antwan Deriso began taking verbal snipes on social media at some of the other commissioners. Shephard says she just ignored it at first but on April 9, Deriso posted on Facebook “…It was much anticipated for Comm. Rainey to be against change. Comission (sp) Shephard fights against me the hardest…does not know much about government at all…She needs to be voted out next year 2023.” A few days later, he posted live saying …“I am totally over the games, the political stuff…a lot of people want to make what I said about Commissioner Shephard something about disagreement with Commissioner Shephard. It was her ignorance and short-sightedness…not able to understand what we can do as a government. “When there were people in charge that didn’t look like us…white people… she didn’t question anything. Since I became chairman, she has blocked everything…you don’t know what you are doing; you don’t know what you are talking about.” Shephard winces as she listens to Deriso. “I don’t do drama and I don’t do pettiness,” she said. “I refute everything he has said about me. I’m not angry with Josh; I am somewhat disturbed that he has targeted me, a citizen of Cordele; a black female…he accused me of loving white folks. Well I do love white folks, and brown folks and black folks — Haitian, Jamaican, Indian, Cuban, Mexican — I have no discrimination to anyone. My job is to facilitate for people in this ward and when I vote, I vote my conviction.” Shephard said she doesn’t know why Deriso has such hard feelings against her. “It’s so sad, I have to say that I never saw it coming,” she said. ”But I have to voice my opinion.” But one sad thing has evolved from this. “This is the first time I have been discriminated against by a fellow commissioner,” she said. “I used to invite people to my home if they had a problem. But I had to stop that. If you want to meet with me, we will have to go to a public area or to my office at city hall. I am going to keep my distance for the simple reason that I don’t want to endanger myself.