COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - After more than seven years of requesting a third deputy for the Muscogee County Coroner’s Office, Coroner Buddy Bryan has had his request granted.
Bryan says the workload has become overwhelming for him and his two current deputies, Freeman Worley and Charles Newton, so he has continued to ask the Columbus City Council to approve funding for a third deputy.
Bryan says he is currently working approximately 520 hours a month, and his deputies are working approximately 480 hours.
The Muscogee County Coroner’s Office currently has one on-call deputy, Elizabeth Allison, who will now become full-time.
“I’m ecstatic," said Bryan. "I’m happy, my department’s happy, the citizens of Columbus will get much better service. We will be able to turn death certificates over for families who depend on that money that’s in the bank. For seven years, I’ve been turned down seven years. I had a lot of faith this year and I’m ecstatic.”
At the mayor’s first budget review in March, he was denied the help he says he needs. Today, Bryan sat confident in front of the Columbus City Council the next budget review.
“It means a lot to me, it shows that they do have respect for me," said Bryan. "At times, I had questioned that but now I know that they are on my side. I don’t ask for much; I never have. For seven years, I’ve tried to stay in budget.”
The new full-time Deputy Coroner will have all the proper benefits, plus the city will provide her with a coroner’s office vehicle.
In the past, she would drive her own vehicle on every call she went on.
“Thank you, citizens, for having the confidence in me to be your coroner. I’ll always do the right thing for you,” said Bryan.
Some council members were opposed to approving the request, but were outvoted after hearing Bryan express the reason he needs the help.