As a former state representative, serving 10 years in the Georgia General Assembly, Boyd Pettit continues to serve local communities through his professional trade.
A Bartow County native, Pettit has followed in his father's footsteps representing several local governments and entities through his law practice but Bartow and its municipalities are much more than clients.
"It's home, it's where I've always wanted to live," Pettit said. "It provides a wonderful environment for raising children -- raising families. ... We're extremely fortunate."
Name: Boyd Pettit
City of Residence: Cartersville
Family: Wife Vickie of 18 years; two daughters, Bray and Dana (son-in-law Stan Bradley and three grandchildren); mother and stepfather, Jody and Alan Riley; late father, Hugh Pettit Jr.
Education: Cartersville High School, 1970; West Georgia College, 1974; Woodrow Wilson College of Law, 1977.
You represent several local governments. How many government entities do you represent?
A. I represent the counties of Bartow and Union along with the cities of Adairsville, Emerson, Euharlee, White and Taylorsville. I also represent the Bartow County Board of Education, the Etowah Area Consolidated Housing Authority and various development authorities.
How did you get into governmental law and how do you keep it all straight?
A. My father practiced law in Cartersville until his premature death in 1980. He served as the attorney for the cities of Emerson and White. He also served as city judge for the city of Cartersville. After law school, I worked as a law clerk for superior court judges in Bartow and Gordon counties. Thereafter, I was blessed to practice law with my dad for six months before his death. My lifelong dream was to practice law with him. He was interested in politics and local government law. I followed his interest as a young person growing up in Cartersville. After his death, Emerson and White asked me to serve as their attorney. I was honored and decided to develop a local government practice.
Some attorneys have a real estate practice, others a litigation practice, others a corporate practice, others a domestic practice. I happen to enjoy local government and education law. Representing elected and appointed officials is an honor. They are very good and dedicated people. It is not hard to keep it all straight; it is just important to provide the best advice, understand their dedication and earn/appreciate their trust.
What's your favorite aspect of practicing law?
A. My practice is largely devoted to representing elected and appointed officials. I enjoy the people, be they elected or appointed. I also enjoy and appreciate the employees of these various clients. I have the best of two worlds -- being a part of the politics associated with these public servants and the daily interaction with them.
From previous conversations I know you are a student of history. What subjects do you most enjoy and why?
A. History primarily related to Georgia and Bartow County. I grew up in Cartersville. My grandparents all lived here. I was so very fortunate to grow up in a great community and to have daily interaction with my family. My grandfather, Rowland White, was my playmate. Parents and grandparents taught me a lot about this county. I hope to pass along to my children and grandchildren an appreciation for our community's history and quality of life.
What would you consider your greatest personal or professional achievement?
A. Achieving my lifelong dream of beginning the practice of law with my dad. Prayers were answered. God is good all the time. I wish my dad had lived longer. I still wish I could have gained more of his wisdom and knowledge. A loving mother and stepfather continue to be an answer to prayers.
Coupled with beginning a career, this community honored me by electing me to the Georgia House of Representatives. This election in 1982 provided me a 10-year opportunity to serve. This was an honor impossible to equal.
What is the best advice you've ever been given?
A. The best advice I have ever received came from my grandmother, Lucile White. As she advanced into her 90s she would often say to me "old age is not for sissies"... she was so very right.
What would most people be surprised to learn about you?
A. I enjoy snow skiing. A once-a-year trip with family to someplace in the Rocky Mountains, cold and with lots of snow is my idea of a great vacation.
Where is your favorite place to be in Bartow County?
A. My favorite place in Bartow County, until April of this year, was my family farm. Tornadoes destroyed the 150-year-old home place and a barn and camp, the camp well known in this community as Camp Verner. It will take decades for some of the peaceful and tranquil places there to recover. I hope my children and grandchildren will one day be able to enjoy the farm as I did.
What are three words you would use to describe yourself?
A. Appreciative, respectful, conscientious. I hope others would think of me in this manner as well.
If you were not in this line of work, what would you like to do?
A. I really can't imagine anything else. I am living my dream, both professionally and personally. As I have traveled some, I discovered the Rocky Mountains area. Working in a national park and viewing the wonders of nature in that part of the country would be interesting.