Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
Welcome to Pike County Times.com

This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. The Editor can be reached at 770-468-7583 or at editor(at)PikeCountyTimes(dot)com. Pike County Times is a website for citizens to keep up with local events and stay informed about Pike County government. It began on November 13, 2006 as a watchdog on county government and has turned into an online newspaper.

If you enjoy reading Pike County Times, consider buying an advertisement for your business or sending a donation to support the only free online newspaper in Pike County. Donations can be sent to: The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Thanks for supporting Pike County Times.com!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.
Courthouse Annex, 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, Georgia

Present in the meeting were commissioners Carol Bass, Tamra Jarrett, Tommy Powers, and Chairman Briar Johnson. Also present were County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye, County Manager Mike Phillips and County Attorney Tom Morton. Chairman Johnson explains later in the meeting that Mr. James Jenkins was unable to attend this meeting due to a previous engagement from last year. [Note from the Editor: I am listening to this meeting by recording because I was not able to attend it.]

1. CALL TO ORDER.....................................................................................Chairman Briar Johnson

2. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE....................................................................Chairman Briar Johnson

3. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. 50-14-1 (e) (1))

4. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A.§ 50-14-1(e) (2))
Minutes of the January 9, 2013 Regular Monthly Meeting and January 14, 2013 Special Called Meeting.


a. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities, including a Revenue/Expenditure Statement for all departments, and a summary check register. There are no reports as they will be provided during the first Board meeting of November.

b. County Manager Report

▫ Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund - $3,491,165.73
Jury Account - $0
Cash Reserve Account - $176,395.48
Jail Fund - $20,634.35
E-911 Fund - $158,800.35
DATE Fund - 16,718.09
PC L.M.I.Grant - $315,299.91 (Dept of Transportation Grant for roads, bridges, etc.)
Juvenile Court Fund - $24,467.90
Residential Impact Fees - $281,151.64
Commercial Impact Fees - $7,775.47
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2011 - $438,887.98

Update 2.6.13

c. County Manager Comments

- Courthouse renovation update.
This project is ongoing and almost finished. Project Manager David Allen and the architects are doing a punchlist on final items now. Court will probably begin in March at the Courthouse. CM Phillips suggested that commissioners go to each department in the Courthouse and hear their needs for furniture, equipment, etc.

- Update on any pertinent departmental issues.
Commissioners received info about a copier for the front office which the office owns. He said that the problems with the copier would cause it to be more cost efficient if the office went with a lease on a new copier rather than buying replacement parts. A lease would release the county from having to buy parts for upkeep, maintenance, and repairs.

Mr. Harper has a building that he would like to donate that could be used as a kennel facility. It would still require a drains and a concrete pad that will be upfront costs for the county. CM Phillips provide pictures to the commissioners. It is on the right side inside of the Recyling Center and he enouraged commissioners to go by and look at it. He said that it is rough shape but has potential.

CM Phillips reported that the county had a TAN (Tax Anticipation Note) that was available but did not use it. He commended county departments for being good about managing their expenses.

At the request of the commissioners, the commission office has been trying to make county government as transparent as possible. He said that they will do their best to provide information requested as much as possible.

A proclamation about Weather Awareness Week was signed by Governor Deal and the county was asked to make this a part of our meeting. Click here to read about Weather Awareness Week. Chairman Johnson read the Governor's Proclamation aloud.

d. Commissioner Reports.

District 1 Commissioner Carol Bass - Asked Pike EMA Director Jimmy Totten about an ambulance that was donated to Pike County in 2011. He advised that it is housed at Station #7 and is a First Responder vehicle. She also confirmed with him that he has the Tahoe. She asked about a 1968 American LaFrance pumper (fire truck). Director Totten couldn't answer that question. She said that the county is trying to inventory all of its assets. She asked if the county is still paying rent to Bennett Storage for fire equipment. There is a possibility that this equipment has been moved to the Adams Street house. She asked for updates on a few other items. The computers needed at the library for DFACS update is that the computers that could have been donated from the Commission Office will not meet their needs. CM Phillips is still working on the issue about the truck at Pike County Parks & Recreation. She sent an email to the county manager about 2 vehicles with blown engines and asked if they could be put on the surplus list as salvage. She then asked if the new vehicles have been placed on the inventory list yet. She was advised that they have not been yet.

District 2 Commissioner Tamra Jarrett - She expressed condolences to the family of former Chairman Doug Mangham. She said that she attended services and that he will be missed. She said that a couple of issues came up on her as a citizen and that she wanted to share them with citizens in the community. She said that when her property was reassessed for refinancing that the fair market value had dropped significantly from what was listed as the fair market value listed with the Tax Assessor's Digest. That $25,000 drop was a shock to her. She said that if people have a new assessment done on their property, they can file it with the Tax Assessor's Office by April 1. She also purchased a portable building that was already constructed and moved it onto her property. She said that she paid a permit fee of $66 for a 160 square foot building and was somewhat shocked by that. She did say that someone came out to check to ensure that it was at least 10 feet from the property line and to ensure that it was mounted properly. She called some of our surrounding counties to check our fees against theirs. Lamar County charges for more than 200 square feet. 201 is less than $20. Troup County goes by the cost of the building and it was less than the $66 that she paid here. Spalding County would have been a little more than what she paid here. Upson County was a fee based on the building's cost. She wanted people to be aware that when you buy a building like this, there is a permit fee based on the square foot. She asked that they examine the portable building costs on the fee sheet because she didn't think that it was as clear as it could be.

District 3 Tommy Powers - No comment.

District 4 James Jenkins - Not present. Chairman Johnson said that Commissioner Jenkins is not present due to a commitment previous engagement from last year.

Chairman Briar Johnson - Expressed condolences to the family and friends of former Chairman Doug Mangham.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners.

Tom Morton filled in for Rob Morton tonight as County Attorney because Rob is sick. He addressed the comment about the storage buildings by saying that the Board of Assessors did a thorough study on this during the past year and getting their minutes would be a very good place to start gathering information on this. Commissioner Powers asked about pay on a storage building that someone bought and brought to their property. Director of Planning and Zoning, David Allen, advised that the fee would be $50 for an application fee plus 10 cents per square foot on the square footage. Commissioner Bass asked why a building that is brought in is not any different from personal property like a couch. Mr. Morton said that anything that is attached to the ground becomes part of the property but can be excluded by an covenant or a deed. This can be addressed through the Board of Assessors by asking for a review of this matter because the cost of the building may factor into this decision.


a. Discuss and/or approve/deny first reading of the Vehicle Use Policy, carried over from the January 9, 2013 meeting.

Rob Morton has been working on this and there was one item that came up this week that has required review and analysis regarding the use and driver. This will be carried over until the next meeting.

b. Discuss animal control issues, carried over from the January 9, 2013 meeting.

This was carried over from a previous meeting. Commissioner Jarrett said that we are talking about portable buildings and a shed from the Transfer Station, but said that commissioners have not had a chance to look over specific animal control policy and said that is where she thinks that they should start. She thanked CM Phillips for including the 2008 Animal Control Policy in their packets for this meeting and said that commissioners received a 5 year plan for animal control from CM Phillips that hasn't been discussed or brought before the public, but she stressed that she would like for the public to see the plans and to hear commissioners' discussion about animal control. She said that the county doesn't have a plan yet and thinks that something a little more concrete should be in place before they start moving buildings. Click here to read the Animal Control Plan that the county manager has proposed to commissioners. She wants the public to have input into this as well. CM Phillips said that the commissioners be very careful with the 2008 because it includes a lot of detail from state law and thinks that we should delete those references and just say that we are taking in state law as a part of our ordinance because it changes on a regular basis and some of it could have changed. Commissioner Jarrett said that they could use the 2008 plan as a starting point based on the recommendation from the head inspector of the state who said to get a plan in place first. CM Phillips said that his information is very dependent on which direction the county chooses to go with animal control with some being really expensive and some being more managable. Commissioner Powers said that he wasn't comfortable just setting up a building without a plan in place. Chairman Johnson asked whether Director of Public Works, Todd Goolsby, has had the opportunity since the last meeting to measure some visuals on the property for the proposed animal control facility. Director Goolsby advised that the property has been marked and the sign has been moved to the property.


a. PUBLIC HEARING: SE-13-01 – Dusty Brown, Elizabeth H. Brown, and Linda H. Brown property owners, and Dusty Brown, applicant, are requesting a special exception in an A-R zoned district to allow for the operation of a deer cooler business. The property, located at 1634 Pedenville Road, has approximately 715 feet of frontage along the north side of Pedenville Road and is located in Land Lot 243 of the 1st District of Pike County, Georgia. Said property consists of 15.81 acres and is further identified as Tax Map Parcel #012 013.
Approval/Denial of special exception request.

Planning and Zoning Director David Allen said that this was heard by the Board of Appeals on January 17. They recommended it for approval with the following conditions: 1. Deer processing shall occur in the modified assessor building only. The past expansion to this building must be permitted, and any future expansions of the building must also be permitted. 2. Business license shall be required annually. 3. The required State permit shall be kept current. 4. Animal waste shall be completely removed from the property in proper receptacles to appropriate waste disposal facilities. Commissioner Powers said that it appeared from the pictures that skinning was going to be done outside. Mr. Brown said that it is outside but would be done under the lean to that has a concrete floor and tin up so no one can see it driving by. He then asked whether the bones and hides would be outside too because of outside odor. Mr. Brown said that he will dispose of the bones and hides every day because he doesn't want any smell. He has a friend with a pit for dead chickens and the friend lets him put this in the pit. He said that he is going to talk to someone about a roll off container where someone can dump it every five days. Commissioner Jarrett asked if the state has talked to him yet. He said that they have not because the only thing that he has sent off for was the permit to store wildlife and he has been approved for that. Commissioner Bass asked if deer hides in a container would smell. He said that he has to iron out all of these details. Commissioner Jarrett asked if the processing barn was visible from the neighbor's house and he replied yes. He said that he has only had one complaint from one neighbor. No one spoke in favor or against this at the previous meeting and it was properly advertised. Commissioner Powers asked if anyone would be monitoring this for smell and Director Allen said that he could monitor this.

Public Hearing: No one spoke in favor or against this. Public hearing closed. No further discussion.

Motion to approve following conditions stated. Approved 4-0.

Update 2.12.13:

b. PUBLIC HEARING: SE-13-02 – Dea and Ron Williams, property owners, are requesting a special exception in an A-R zoned district for continued use of a travel trailer on the property, while a permanent home is constructed. The property, with approximately 483 feet of frontage, along the east side of Wood Creek Road, is located in Land Lot 188 of the 1st District of Pike County, Georgia. Said property consists of 40.0 acres and is further identified as Tax Map Parcel #051 112A.
Approval/Denial of special exception request.

This was heard by the Board of Appeals in the January meeting and they approved the special exception with the following conditions that Planning and Zoning Director David Allen read aloud in the meeting: 1. During construction process only two temporary trailers can be lived in on the property. 2. Per Section 156.048 (D)(9)(b)(v), if the necessary construction of the home is not finished within 12 months of the issuance of the special exception, the applicant must obtain a renewal from the Zoning Administrator. In no case, will a temporary manufactured home or camper be allowed to remain for a period in excess of 24 months. The 12 month period started on November 8, 2012. Normally, only one trailer is allowed but due to Mr. Williams' medical hardship, they voted to allow two trailers on the property during this period of time. Mr. Williams was there to answer questions.

Public Hearing: In Favor: Board of Appeals member Meredith Sorrow spoke and said they thought that there were special extenuating circumstances in this case and said that this was a clearly defined medical hardship that was the basis for the two trailers and not a case that can be looked at as a precedent in the future. His wife is a nurse who could possibly bring home germs, contamination, etc. from her job and he was diagnosed with cancer so they are maintaining the two separate trailers for his health. Commissioner Bass pointed out that his hardship is not self-imposed to it is allowable under our ordinances. Against: None.

Motion to approve with the conditions stipulated by the Board of Appeals and to redact any confidential medical information from the record. Approved 4-0.

c. Discuss paint on Courthouse.

Mr. Tom Morton advised commissioners to note that the report was prepared by Planning and Zoning Director David Allen, CM Mike Phillips, and County Attorney Rob Morton. According to the painter, he only put one coat of paint on the courthouse. The architect said that there were no coats of primer and three coats of exterior paint. The warranty on the paint was extended from one year (which is standard according to Mr. Morton) to five years. Commissioner Powers asked if the county got the coats of paints (two coats of primer and two coats of paint according to the contract) that we were supposed to get for the $92,000 that we paid for paint that will possibly last 5 years. He wanted someone to confirm that there were two coats of paint and said that there is a test that can be run to confirm this. Commissioner Powers said that they were given a phone number of someone who could do this test. Commissioner Powers said that he was concerned that the county get their monies worth because it is taxpayer money. * Motion to take this issue back to committee to find out if we go the two coats of primer and paint that we were supposed to get since it could last longer than the warranty period that is being offered to the county.

During discussion of this motion, Commissioner Bass said that the contractor said that this wasn't necessary, but if the county only got one coat then we are not getting our monies worth. We have change orders to come up and should have one to come down if that is the case. She said that no one can deny that the courthouse is pretty today. The question is whether it will be last longer than the warranty period if with the two coats of primer and two coats of paint. Commissioner Jarrett said that she understood from the report that there were no coats of primer and three coats of exterior paint applied to the outside of the courthouse. CM Phillips asked commissioners to be cognizant of the fact that there were a lot of things done during that did not result in change orders during that time. Some commissioners expressed concern that they would be responsible for this if the paint had not been applied as contracted for and asked for a test to get rid of the "he said/she said" in this situation. Approved 4-0.

Update 2.23.13:

d. Mike Phillips to present to the Board a list of surplus vehicles for Approval/denial.

CM Phillips confirmed that the Board had received a list of vehicles that are ready for surplus and in the possession of Public Works. He said that they are currently trying to locate titles to some of the vehicles and asked that this be postponed until that information could be obtained--one is 1953 and the other is dated 1958. Suggestion to get this finished up at the next meeting. Commissioner Bass suggested adding vehicles with blown engines to the list and Public Works Director Todd Goolsby said that the list that we have is what we need to get rid of. He advised that the Sheriff is holding only several as cars to pull parts and equipment from but that he is keeping all of the other vehicles and they are up and running.

e. Consider one (1) appointment to the Pike County Board of Appeals for a new three-year term set to expire on February 9, 2016. Applicant meets criteria.

f. Consider one (1) appointment to the Pike County Board of Assessors to fill an unexpired two-year term set to expire March 15, 2015. Applicant meets criteria. Motion to appoint Meredith Sorrow. Approved 4-0.

g. Consider one (1) appointment to the Pike Area Transportation Committee for an unexpired Two- year term set to expire February 28, 2015.
There have been no applications; this item will carry forward to the next meeting.

h. Discuss inventory.

CM Phillips advised that the county is still pulling info on the current inventory. This will be sent to all department heads when it is completed. Commissioner Jarrett said that there is a special inventory of antique items in the Courthouse and she would like to see a separate inventory of these items. She recommended a 3 person committee to do inventory of the special inventory on antiques so it would not be a burden to those who work in the Courthouse. CM Phillips asked if she wanted to limit this special inventory to the Courthouse. She said not necessarily as long as everything is noted along with its location. Commissioner Bass said we are as close to having an inventory in this county as we have ever been and that Kay Landers has put every asset into the system and the system has given them numbers. She said that she would like to see--and would be willing to serve on a committee along with County Clerk Jo Ann or Commissioner Jarrett or a citizen--to actually apply these asset numbers on metal tags that would attach to the county's property. She said that she has actually broken down the assetts by department and that this is near to her heart because the county has paid money for these items and it is their responsibility as a board to know where these assets are at. County Attorney Tom Morton recommended that if this is what the board wants to do, that there be a motion made to form a committee that will consist of 1 or 2 commissioners, the county manager or county clerk, and a volunteer from the community.

Motion by Commissioner Jarrett to set up this committee with 2 commissioners, the county clerk, and a citizen volunteer to begin within the week getting this started and that the motion include direction for the county manager to order these metal tags. Commissioner Bass gave the second and it carried 4-0.

Chairman Johnson asked direction from County Attorney Tom Morton on how to proceed with placing a citizen volunteer on this board. Mr. Morton advised that the group currently in the meeting could be asked if they want to participate. The Board gave a consensus to do this. Chairman Johnson asked for a volunteer from the audience. Ms. Annie Maude Hines volunteered to be a part of this committee. Mr. Morton advised that there is a precedent for using volunteers in the county without advertising a position like this.

i. Discuss investigation of redistricting.

CM Phillips said did not have information for the board on this. Mr. Morton suggested postponing this until the next meeting and asking Voter Registrar Sandi Chamblin to give a report at this meeting.

j. Establishment of impact fee amount for recently approved used car lot as 2141 Highway 41 (Special Exception 12-09).

Director of Planning and Zoning David Allen advised that this was a special exception that was approved on January 9 with the exception of the impact fee. He said that under the Impact Fee schedule, there is a category for car sales that says $1,000 for a 1,000 square foot that pertains to a new building and something else for acreage with land and smaller buildings. This one does not have a new building because it will be on the property of the well business with the use of the current building. He provided some numbers for the commissioners as well as other ways of assessing the fee on the property. He suggested maybe assessing on the size of the office that will be used for this business which is located inside of the current well business. He gave clarification that there impact fees on cemetaries and golf courses which are not new buildings even though a majority of them which are new buildings. Commissioner Bass said that if they went by the letter of the law, his fee would be $2,052.87. She pointed out that they don't want to discourage business and that could. Motion to go with Director Allen's recommendation for an impact fee on this new business for $197.62 and gave direction to Director Allen to come up with language for future impact fee cases. Approved 4-0.

9. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

a. Randall Moss to address the Board regarding perjury, subjugation of testimony, conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

At this point in the meeting, Chairman Johnson explained that there was a timer that would be set for 5 minutes and that he would hold up a paper when there was one minute remaining to let him know that his time was coming to a close.

Mr. Moss spoke to board members about his grandchild. He advised that he had also spoken at the DFACS meeting a week prior. Click here for more on the DFACS meeting. He said that Ms. Jeannie Griggers from DFACS who was fired from DFACS last year said that his daughter was mentally impaired and could not take care of her child and ordered the child to be placed in a new home. He gave names and dates of incidents to the board and said that he can prove perjury, subjugation of testimony, fabrication, and colloboration as well as hearsay evidence. He also said that he has lived in this county 20 years and feels like his family is being railroaded through the system. He said that he has tried to get Charlie O'Neill removed as Guardian Ad Litem on this case because he didn't come out to evaluate his home as promised. He also said that Mr. O'Neill did not come out to draw his own conclusion about how Mr. Moss and his daughter were bonding with this child, and he didn't didn't come out to see his daughter and the child interact. He said that Mr. O'Neill didn't catch the fact that the child was 3 week behind on her shot record while in DFAC's care but that he did himself. He said that they tried to turn this around on him a year later through Sue Coffin(? spelling) and accused her of reading what somebody wanted her to testify to. He said that he is being jerked around and that his granddaughter has been in a foster home for a year now, the judge has denied him his constitutional rights and his Georgia state law right which is an infringement on his civil rights to have a jury trial. He said that he can prove that Pike County DFACS' Special Assistant Attorney General Tammy Griner accellerated her paperwork and has witnesses that she said in a DFACS meeting that "the Moss child is not going home by any means at all". He said that he thinks it is a big embarrassment for Pike County to have people like this standing in as officers of the court. He reiterated that he can prove everything that he has said and that he would give his house and property all away if he could get his granddaughter back.

b. Robert E. Adams, Jr. to address the Board regarding taxes.

Mr. Adams said that the Board discussed holding DFACS accountable in the past board meeting and then asked why the county is not holding accountable people that we are paying with our tax dollars: Probate Judge/Elections Superintendent Lynn Brandenburg who is paid $63,000 per year, Voter Registrar Sandi Chamblin who is paid $27,000 per year, County Attorneys Morton and Morton who are paid $80,000 per year. He said that the board has failed to hold these people responsible for holding an illegal election in July 2012. He presented commissioners with two books: 1) Election Laws in Georgia: What City and County Attorneys Need to Know and 2) Everything You Wanted to Know About Redistricting But Were Afraid to Ask. He questioned why he, as a United States Marine, is having to fight tooth and nail in his own country, in his own county, to have a legal election. He said that the Board of Commissioners is to be held accountable. He said that, according to the minutes on two occasions, Commissioner Carol Bass has tried to get the commissioners to act on redistricting. He said, "We (as in we the people) expect you to terminate the employment of the registrar, county attorneys Morton and Morton, and ask for the resignation of Lynn Brandenburg. We the people are sick and tired of elected and appointed officials piling up our tax money and setting it on fire." He said that if the board did not act on this, they would feel the sting of "our political whip" and "monetary boot" and said that the board should act accordingly.


a. Board of Commissioners requests Executive Session for consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(6); germane to evaluation of County Manager.

According to the minutes from the BOC meeting, the board entered executive session at 8:03 p.m. and came back into the regular meeting at 8:20 p.m. with a motion to adjourn at 8:21 p.m.


Agenda subject to revision.