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
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Members of Boy Scout Troop 37
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 – 6:30 p.m.
Courthouse Annex, 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, Georgia

This meeting was attended by all five commissioners, County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton, County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye to take the minutes, and County Manager (CM) Mike Phillips. There were a couple of additions to the meeting. Invited Guest David Mundt from SAFEbuilt, Inc. was added and so was an Executive Session for Personnel in the Commission Office. Boy Scout Troop 37 out of Zebulon also had many members and Troop Leaders present in the meeting as part of what they do on a regular basis to earn merit badges. They learned about our County Commission and how county business is conducted last night. They took a picture with the commissioners about an hour into the meeting.

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 February 13, 2013 Regular Monthly Meeting.


Added to the agenda by Chairman Johnson from a previous request of a commissioner. David Mundt from SAFEbuilt, Inc. gave commissioners a presentation of his company. It is out of Loveland, Colorado and they provide services for counties and municipalities like what Pike County provides through our Planning and Zoning office. He told commissioners that his company can provide inspections, permitting, code enforcement, etc. at no cost to the county through revenues and fees generated through this office. He said that they will take responsibility with their own people, vehicles, training, etc. They are currently working in 5 states and serve 17 southside communities and 11 northside communities. There is an office out of Tyrone and he said that his company would adapt to our community. A question was asked whether they would be able to serve our county with the amount of money that is currently being generated. It was stated that $178,000 is set aside for the upcoming budget, he asked what fees are generated yearly. The County Manager was not asked to have this information available at the meeting so he didn't know, and Planning and Development Director David Allen ended up being asked about this--and he told them $125,000 or $130,000. There would also be the lag time of 5 days for residential and 10 days for commercial as items came to the office. Click here to read about them. [Note from the Editor: This entire presentation left a pretty bad taste in my mouth and I described it to two commissioners after the meeting as: "It doesn't smell good". The fact that it wasn't advertised to at least let county employees in the Planning and Development Department know that it was going to be discussed was discourteous to our employees. Numerous press releases for the company tout online--as did Mr. Mundt in our meeting--that commercial turnaround would be no more than 10 days and residential no more than 5 days and he danced around whether our people would keep their jobs--but this company makes money by using its own people so it doesn't have to pay the employment benefits that we do. That may not seem like a big deal, but commissioners are going to have to decide if they want to save money by outsourcing and possibly sacrifice the personal service that we have now through people from our own county, possible implications with our code and how we get things done--because there will be changes, and any other changes that will affect our service. And this doesn't include whether they will take on the dangerous dog job that Planning and Development Director David Allen is currently filling (I only say that half in jest as someone else would have to take that job if we outsource this department) as well as having someone personally available at all of our meetings and accountable as our current department is. I would have to see a LOT of evidence before I would support this proposal. Saving money is good thing, but we need to do a very hard evaluation of what our county would be gaining and losing in this proposal because saving money is not the only thing that should be important to us.]

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 Department reports as they will be provided during the first Board meeting of February. Revenue/Expenditure Statement is included.

b. County Manager Report

▫ Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund - $2,988,932.69
Jury Account - $0.00
Cash Reserve Account - $176,403.70
Jail Fund - $22,079.94
E-911 Fund - $146,642.19
PC LMI Grant - $315,039.41
DATE Fund - $17,119.50
Juvenile Court Fund - $24,978.94
Residential Impact Fees - $283,567.73
Commercial Impact Fees - $7,776.21
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2011 - $461,016.84

c. County Manager Comments

- Courthouse renovation update. CM Phillips said that this is in the final stages with the punch list almost being completed. It should be finished in the next 10 days.

- Update on any pertinent departmental issues. None.

Commissioner Jarrett asked for an update on the budget process. CM Phillips said that the new year will begin on July 1st. March will be a time when he sits down with department heads and discusses expenses for the 2013-2014 year.

Commissioner Bass asked if the mold issue in the 4H office has been addressed. The county is in contact with a private company that will inspect the area and help determine how to address this problem. He advised that they contacted the Health Department and the State EPD but they couldn't help with this. It was said that the bleach that is currently being used to keep the mold under control has caused some problems because of the smell.

Chairman Johnson asked about furniture for the courthouse. CM Phillips advised that there is no list that is needed from department heads yet but that is being worked on. He said that there is concentration now on moving the courts back to the courthouse and that the commissioners will be asked to do a walk through after that happens so they can see what is needed and department heads will give a list of needs at that time. Furniture will either be addressed immediately at that time or later in the budget process. Commissioner Jarrett asked about what could be available immediately and was advised by the county manager that the state may loan some furniture to the county for the courthouse.

d. Commissioner Reports.

Commissioner Bass asked about salvage furniture from the courthouse and was told that anything that couldn't be used would be moved to the Adams Street House and addressed at a later date. * She asked about hail damage to county buildings and was advised that the county was approached by a company that offered to contact our insurance company on our behalf but that was about 8 to 9 months ago and the CM said that he is following up on this. There has been some recent hail damage from December to the Courthouse Annex (front of the Commission Office and Tax Assessor's Office) and to the roof of the Magistrate Court building that needs to be addressed as well. * She gave an update on the inventory tagging process that is ongoing in the county. Commissioner Bass and County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye began in the Board of Commissioners' office. The tags were visible on every chair and piece of furniture in the room. She said that it is complete for this department and praised Jo Ann for her help and suggestions. A list was entered into the computer that matches each tag in the room. She advised that she will enlist the help of other members in this group for other departments as this process continues. This was discussed in the January 29, 2013 meeting in section 8h., where the committee was put together with 2 commissioners--Tamra Jarrett and Carol Bass, the county clerk, and a citizen volunteer Ms. Annie Maude Hines and in the February 4, 2013 meeting where $1700 was tranferred from contingency to pay for 2,000 tags.

Commissioner Tamra Jarrett - Said that she talked to Public Works Director Todd Goolsby about roads and was advised that crews are attending to repairs because of temperatures as well as rain. She said that there was an accident on Tanyard Road a while back and that someone called about gravel on the road. She asked about speed limits on dirt roads and whether changing them to 25 mph would help. CM Phillips said that the roads have a speed limit on them now but that there are pot holes, shallow edges on the roads, and some roads are not passable by 2 cars that would likely have more of an impact on the roads. * Discussion about paving dirt roads brought to the public's attention that it costs approximately $1 million per mile to pave a dirt road. Commissioners want to have a workshop on roads concerning the SPLOST funds.

Discussion about time clocks by Commissioner Jarrett brought out that Public Works has a time clock but no other hourly departments do. She suggested that all departments have one in order to be consistent with all hourly employees because it is primarily timesheets now. There was clarification of what can be voted on when it comes up in a meeting. County Attorney Rob Morton advised the history of the Board of Commissioners has been to put items on the agenda before voting on it, but he said that a vote can be made if it is necessary and comes up during a meeting. Mr. Morton suggested that this item be placed on the next agenda and the vote be taken then. Commissioner Jarrett asked if it was legal to amend the agenda in order to vote on it tonight and she was advised that it can be done this way. Then she made the motion to amend the agenda to discuss timeclocks. Commissioner Powers gave the 2nd. This motion to amend the agenda was approved 5-0.

Commissioner Jarrett then made the motion to have a timeclock for all hourly employees. Commissioner Powers gave the 2nd again. Discussion: Chairman Johnson said that he wasn't opposed to this but wants time to talk to department heads before making a decision. It was also said that it would not be efficient to have employees crossing the street to clock in and then going to work in the courthouse. Clarification that there would need to be 3 timeclocks. County Attorney Rob Morton advised that county policy will have to be amended if this is approved tonight. Motion was approved 4-1 with Chairman Johnson dissenting. [Note from the Editor: Kudos to County Attorney Rob Morton for pointing out that this should have been placed on the next agenda because it should have been. There was nothing so pressing that it could not have waited until the next meeting. I wonder how much the supplies for the different time clocks will be and if there is a substantial difference between the types of time clocks and supplies needed. There probably should have been a chance for other commissioners to do their homework and follow Chairman Johnson's suggestion that department heads needed to be consulted before this motion went forward. Thank you to Chairman Johnson for taking a stand on this with his vote.]

Commissioner Tommy Powers - He said that the roads are in pretty bad shape in some places because of 5 or 6 inches of rain in the past week and asked for time and patience for Public Works Director Todd Goolsby and Public Works to get the roads back into shape.

Commissioner James Jenkins - None.

Chairman Briar Johnson - He welcomed Boy Scout Troop 37 and the Scouts stood with the commissioners for a photo.

Update 3.5.13:

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners.

Mr. Morton that gave an update on Hawkins Road. They road has been worked by the county that there has been no formal dedication and the county has not done work on the road in years. Mr. Morton's office researched this back to 1994 when the county road was accepted "as is" and even before that. The owner of the road ask for improvements on the road from Public Works. Two of the commissioners said that they had been to this road and thought it was more of a field road or a driveway. County Attorney Morton advised that even when the land reverts back to owners after abandonment, this property owner will be allowed access because the state of Georgia does not allow any land locked properties. Motion to go through the abandonment process. Approved 5-0.

Mr. Morton advised that he has a General Damage Reporting Policy policy ready for commissioners to have a first reading at the next meeting. Commissioner Bass gave a couple of changes and asked to change the wording concerning the county manager notifying commissioners about damage to property to read differently than notifying commissioners " as soon as may be reasonably possible" and, after some discussion, it was agreed that it should read " within 24 hours of receipt of notice".

Motion to add this to the agenda. Approved 5-0. Motion by Commissioner Bass and 2nd by Commissioner Jarrett to consider this as the first reading of this ordinance with changes as noted. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: This issue has been discussed for quite some time and Commissioner Bass has been adamant that this needed to be changed since our previous county manager was here. And it was perfectly legal to make this the first reading because it came up as a part of the meeting. However, I would rather see items placed on the agenda said the public will know as accurately as possible ahead of time what will be discussed in a meeting unless an emergency situation arises and something requires immediate attention. That shouldn't happen on a regular basis. I understand the frustration with things moving slowly but do not want to see Pike County going back to a time when I was afraid to miss a meeting because I knew that the agenda could be amended and items passed without public advertisement on a regular basis.]


a. Discuss and/or approve/deny first reading of the Vehicle Use Policy, carried over from the February 13, 2013 meeting.

This discussion was continued from the February 13, 2013 meeting. There was a lot of discussion about the word "guest" in the document. Some was rehashed from the previous meeting about guests being officials from visiting government agencies and transportation of children and spouses. Some commissioners were adamant that children and spouses should not be in county vehicles. Commissioner Johnson asked again about an emergency situation and several commissioners voiced their opinion that there should not be an exception to this policy for any department except for 4-H where there is an occasional need for a parent to drive the 4-H bus. Motion to adopt this as first reading. Approved 5-0.

Update 3.12.13

b. Discuss animal control issues and workshop, carried over from the February 13, 2013 meeting.

The County Manager is going to gather dates for this workshop in the next couple of weeks. Motion to allow Jane Midura from Coco's Cupboard to speak. She asked for the workshop to be convenient for those who have other jobs. She suggested a Saturday so all can be involved including surrounding counties. Joy Walker then asked what are the assets and resources that we have here.


a. Discuss date for open house regarding the Courthouse.

By consensus, the Board decided to wait until after the courts are in operation on March 1st to do a walk through, decide on furniture, and then have an Open House.

b. Approve/deny Redistricting Resolution.

A draft resolution was given to the commissioners and our state representative was notified of redistricting who then notified the Reapportionment Committee of his support. It will not be introduced in this year's legislative session. There has to be a public hearing first. Rep. Caldwell said that this will be introduced next year unless there is a special assembly this year. Motion to approve sending the new map of the commission districts and the redistricting resolution to Rep. Caldwell. Approved 5-0. Motion to allow Robert Adams to speak was then approved. He thought that Rep. Caldwell had already introduced this to the Legislature. Mr. Morton clarified that Rep. Caldwell had advised the Reapportionment Committee about the county's intent and that Rep. Caldwell's office is preparing the information needed for public hearings along with public notices that are required prior to redistricting hearings.

Update 3.23.13:

c. Consider one (1) appointment to the Pike Area Transportation Committee for an unexpired two- year term set to expire February 28, 2015. Applicant meets criteria.

There were two applicants: Terry Andrews and Bobby Blalock. Motion to appoint Terry Andrews. 4-1 with Commissioner Tamra Jarrett opposed.

d. Consider one (1) appointment to the Pike County Board of Assessors for an unexpired two-year term, set to expire March 15, 2015. Applicants have met criteria.

There were two applicants: April Asher and Willie L. Johnson. Motion to appoint April Asher. 5-0.

e. Discuss and/or approve/deny part time position in the Board of Commissioners office.

CM Phillips advised that some of the adjustments that were suggested in prior meetings on financials have been done, but that this would come from contingency. Discussion about whether we really need someone in that office or whether the office can get by with those who are working in there now. Commissioner Tommy Powers said that he didn't see where the money was coming from to fund this position. Motion to deny. Commissioners Tommy Powers/Carol Bass. 4-1 with Chairman Briar Johnson dissenting.

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

a. Mr. Robert E. Adams, Jr. desires to address the Board regarding redistricting, recalls and repercussions.

Mr. Adams asked who is the county's legislative coordinator? He was informed that County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye is and that she was designated by a 2013 legislative resolution. He lectured the commissioners about accountability, responsibility, inextricable and redistricting. He lumped the school district and the county in together because neither entity completed redistricting as quickly as he said that they should have. [Note from the Editor: The school district did get their redistricting completed though it was not completed in time for the past election in July of 2012. The county's redistricting likely will not get completed until next legislative session unless there is a special legislative session this fall.] Click here to read more about the lawsuit that continues to roll on about school redistricting and the past election. He accused the Board of Commissioners, their legal counsel, and the Elections Superintendent of dropping the ball on redistricting and said that this has eroded confidence from the people and business in our community. He called for the resignation of Elections Superintendent/Probate Judge Lynn Brandenburg and Commissioner Tommy Powers and said that there has been talk of an election recall against them because of this.

b. Ms. Joy Walker desires to address the Board regarding the SPLOST Courthouse renovation project, Commissioners Resolution and SPLOST Committee.

Ms. Walker advised that 7 people were appointed to the SPLOST Committee three commission boards ago to help pass the SPLOST for the renovation of the courthouse in our community. They asked that the Commission support the SPLOST, that the chairman of the SPLOST Committee have the ability to fire members if needed, and have oversight from beginning to end even if they had no authority. She said that there was a change in the Board of Commissioners and past CM Bill Sawyer was hired and the focus of the SPLOST was changed to add roads to the project. She said that they worked to get the SPLOST passed with the promise that Commissioners would support it and not cut corners and the SPLOST Committee would have oversight. Three days after the SPLOST was passed, she said that then Chairman of the BOC Doug Mangham told here that the SPLOST Committee was not needed. She said that there was $160,000 allotted in the SPLOST budget for furniture when the 5,600 square foot addition was added to the project. She said that it appears that changes have been made and corners cut and there appears to be an effort to divert funds that have been allotted for furniture. She said that there is a difference between shabby and first class and asked why commissioners are considering holding an Open House on the Courthouse with shabby furniture. She advised that several members of the SPLOST Committee were there with her and one of those members said that current commissioners have turned this into a "big mess".

10. EXECUTIVE SESSION for the purpose of discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or periodic evaluation or rating of a county officer or employee as provided in COGA 50-14-3(6)... specifically personnel.

Into Executive Session at 8:33 and back out 9:20 p.m. No decisions were made there.

11. ADJOURNMENT: Motion to adjourn at 9:21 p.m.

Agenda subject to revision