Secretary of State Investigates Potential Voter Registration Fraud

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At the request of the Butts County Board of Elections and Registration’s Office, along with five other Georgia counties, the Georgia Secretary of State’s Office has opened an investigation into possible voter registration fraud. A number of citizens had recently received phone calls and information in the mail, giving them the impression that they needed to re-register with the local elections office. In some cases, residents were led to believe that these calls originated from the Secretary of State’s Office, which is not true.

Put simply, the Secretary’s office does not call call people about registering or re-registering to vote. A person’s voter registration is valid unless the person moves to a different election precinct, in which case they would need to update their voter registration information. In come cases, if a person is registered to vote and does not vote in two consecutive General Election cycles (which happens every four years), the Secretary’s office may remove a voter from the registry but they will attempt to contact a person by mail before taking any such action.

It is important to note that the Butts County Elections and Registration office is not being investigated by the Secretary of State’s Office. The Elections Office has simply notified the Secretary’s office of complaints received from registered voters and are now part of the overall investigation. Elections office personnel are cooperating with the Secretary’s Office in every way to assist with this investigation.

Other counties who also filed complaints include Henry, Gwinnett, Bartow, DeKalb and Muscogee counties. One organization that registers people to vote is being investigated but nothing is conclusive at this time.

Voters in Butts County are asked to please notify the Elections Office of anything received in the mail asking them to re-register to vote or if you receive a phone call requesting the same. Please keep any mailed materials for possible examination and if you are called, please note the time, date, caller ID information and contact the Elections Office. They can be reached at 770-775-8202

UPDATE: The number of counties now reporting potential fraud has been expanded to include Coweta, Marion, Effingham, Tattnall, Terrell and Toombs counties.

August 18, 2014 – Called Meeting

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Opening:

A called meeting of the Butts County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 7:35AM, Monday on August 18, 2014 in the C. Wayne King Auditorium, Jackson, Georgia by Chairman, Roger McDaniel. Vice Chairman Henderson led the invocation.

Present:
Roger D. McDaniel, Chairman
Robert L. Henderson, Sr., Vice-Chairman
G.S. “Gator” Hodges, Commissioner
Keith Douglas, Commissioner

Michael Brewer, County Administrator
Michael O’Quinn, County Attorney

Absent:
Mike Patterson, Commissioner
Crystal Griggs-Epps, County Clerk

Approval of Docket

Item 2014-08-170       Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the agenda; Vice Chairman Henderson seconded the motion. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

New Business

Item 2014-08-171       Commissioner Douglas made a motion to enter into executive session, Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

Item 2014-08-172       Commissioner Hodges made a motion to reconvene back into the meeting; Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously. Mike O’Quinn stated a personnel matter was discussed during executive session involving a County employee. Commissioner Douglas left the meeting early.

Item 2014-08-173       Commissioner Hodges made a motion to adjourn the meeting; Vice Chairman Henderson seconded. Vote 3-0, motion carried unanimously.

August 11, 2014 – Regular Meeting

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Opening:

 A regular meeting of the Butts County Board of Commissioners was called to order at 6:00 PM, Monday, August 11, 2014 in the C. Wayne King Auditorium, Jackson, Georgia by Chairman Roger McDaniel. Commissioners present at this time were McDaniel, Hodges, Douglas, and Patterson. Commissioner Douglas led the invocation.

Present:
Roger D. McDaniel, Chairman
G.S. “Gator” Hodges, Commissioner
Keith Douglas, Commissioner
Mike Patterson, Commissioner
Michael Brewer, County Administrator
Crystal Griggs-Epps, County Clerk
Michael O’Quinn, County Attorney

Absent:
Robert L. Henderson, Sr., Vice-Chairman

Approval of Docket

2014-08-154    Michael Brewer requested to add the following items, Approval of Sheriff’s Budgetary Adjustment and Adding a Revenue Line item for Public Defenders Application Fees. Commissioner Hodges requested to add a discussion about the Disposal of Surplus Properties. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve the agenda with changes, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.
2014-08-155    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve minutes from July 3rd, 14th, and 21st, Commissioner Patterson seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

Presentations:  Michael Brewer presented the Five Star Employee Award to Billy Holton for outstanding service rendered to the citizens of Butts County.

Old Business

2014-07-133    Doug Manning presented the second reading for the request to amend the County’s Alcohol Regulations. Mr. Manning advised if there is no objection, the department requests that the Board approves the amended ordinance. Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve, Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-07-141    Dan Magee presented the Blue Sombrero item advising that it is registration software that allows parents to sign their kids up for youth sports and pay from their home using a credit or debit card. It is very convenient for the parents and staff. It is free to the county; however, the parents will have to pay a 2.8% credit card processing fee. Commissioner Douglas made a motion to approve the request, Commissioner Patterson seconded. Vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

New Business

2014-08-156    Doug Manning addressed the Groundbreaking Date for Indian Springs Fire Station #8. The Board agreed to have the groundbreaking on August 26, 2014 at 11:00AM. The County Clerk will be responsible for handling the invitations for the event.

2014-08-157    Doug Manning addressed the Annual Renewal for Kip’s Enterprises – Special use For Church item. There is a current agreement with the church in order to operate and keep their present zoning intact for them to receive a business license. Since the church is in the Overlay District, they must have an annual renewal by this Board. Chairman McDaniel made a motion to approve, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-158    Chiquita Barkley addressed the Butts County Code of Ethics item by stating that the county was cited in the FY13 annual budget audit and this is one of the findings that we needed to correct. This document covers the everyday ethical procedures that employees should abide by; therefore, each and every employee will need to sign a copy acknowledging that he or she has seen the document. Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve, Commissioner Douglas seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-159    Crystal Epps addressed the Chamber of Commerce’s request for the Board to be a sponsor for Jackson Alive this year. Ms. Epps stated that in order to be a sponsor, there is a $100.00 fee which will allow for the organization’s name to be printed on t-shirts. Michael Brewer stated that the $100.00 will be paid out of the scrap metal fund. Commissioner Patterson made a motion, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-160    Consent Agenda – Cross Drain Pipes for Douglas Creek Road – Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve, Commissioner Douglas seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-167 Michael Brewer addressed the request to approve adding a revenue line item for Public Defenders Application fees. Mr. Brewer requested that the Board approve the addition of a revenue line item in the FY2015 approved budget to account for these funds. There will be no anticipated revenue amount stated in the current budget but this will allow us to track and account for these funds. Commissioner Douglas made a motion, Commissioner Patterson seconded; vote 3-0, with Hodges abstaining.

2014-08-168    Michael Brewer addressed the Sheriff’s Budgetary Adjustment item. The Sheriff has made a request to re-appropriate funds within his budget to allow him to make pay changes with certain employees in his department. Sheriff Long is reducing a receptionist position which will free up $27,400, and of that amount, $15,677 will be moved from hourly employees to salaried employees; with $6969 to remain in hourly employees and $4754 to be returned to the general fund. Administration does not have the authority to make any changes to salaried line items without the approval from the Board first. Commissioner Patterson made a motion to approve, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-169    Commissioner Hodges addressed the disposal of surplus properties by stating that the county has acquired nearly 300 different parcels of land due to property owners not paying taxes on these properties. These parcels become extremely valuable to homeowners that would like to extend their property or builders that would love to build new houses on. Commissioner Hodges wants to initiate the process for staff to construct a RFP with conditions that will require any auction company to put signage on each parcel of land to include the starting bid. Commissioner Hodges stated that if we lose a little bit of money now, we will have a long time to recoup the money back. Commissioner Hodges made a motion to approve, Commissioner Patterson seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-161    No Public Comments

2014-08-162    David Massey addressed the Board to point out several issues he had with the recent amended Vacant and Foreclosed Ordinance. Chairman McDaniel stated that the Board would take this under advisement and forward to County Attorney O’Quinn.

2014-08-163    Stacey Sitten gave a presentation on the Parent Accountability Court Program which helps to promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia’s vulnerable children and adults.

2014-08-164    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to go into executive session, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0, motion carried unanimously.

2014-08-165    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to reconvene back into the meeting, Commissioner Patterson seconded; vote 4-0. Mr. O’Quinn stated that the Board discussed three separate personnel matters and a legal matter involving Code Enforcement.

2014-08-166    Commissioner Douglas made a motion to adjourn, Commissioner Hodges seconded; vote 4-0; motion carried unanimously.

September 8, 2014 – Regular Meeting Docket

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Regular Meeting – 6:00 PM
Preliminaries- Chairman McDaniel
-Call to order
-Welcome
-Invocation & Pledge of Allegiance

DOCKET No.      ACTION ITEMS
2014-08-171        Approval of Agenda
2014-08-172       Approval of Minutes-August 11th and August 18th

New Business
2014-08-173       Authorize Chairman to sign UGA Salary Study Agreement
2014-08-174       Surplus Computers – Probate Court
2014-08-175       Authorize Chairman to sign 2014-2015 Community Impact
Fund Grant Agreement
2014-08-176       Ernest Biles Memorial Golf Tournament Sponsorship

Public Comments
2014-08-177

2014-08-178      Executive Session
2014-08-179      Executive Session Summary
2014-08-180      Adjournment

Board of Commissioners to Meet on September 8th

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The Board of Commissioners will hold a regular meeting on September 8, 2014 at 6:00 PM in the C. Wayne King Auditorium at 625 W. Third Street, Jackson, GA.  The public is invited to attend.

The Commission meets on the 2nd  Monday of each month at 6PM at the above location unless otherwise posted.  For more information, contact the County Clerk, Crystal Griggs-Epps at cepps@buttscounty.org.

 

Writer’s Conference Coming to Indian Springs

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revFNL_speakersPageA Writers Conference will be held the weekend of September 12-13 at the Village at Indian Springs. Sponsored by the Jackson-Butts County Arts Council, the conference has a number of featured writers who will be speaking on writing, providing expertise to prospective writers giving insight into the writing process. For more information, see the attached flyer on how to register to attend and please help us welcome this great event to our community!

Position Available: Payroll Benefits Coordinator

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The Butts County Administration Department is seeing applicants for the position of Payroll Benefits Coordinator. Under general supervision, selected incumbent performs highly responsible work involving payroll and personnel processing. Responsibilities include processing payroll, distribution of payroll statements to employees, preparing garnishments paperwork, orientating and explaining benefits to employees, answering questions from employees concerning payroll matters and employee benefits, moderate level accounting work and a variety of related tasks. Work is performed under the general supervision of the Controller or and the County Administrator.

The position requires specific educational requirements and experience. Interested candidates may download a copy of the job description and application at the links below. A resume is required to be submitted along with the application. Applications should be addressed to J. Michael Brewer, County Administrator and must be received by no later than Friday, September 12th at Noon.

Butts County reserves to the right to reject any applications received that does not meet the desired qualifications.

Salary: $32,699.00 per year plus benefits.

Application: here

Job Description: 0406 Payroll Benefits Coord 2014