The Butts County Board of Commissioners held its first meeting for 2012 on January 9th at a 7PM meeting that followed a workshop and a called executive session to discuss a personnel matter. The public was welcomed to the meeting by Chairman Roger McDaniel following an invocation led by Commissioner Robert Henderson. After approving the agenda, the board handled some required first-of-the-year business, which was to elect a Chairman and Vice Chairman for the calendar year.

Chairman McDaniel turned the meeting over to Interim County Administrator Michael Brewer who declared the office of Chairman and Vice Chairman vacant. Mr. Brewer then called for a nomination of Chairman for 2012. Commissioner Henderson nominated Commissioner McDaniel to serve a second consecutive term as Chairman, seconded by Commissioner Hodges with a unanimous vote. Mr. Brewer then turned the meeting back over to Chairman McDaniel who called for nominations for Vice Chairman.

Commissioner Gator Hodges made a motion to nominate Commissioner Keith Douglas to serve as Vice Chairman, seconded by Commissioner Patterson and this passed with a unanimous vote as well. Chairman McDaniel congratulated Vice Chairman Douglas and thanked Commissioner Hodges for his service as Vice Chairman in 2011.

With the officers elected for 2012, the board then reappointed Jessica Reynolds as County Clerk and Michael O’Quinn as legal counsel for the year. They then moved to reappoint Alan Byars to the Planning and Zoning Commission and Alton Stewart to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Mr. Brewer made a recommendation to the Board that they vote to approve a Banking Transition Plan received from United Bank of Jackson to become the County’s bank of record. Administration had recently received proposals from all three local banks and the proposal from United was deemed the most responsive of the proposals. The board approved the recommendation and authorized the Financial Services Coordinator, Fran Womack to coordinate with United Bank for the transition of accounts.

A contract for the Board of Elections was approved to secure the services of Kimberly Slaughter as a contractor to gather and collect redistricting data from state and local resources and enter this into the Voter Registration system.  This process will reflect the new congressional, senate, house, and county lines approved by the State of Georgia and the county commissioners of Butts County.  She will also review and revise all reports in relation to redistricting for completion of the task.  This process will update each voter in order to assure they receive the correct ballot for any future elections held in Butts County and the municipalities within. The Commission approved the contract for work which will commence immediately.

Mr. Brewer requested that the board form a committee to study and revise the enabling by-laws of each of the appointed boards in the hopes of aligning them into one unified set of rules and instructions for appointed board members. This is primarily concerned with the Planning and Zoning Commission, the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Elections and Registration Board and the Board of Assessors and will include such things as attendance at meeting requirements, actions which could deem removal from boards and other policies. The bylaws would be divided into two sections; the single, unified document that have multiple applicability to all boards and then individual rules that would be specific to each board based on their scope of purpose. Each board was asked to provide a representative to the committee that would work on this project and the committee will consist of Mr. Brewer, Charles Brody from Assessors, Martin Davis from Elections, Clint Crowe from Planning and Zoning and Alton Stewart from Board of Appeals. The Board of Commissioners approved the request.

Mr. Brewer presented the Board with a recommendation for setting the 2012 filing fees for elected office during the 2012 election year. These fees are based on a figure of 3% of the State minimum salary requirements for each of these offices. The Board voted to approve the fees which are as follows:

Commissioner ($270.00)
School Board ($144.00)
Sheriff ($1,780.00)
Clerk of Court ($1,492.00)
Probate Judge ($1,492.00)
Tax Commissioner ($1,492.00)
Magistrate Judge ($1,492.00)
Coroner ($108.00)
County Surveyor ($108.00)

The Board decided to schedule a workshop on January 23rd at 5:00PM between the Commission, Development Authority and the Water Authority to discuss current development initiatives and responsibilities of each party.

Mr. Brewer updated the Board on two County Roads that are on the paving priority list should funds from DOT become available. He explained that even if the funds were available, the County would not be able to proceed with projects until all the residents on these roads elected to deed the required right of way over to the County. The two roads discussed included:

Rebon Maddox Road, which has right of way from 15 out of 32 property owners and Riley Road, which has right of way from 34 out of 59 property owners.

The next regular meeting of the Board of Commissioners is scheduled for February 13, 2012.