122nd Session Covering Calendar Year 2020
Minutes of the Board of Commissioners for 13 July 2020

☐ Ken Rivers, District 1, Chairman
☐ Keith Douglas, District 4 Vice Chairman
☐ Robert Henderson, District 2
☐ Joe Brown, District 3
☐ Russ Crumbley, District 5

☐ Steve Layson, County Manager
☐ Michael Brewer, Deputy County Manager
☐ Ben Vaughn, County Attorney

Section 1: Workshop
Chairman Ken Rivers called the July 13, 2020 Workshop to order at 5:30 PM. There were three items for discussion on the workshop.

Mr. Brewer presented the first item for discussion, a resolution to repeal an act by the Board made in 2004 and pertaining to the Office of County Administrator. The intent of the repeal is to reinstitute the Office of County Manager, the previous designation for it for the Chief Administrative Officer. The Office of County Manager was created around 1988, following a favorable referendum by the voters of Butts County. It was then enshrined into law by an Act of the Georgia General Assembly and incorporated into the Official Code of Butts County as our form of government. In 2004, the Board of Commissioners in office at that time voted under purported Home Rule to change the title to the reduced designation of “County Administrator” but without a similar diminishment of the duties and powers, which were not substantially reduced or changed. Additionally, the change was not done legislatively and therefore could not have been done administratively by an action of the Board alone. It is the position of the Administration that the change was not properly done, as the creation of the office was made by a vote of the public in a referendum and a subsequent Act of the legislature, and that while the title changed, the job being performed and the authority being exercised has been and continues to be that of a County Manager and not a County Administrator. Additionally, since the change to the title was not put through the General Assembly as a Local Bill and voted on by the General Assembly, the law still on the books lists the position as that of a County Manager. As we will be advertising soon for a new Chief Administrative Officer, this needs to be corrected before that. The resolution being put before the Board later at this meeting would effectively repeal and invalidate the 2004 decision to change the title, but is structured in such a way so as to leave all refinements and changes that have been made to the position over the last 16 years intact and would correct the situation.

The next item on the workshop is the request of the Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Blissit to merge the County Financial Policy and the County Purchasing Policy into one single document, which will be entitled the “County Financial and Purchasing Policy”, with updates.

The final item on the workshop is the request from Public Works Director Kip Washington to approve the amended LMIG road paving plan. Because bids came in lower than anticipated, the County will be able to add additional projects to the list, which will include repairs to some existing roads. With no further business, the workshop was adjourned until 6:00 PM.

Section 2: Opening of the Meeting

Item 2020-07-090 Adoption of the Docket
Following the Call to Order, Pledge and Invocation, Chairman Rivers called the July 13th, 2020 meeting of the 122nd Session of the Butts County Board of Commissioners to order and gave instructions to the public on social distancing and meeting conduct.
Senator Burt Jones was added to the docket to address the Board about forming a committee, which became Item 92. Mr. Henderson then moved to adopt the docket, seconded by Mr. Crumbley and adopted with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-07-091 Approval of the June Minutes
Mr. Brown moved to approve all of the minutes from the June meetings, public hearings and called meetings for budget and millage rate. Mr. Henderson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.

Section 3: Regular Business Session

Item 2020-07-092 Senator Burt Jones on Formation of Recreation Committee
Senator Burt Jones, a resident of Butts County, came before the Board to speak about the Leisure Services Department and opportunities for community engagement with the recreational aspects of the department. Senator Jones would like for the Board and the community to engage with and teach the young people who use the service. He would also like the Board to appoint a small steering committee to figure out what all needs to be done at the park, come up with a conceptual plan, establish funding, etc. Discussion ensued. Chairman Rivers is very interested in a public/private initiative that could help enhance the overall appeal of the park and its recreational areas. Commissioner Crumbly also commented that he would like to see future SPLOST funds used as well to fund improvements. Senator Jones stressed that “We would like to look at what might could be done with private dollars, where people will have buy-in to the programs. Mr. Henderson added that the Recreation Department helped make him who he was. Mr. Brown said that parents volunteering has always been key to success there.

Mr. Brown moved to work toward establishing this committee, seconded by Mr. Crumbley and the motion was passed with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-07-093 Resolution CR202012 Repealing County Administrator Act of 2004
Deputy County Administrator Michael Brewer presented County Resolution CR202012 repealing an Act by the Board of Commissioners from 2004 that changed the County Chief Administrative Officer’s job title from County Manager to County Administrator. The repealing of this Act effectively reverts the title to that of County Manager. Upon a motion by Mr. Crumbley and seconded by Mr. Brown, the Resolution was passed with unanimous consent and takes effect immediately. The Resolution further authorizes the Clerk of Butts County to make all necessary changes to signage, websites, stationary and related materials.

Item 2020-07-094 Non-Governance Resolution on Hazard Mitigation Plan Update
Deputy Chief Glen Goens presented a non-governance resolution approving the latest update to the Hazard Mitigation Plan for Butts County for approval. Mr. Crumbley moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent to authorize the Chairman to sign the document.

Item 2020-07-095 Approval of Amended Local Maintenance Improvement Grant (LMIG)
Public Works Director Kip Washington requested that the Board approve the amended Local Maintenance Improvement Grant from DOT. Mr. Henderson moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Brown and passed with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-07-096 Financial Report for June 2020
Chief Financial Officer Rhonda Blissit presented the financial report for June, stating that this would be the report for the last month of the fiscal year. Prudent financial management has ensured the County has managed public funds wisely and has underspent the budgeted amount for Fiscal Year 2020. With 100% of the fiscal year completed, the County has received 106% of anticipated revenue and has spent 100% of the budget for the fiscal year ended, meaning we are 6% to the positive. The Board expressed its appreciation to the Administration Department and all County employees for excellent management of the budget over the Fiscal Year and production of revenues which exceeded expectations. It was also stated this will be helpful going into an unforeseeable and potentially trying budget year being plagued by Coronavirus pandemics and economic turmoil from it.

Item 2020-07-097 Approval of Financial and Purchasing Plan Merger Document
Ms. Blissit requested the approval of the merged Financial and Purchasing Policy for Butts County, which would become effective immediately. Mr. Crumbley moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-07-098 Report of the County Manager
County Manager Steve Layson reported that all building projects are on schedule and that preparations for moving offices to the new wing are underway. He also updated the Board on other projects that are moving forward in the new fiscal year. A called meeting will also be held on the 21st of July at 8:00 AM to adopt the millage for the total County (the Board having previously adopted the County Millage on June 25th) that will include the School Board adopted millage and Hospital Authority millage. Additionally several vehicles will be surplussed in the coming months. It was also noted for the record that with the end of his contract coming in December, Mr. Layson has elected not to renew his contract for next year, pending completion of building projects. The County will begin advertising for a new County Manager this month, with the selected candidate to take office January 1, 2021.

Item 2020-07-099 Executive Session and Attorney Report of Session
The Board voted to enter an Executive Session for a personnel matter upon a motion by Mr. Crumbley and seconded by Mr. Henderson. Litigation and Real Estate have also been added. Upon a motion by Mr. Brown and seconded by Mr. Douglas, the board later reconvened with unanimous consent. County Attorney Ben Vaughn reported activity with a real estate transaction, a personnel matter and updated steps on a legal matter.

Item 2020-07-100 Adjournment
Mr. Brown moved to adjourn, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent. Meeting adjourned.

Ratified this 13th Day of July, 2020

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners
Ken Rivers, Chairman of the Board


I do hereby attest by my signature and seal below that the aforementioned minutes of the Butts County Board of Commissioners are an accurate representation of the official actions undertaken by the Board during the open meeting designated for the date and times stated herein. I also attest that the Board did enter an Executive Session for the purposes outlined herein, as allowed by Georgia Law.

J. Michael Brewer, Deputy County Manager
Clerk of the 122nd Session