BUTTS COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
DECEMBER 11, 2017
Joe Brown, District 3, Vice Chairman
Russ Crumbley, District 5
Keith Douglas, District 4
Robert Henderson, District 2, Chairman
Ken Rivers, District 1
Steve Layson, Interim County Administrator
Chiquita Barkley, Controller
Michael Brewer, County Clerk
Mike O’Quinn, County Attorney
The Board of Commissioners met at 5:00 PM for a workshop to discuss a number of items on the agenda for the 6:00 PM meeting. These included the Emergency Management Long Term Action Plan; the proposed Charter Commission for Consolidated Governments; a rate adjustment to EMS billing fees; a potential future Transportation SPLOST; and an update on trails and Ocmulgee River corridor access. The workshop concluded at 5:30 PM and the Board was in recess until 6:00 PM.
Chairman Robert Henderson called the regular meeting to order at 6:00 PM and welcomed all present. He then asked Commissioner Rivers to give the invocation, followed by the pledge of allegiance.
Item 2017-12-196: Approval of Docket (with no additions)
The docket was approved with unanimous consent.
Item 2017-12-197: Approval of November 2017 Minutes
The minutes were approved with unanimous consent.
Item 2017-10-163: Ordinance Governing Discharge of Firearms in Residential Areas
This item was presented in October by Sheriff Gary Long, requesting of the Board to have the County Attorney draft an ordinance that would impose restrictions on the discharging of firearms in certain residential conditions and to provide penalties for violations. Mr. O’Quinn had prepared a rough draft and this was presented to the Commissioners, who elected to open the matter up to public debate. Following introductory remarks by Sheriff Gary Long, the Board allowed both sides seven and one-half minutes each to debate pros and cons, after which they closed the public discussion.
Commissioner Rivers made a motion to dismiss any further action on the proposed ordinance, seconded by Commissioner Crumbley and this was approved 4-1, with Chairman Henderson in dissent.
1ST AND 2ND READERS
Item 2017-11-182: Second Reading to Amend the Code of the County under Home Rule Amendment.
Mr. O’Quinn presented as a second reading a resolution for the Board to amend the Code of the County under the Home Rule Amendment that would clarify that the positions of Chief Financial Officer and County Clerk; that neither position would be subject to annual appointment; that both positions would become Butts County Merit System employees; that both positions would enjoy the same rights, privileges and security of other Merit System positions; that the position of County Treasurer, which has not been filled since the 1970’s would be eliminated; that all duties previously associated with the Treasurer would be assigned under the position of the Chief Financial Officer; that any references in the Code to the position of “Controller” would be taken to mean the person holding the position of Chief Financial Officer; and for other purposes. A citizen questioned whether the County could abolish the position of Treasurer under the Home Rule Act. Following discussion, a motion was made by Commissioner Rivers, seconded by Commissioner Brown, to accept the second reading as presented and to approve the change to the County Code as written, to be effective immediately. The Board voted unanimously to approve. Commissioner Crumbley then made a supplemental motion to ask our Legislative Delegation to also make any provision necessary and to ask for legislative consent to abolish the Treasurer position in the event that it was determined not to be within the Board’s purview to make this change alone. This was seconded by Commissioner Brown with unanimous consent.
Item 2017-12-198: First Reading to Amend the Code of the County under Home Rule Amendment
Mr. O’Quinn presented as a first reading a resolution for the Board to amend the Code of the County under the Home Rule Amendment that would abolish the requirement currently in the Code that the person holding the position of County Administrator must reside in or relocate to Butts County, thus removing any residency requirement. Commissioner Rivers moved to approve the first reading, seconded by Commissioner Douglas and this was passed 4-1 with Commissioner Crumbley in dissent. The proposed amendment reads as follows:
ORDINANCE NO. ______
AN ORDINANCE ENACTED UNDER THE HOME RULE FOR COUNTIES PROVISION OF THE GEORGIA CONSTITUTION; TO AMEND ARTICLE I, SECTION 12 OF THE BUTTS COUNTY CODE; TO REPEAL A PROVISION REQUIRING THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR TO RESIDE IN BUTTS COUNTY; AND TO CONTINUE IN FULL FORCE AND EFFECT ALL REMAINING PROVISIONS OF ARTICLE I, SECTION 12 OF THE BUTTS COUNTY CODE CONCERNING THE COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the State of Georgia, at Article 9, Section 2, Paragraph 1, extends to county governing authorities the legislative power to amend or repeal specified provisions of local acts applicable to its governing authority; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Local Acts 1961 Ga. Laws 2011 §1 and 1988 Ga. Laws 4729 §2, a position known as “county manager” was created and defined for Butts County; and
WHEREAS, pursuant to Local Acts (County Home Rule Ordinances) 2004 Ga. Laws 4571, the governing authority of Butts County abolished the position of “county manager” and created in its place the position of “county administrator,” and therein established the qualifications, appointment, duties, bond and apolitical character of said office, all of which are set forth at Article I, Section 12 of the Butts County Code; and
WHEREAS, under Article I, Section 12 (b) of the Butts County Code, in its present form, the person appointed as county administrator is required to be a resident of Butts County within six (6) months following commencement of duties; and
WHEREAS, the Butts County Board of Commissioners, as the governing authority of Butts County and the employer of the county administrator, has determined that the above-described residency requirement is a detriment to the Board’s ability to hire and retain the best qualified person for the position of county administrator, and that said requirement is not in the County’s best interest; and
WHEREAS, the Butts County Board of Commissioners desires to eliminate the residency requirement for county administrator as set forth in Section 12 (b) of the Butts County Code, but to keep in full force and effect all remaining terms and provisions of Section 12 of the Butts County Code.
NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby ORDAINED by the Butts County Board of Commissioners, under the authority of Ga. Const. Art. 9, §2, ¶(b)(1), as follows:
The following sentence set forth in Section 12 (b) of the Butts County Code is hereby repealed and stricken in its entirety:
“At the time of such person’s appointment such person need not be a resident of the county or state, but, within six (6) months following commencement of duties, such person shall reside within the county.”
All other provisions of Section 12 of the Butts County Code shall remain in full force and effect.
All otherwise lawful actions of the County Administrator of Butts County, taken through and including the date this Ordinance becomes effective, are hereby ratified and affirmed, notwithstanding the residency of said County Administrator.
Upon final adoption of this Ordinance the County Clerk shall notify the Georgia Secretary of State of this Ordinance in the manner prescribed by Ga. Const. Art. 9, Section 2, Paragraph 1 (g).
SO ORDAINED, THIS 8th day of January, 2018.
First Reading: December 11, 2017
Second Reading: January 8, 2018
Item 2017-12-199: Approval of Emergency Management Long Term Action Plan
Upon a motion by Commissioner Brown, seconded by Commissioner Crumbley, the plan was approved with unanimous consent. Commissioner Rivers commended EMA Director Glen Goens for the work he does in the Emergency Management arena.
Item 2017-12-200: Approval of the Calendar Year 2018 Holidays
Mr. Brewer presented the proposed holiday calendar for CY2018, which will include the same 12 holidays observed by the County in CY2017. Commissioner Rivers made a motion to approve, seconded by Commissioner Douglas with unanimous consent. Approved holidays will include:
• New Year’s Day
• Martin Luther King Birthday
• Good Friday/Easter
• Memorial Day
• Independence Day
• Labor Day
• Columbus Day
• Veterans Day
• Day after Thanksgiving
• Christmas Eve
• Christmas Day
Item 2017-12-201: Appointments and Reappointments
Following a presentation by Mr. Brewer, the following seats were filled upon a motion by Commissioner Douglas and seconded by Commissioner Crumbley with unanimous consent.
Public Library Board of Directors: To succeed Lauren Potts-No candidates, deferred until January
Three Rivers Regional Commission: To succeed Clair Jones (Clair Jones; reappointed; 1 year)
Butts County Transportation Board: To succeed Andrew Johnston (Andrew Johnston; reappointed; 2 years)
Butts County Transportation Board: To succeed Steven Moore (Daniel Rothwell; 2 years)
Item 2017-12-202: Approval of Policy: Leisure Services Department, on Volunteer Background Checks
Upon a motion by Commissioner Rivers, seconded by Commissioner Douglas, the policy governing background checks on volunteer coaches and other volunteers that work with children, youth and adults was approved with unanimous consent.
Item 2017-12-203: Resolution of the Board to Declare Results of SPLOST & Reimburse General Fund
Upon a motion by Commissioner Rivers, seconded by Commissioner Brown, the Board voted with unanimous consent to approve a resolution that declared the outcome of the November 2017 SPLOST Referendum, as certified by the appropriate certifying officials, to include a provision authorizing the Board that, in the event they used any General Funds to pay for approved SPLOST expenditures, that SPLOST could be used to reimburse the General Fund at such time that SPLOST funds were available.
Item 2017-12-204: Appointment of Bond Underwriters
Upon a motion by Commissioner Rivers, with a second by Commissioner Douglas, the Board approved with unanimous consent to retain the services of STIFEL Company to be the SPLOST Bond Underwriters for Butts County, for bonding any approved monies associated with the recently passed SPLOST 7 program.
Item 2017-12-205: Authorization to Approve and for Chair sign LMIG Application
Upon a motion by Commissioner Douglas, seconded by Commissioner Crumbley, the Board voted with unanimous consent to approve the 2018 Local Maintenance Improvement Grant application to Georgia DOT and authorize the Chairman to sign on behalf of the Board.
Item 2017-12-206: Approval of Fee Schedule for EMS Billing
Upon a motion by Commissioner Brown and a second by Commissioner Rivers, the board voted with unanimous consent to approve a rate adjustment for EMS billing fees to bring fees in line with current costs.
Item 2017-12-207: County Administrator Reports
Mr. Layson related a variety of reports of information to the Board for their knowledge and enlightenment.
Item 2017-12-208: Executive Session: Real Estate & Litigation
Motion to Enter: Commissioner Rivers
Second: Commissioner Douglas
Motion to Reconvene: Commissioner Rivers
Second: Commissioner Douglas
Mr. O’Quinn informed that public that they Board had discussed one real estate matter and one topic of potential litigation.
Item 2017-12-209: Public Comment
Mr. Brewer informed the board that two subjects had requested to speak under public comment at the commissioners meeting; however, both subjects had spoken earlier in the meeting under the items they were there to address and were therefore no longer present to make public comments in this portion of the meeting.
Item 2017-12-210: Adjournment Motion
Upon a motion by Commissioner Brown and seconded by Commissioner Douglas, the board adjourned the meeting with unanimous consent, thus bringing to an end the 2017 term of the Board of Commissioners.
To Be Ratified the 8th day of January, 2018