122nd Session Covering Calendar Year 2020
2019-2020 Biennium
Minutes of the Board of Commissioners for December 14, 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: Opening of Workshop

Chairman Rivers called the workshop to order in the Courtroom of the Central Georgia EMC Annex at 5:30 PM. Prior to this, Commissioners Ken Rivers (District 1), Robert Henderson (District 2) and Russ Crumbley (District 5) were sworn in by Probate Judge Elizabeth Biles in advance of beginning new terms of office that will start on January 1, 2021.

The first item of discussion was continued use of High Falls Road and other County roads for commercial traffic cut-throughs. This problem is causing wear on roads by vehicles which the roads are not designed for. No action was taken. The next item was a discussion on speed breakers in residential subdivisions. The Administration will work on a proposed ordinance whereby residents of subdivisions only can request these if 80% of the property owners (not renters) request this in writing. With no further items for discussion, the workshop was adjourned at 5:36 PM.

Section 2: November Regular Session Preliminaries

Chairman Rivers called the Regular Session Meeting to order at 6:00 PM and asked Mr. Michael Brewer to give the Invocation and lead the Pledge of Allegiance.

Item 2020-12-158 Approval of Docket
Mr. Douglas moved to approve the docket, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-12-159 Approval of Minutes
Mr. Brown moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Douglas with unanimous consent.

Section 3: Old Business

Item 2020-11-143 Appointment of Recreation Committee 2
This item had been previously tabled. Following discussion, Mr. Brown moved to expand the number of people to serve on this committee from 5 to 10 members. Mr. Douglas seconded and it passed 4-1 with Chairman Rivers in dissent. Initial appointees to this committee included the following nominations: Mr. Brown nominated Andy Patterson and Heather Sdawe. Mr. Douglas nominated Derissa Shannon and Tommy Stewart. Mr. Crumbley nominated Laurie Bledsoe. Mr. Henderson nominated Belinda Davis. Chairman Rivers nominated Bill Hamby. Others will be turned in later.

Section 4: New Business

Item 2020-12-160 County Resolution CR202021 Fixing Appointments to Boards
Mr. Brewer presented a resolution naming various persons to public Authorities, Boards and Committees for appointment in January. Mr. Crumbley moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent. The resolution shall be attached to and made a part of the Book of Resolutions, Volume 1.

Item 2020-12-161 County Resolution CR202022 Setting Calendar for 123rd Session
Mr. Brewer presented County Resolution CR2020-22 setting the schedule of holidays and scheduled meetings for the 123rd Session of the Board of Commissioners, spanning calendar year 2021. Mr. Douglas moved to approve the resolution, seconded by Mr. Crumbley and passed with unanimous consent. The resolution shall be attached to and made a part of the Book of Resolutions, Volume 1.

Item 2020-12-162 Presentation on new Driver Services Center
Chairman Rivers called Industrial Development Authority Director Bob White to give a presentation on the construction of a new Driver’s Services facility at the Southern Crescent Technical College Campus to replace the temporary building that has been housing the facility. A 3900 square foot building would be constructed on the campus. The project would be developed under the Constitutional Industrial Development Authority and the State would lease the facility from the Authority. Bids were posted on the state procurement registry in November, along with legal advertising. Sealed bids are due in by close of business tomorrow and will be reviewed between now and February 1st. If a satisfactory bid emerges it would be awarded. Project start date would begin around April 1st and Wayne Smith, County Engineer would be the engineer on the project. The BOC would do a ground lease to the Authority. Mr. White also gave the board and update on the progress of moving MasterBrand cabinets to their new facility on Windy Lane at Exit 205. The County, Development Authority and Central Georgia EMC will be meeting with company representatives tomorrow.

Item 2020-12-163 Right of Way Mowing Bids
County Manager Steve Layson presented bids and recommendations for right of way mowing, which ranged from the low $220k range to as high as $900k. He pointed out that the Public Works Department can continue to do this work for less money and recommended this continue. Chairman Rivers made a motion to keep it in house, seconded by Mr. Henderson. Mr. Crumbley then made a substitute motion to take more time to study and look at the prices. Mr. Brown seconded the substitute motion. The Chairman called for a vote and the substitute motion was defeated 2-3 with Mr. Brown and Mr. Crumbley voting in favor of and Mr. Rivers, Mr. Henderson and Mr. Douglas voting against. The original motion was then voted on passed 3-2, with Mr. Brown and Mr. Crumbley in dissent.

Item 2020-12-164 Midyear Budget Adjustments
Ms. Blissit presented amendments to the budget for year end. Mr. Brown moved to approve, seconded by Mr. Crumbley with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-12-165 Financial Report
Ms. Blissit reported that with 42% of the year completed the County has received 61% of anticipated revenue and has expended 39%. While the County did pass a resolution authorizing the use of a Tax Anticipation Note this year, it was noted that due to the excellent financial management practices employed over the past two years, the County did not use it and would not be exercising that option. This is a year sooner than it was anticipated for the County to be independent of a TAN note.

Item 2020-12-166 County Manager’s Report
Mr. Layson reported on various projects and initiatives going on, which included the hiring of Brad Johnson as incoming County Manager and some accomplishments from the Leisure Services Department. Several teams in various sports went undefeated all year in travel leagues and in state competition.

Item 2020-12-167 Executive Session
The Board having a need to enter into an Executive Session for Real Estate, Litigation and Personnel did vote to do so under a motion by Mr. Douglas, seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent. Following this the board reconvened upon a motion by Mr. Douglas and seconded by Mr. Brown with unanimous consent.

Item 2020-12-168 Attorney Report of Executive Session
Prior to Mr. Vaughn’s report, Chairman Rivers stated that he wished to make a statement for the record and then proceeded to make the following statement:

“As Chairman, I have done my best to communicate and represent the board well, and recently I’ve become aware of phone calls and secret meetings and discussions that affect the entire board. Some of these actions have caused me great concern in what I consider to be a declining moral character of some of the commissioners.  [The two prior sentences were stricken by the Board at the January 11, 2021 meeting] For these reasons, I’ve made the decision to no longer represent this board as Chairman. I will continue to do my best to represent District 1 of Butts County as a Commissioner and with that, I will hand the gavel to the Vice Chairman and excuse myself” whereupon relinquished the gavel to Vice Chairman Douglas and departed the meeting.

Mr. Vaughn stated that the Board has discussed an employee personnel matter, a potential litigation matter and a piece of real estate the County might have interest in. There was no further information to discuss.

Item 2020-169 Public Comment
Pat Mock was scheduled to come before the board for public comment to present a petition relating to the war memorial on the courthouse square; however, she did not appear.

Item 2020-12-170 Sine Die Adjournment Motion
Vice Chairman Douglas called for a motion to adjourn the 122nd Session of the Board of Commissioners which now ends. Mr. Crumbley moved to adjourn the Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson with unanimous consent. The 122nd Session is adjourned, sine die.

Ratified this 11th Day of January, 2021

On behalf of the Board of Commissioners
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 upon an Executive Session with the purpose of said session being described herein and allowable under State of Georgia law governing open meetings.

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