The Henry County
Board of Commissioners held a Called Meeting at 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday, August
17, 2004 in the Community Room,
Leland Maddox, Chairman, presiding
Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman, District V Commissioner
Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner
Jason T. Harper, District III Commissioner
Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner
****Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner – (Absent)
were Linda Angus,
Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order and asked for an Acceptance of the Agenda. Commissioner Holman made the motion to accept the Agenda with the following Amendment: Change item V to “Executive BOC Meeting for real estate, personnel, and litigation,” and add item VI as “Adjournment.” Commissioner Harper seconded; the motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Adams, and Holder voting in favor.
Chairman Maddox stated this meeting was called as a Millage Rate Hearing. He said the millage rate has already been set; there was just an error in the advertisement.
Chairman Maddox asked if there were any comments by the public; there was no response from the audience.
Chairman Maddox said he opened the Public Hearing for the Millage Rate for comments, and since there were no comments, Commissioner Adams made the motion to close the Public Hearing; Commissioner Holman seconded. The motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Holman, Harper, and Holder voting in favor.
Chairman Maddox said there is a SPLOST matter to be discussed regarding real estate, and he asked the Board if this should be handled in Executive Session.
Ms. Angus said
she knew for a fact that we have enough land between the
Ms. Angus stated next summer, after the referendum passes in November, the Board will have to look at raising taxes every year. She said what you are doing is pledging the full faith of the government behind a bond issue.
Chairman Maddox said another SPLOST will not pass or millage rates raised until the public sees transportation improvements completed. He said once people see this, SPLOST will be easier to be passed in the future.
Commissioner Adams said he could not understand why it takes so long to design a road.
Ms. Angus said a person has to sit where she sits and watch the paperwork move around. She said she is pleased and thinks everything is “on track.”
Ms. Angus said with the two (2) new Superior Court Judges, the County is really out of space now. Chairman Maddox said the old Courthouse has usable space, but it needs to be updated; there are courtrooms in there that can be used. He said to renovate the Courthouse at a reasonable cost is productive, because it is usable space the County already has. Ms. Angus said the space is not intended for them.
Commissioner Harper stated his prediction, “we are going to last a while; but what will happen is, we are approved for four (4) Judges, but they rank them in order of need. Our third Judge has moved to the top of the ‘crop,’ and just because we are approved, does not mean they are going to give us both of them; they may say Gwinnett is number 2, and Henry’s 4th Judge is number 10 on the list. Just because they will fund our 3rd one does not mean they will fund our 4th one. My prediction is we will get one funded this year, and we are still going to have one Courtroom empty. The State does not have a lot of money to be appointing Judges, law clerks, and secretaries. That is my prediction, and I am fairly sure I am right.”
Mr. Jaugstetter agreed and said the space at the Courthouse could accommodate a third Judge. He said there is enough room for the Judges to preside in Courtrooms, but not enough room for everything that goes along with it. There will be additional jurors, staff members, and files where room will be needed.
Ms. Angus said the County now has a Public Defender and he was to move into the basement. She met with the Public Defender and Superior Court Judge McGarity, and their response was the space in the basement was inadequate. She said Judge Studdard of State Court will be approached and asked if he will consider using the Public Defender and expand the office, because it would be cheaper. Ms. Angus stated normally the Public Defender is in a separate building.
Commissioner Holder said when the new building is constructed, the long-range plans are to tear down the Juvenile Court’s building. His suggestion was to leave the building in tact and move the Public Defender in that space.
Harper said it would be better to put the Public Defender in the
Commissioner Harper asked, “how can you sell it to the public that the Board is going to spend $35,000,000 on a building when the Board has all of these roads to improve?”
said it is not going to be easy to sell; it might be best to implement the plan
downtown. In three (3) to three and one
half (3-1/2) years when all of the roads have been constructed, libraries have
been built, animal shelter has been constructed, at that time we can look at
Ms. Angus said the Board should look at the Public Safety money and do something meaningful with it. She said the Police Department building is not a great building, and the Board needs to proceed and capture that funding.
Harper made the motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the contract for the
award of the construction of the
asked the Board if they would like to discuss the letter they had received from
the City of
Adams stated his thoughts are since we are drowning in traffic and
intersections are being blocked because we are overwhelmed, the
Maddox’s suggestion for the response on the proposed park on
stated a “Called” meeting will be held on August 24, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. and asked
Commissioner Holman made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 4-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Adams, Holder, and Harper voting in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk