The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Regular Public Meeting on Tuesday, February 3, 2004 at 9:00 a.m. in the Community Room of the County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board of the County Administration Building. The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting. Representing Henry County were:
Leland Maddox, Chairman (presiding)
Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman, District V Commissioner
Warren E. Holder, Commissioner, District I
Gary M. Freedman, Commissioner, District II
Jason T. Harper, Commissioner, District III
Gerry Adams, Commissioner, District IV
Also attending were Linda Angus, County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Jill Goodman, Deputy County Attorney; Susan Craig, County Clerk; Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager and Public Safety Division Director; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Michael Harris, Public Works Director; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Tom Couch, Assistant to the County Manager – Special Projects; and several others.
Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order at 9:04 a.m. and Commissioner Adams gave the invocation.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to amend the Agenda by removing under “Item V – Ordinances – Public Hearings” No. 1 an ordinance for the purpose of amending Section 3-6-24 of the Code pertaining to platting authority of the County Municipal Planning Commission, and No. 3 an ordinance for the purpose of amending Article V, Chapter 3-2 of the Code pertaining to establishing a Board of Code Enforcement. Also under “Item VI – Rezoning,” RZ-03-63 the rezoning request of Andy Bunn of Locust Grove and RZ-03-64 the rezoning request of Triad Investment of Jonesboro, have been postponed. Commissioner Holman moved to allow the Board to go into Executive Session immediately to discuss a legal issue. Afterwards, the Board will reconvene into the regular Agenda.
Commissioner Freedman added a postponement to the motion by removing under Item XI – D, the Board of Commissioners’ nominations for the Hospital Authority Board for District I, District II and an At Large position.
Commissioner Holman said he would amend the acceptance of the Agenda to include the postponing of Item XI-D the nominations for the Hospital Authority Board.
Commissioner Harper said in Item XII prior to No. 1 in the Administrative Appeals, he would like to insert the Ordinance amending Chapter 3-8 division of parcels of land into three or fewer tracts and for other purposes.
Commissioner Holman said he would also amend the Acceptance of the Agenda to include that Ordinance. Commissioner Freedman seconded.
Chairman Maddox stated Item XI-D (Board of Commissioners’ nominations for the Hospital Authority Board) has come before the Board several times and has been postponed. He said one (1) week before the Board has their next meeting, each Commissioner should submit the names, addresses and credentials of their nomination list to the Chairman so they could be distributed for review.
Commissioner Freedman asked if the Board could do the same for the Code Enforcement Board.
Chairman Maddox agreed.
Chairman Maddox asked for a vote on the motion to accept the amended Agenda; the motion carried 6-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Harper, Holder, Freedman, Adams, and Holman in favor.
Commissioner Freedman made a suggestion regarding the postponement of the two (2) rezoning issues and the two (2) ordinance hearings. He proposed for them to be heard at the Board of Commissioners’ night board meeting so interested and involved citizens would not have to take off from work during the day.
Commissioner Holder moved to adjourn into Executive Session, in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 50-14-3, and other applicable laws, and pursuant to the advice by the County Attorney, Patrick Jaugstetter, to adjourn into Executive Session for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters. Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 6-0-0 with Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Harper, Holder, Freedman, Adams, and Holman in favor.
(The Board held an Executive Session.)
Commissioner Harper made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams, Holman and Harper in favor.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the affidavit in support of the Chairman pertaining to Executive Session; Commission Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams, Holman and Harper in favor.
An ordinance for the purpose of amending Section 3-14-50 of the Code of Henry County, Georgia, entitled “Persons Eligible for Retail License,” and for other purposes. Mr. Nicholas Day of the Tax Commissioners Office said this is an ordinance that regulates the distance that entities selling alcoholic beverages must locate from schools and churches. Henry County is experiencing considerable growth requiring that restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages be revisited to ensure that schools and churches are adequately buffered from the sale of alcoholic beverages.
There was no opposition to this request.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the ordinance amending 3-14-50 entitled Persons Eligible for Retail License” and for other purposes. Commissioner Holder seconded.
Commissioner Freedman referenced (d) to the definition of a school. He said in the last part of paragraph (d) it says, “….public schools or private schools as defined in subsection (b) of Code Section 20-2-690.” He asked what that definition was. Jill Goodman, Deputy County Attorney, stated, “that is where they talk about the commonly taught subjects such as reading, writing, and arithmetic. It is a school as opposed to a daycare.”
Commissioner Freedman said he called the question.
Chairman Maddox said he had a question, but stated we will take the question.
Commissioner Holman said he thought that was very rude.
Chairman Maddox said the question had been called.
Commissioner Freedman said he would remove it if someone wanted to discuss something.
Chairman Maddox said this Board will operate on the ways “Roberts Rules of Order” go. He said Commissioner Freedman called for the question, and the Board needed to vote on the motion. The motion carried 4-1-0 with Commissioners Harper, Freedman, Holder and Adams voting in favor; Commissioner Holman voting against.
Commissioner Holman referenced (g) of the ordinance reading:
“From the front door of the structure from which beverage alcohol is sold or
offered for sale;
In a straight line to the nearest public sidewalk, walkway, street, road or highway;
Across such street if the establishment is on the opposite side of the street or
along such public sidewalk, walkway, street, road or highway by the nearest
To the front door of the building, or to the nearest portion of the grounds,
whichever is applicable under the applicable statute.”
Commissioner Holman said the above is a convoluted description that is very hard to understand. He said he sat through one of these court cases where the County was the defendant. The Judge could not understand our definition of the distance between the buildings; in this case, it is 300 feet from a church to the selling and 1,000 feet from the school to the establishment. He suggested we could just say, “identify this building, identify the church, draw a circle around it, find the four points, get the center of it, and draw a line and make a circle, and say that is the boundary of the church (300 foot radius) and do the same thing with the school – and be done with it! That way, everybody would understand what we are trying to offer.”
Commissioner Holman stated, “I am against this ordinance because it does not fix the purpose that it was intended to do, and it is very vague. I think it is important that we straighten this up to allow these judges to make a clear and concise calling on our ordinances.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “as Chairman of the Economic Development Committee where this came up, this does correct the problem. The issue we had with the restaurant owner on Jonesboro Road was they wanted to come out, head east to the acceptable crossing area on Jonesboro Road, cross Jonesboro Road and come back to the west which added up to over 1,000 feet. What this clarifies is: ‘from the front door in the straightest line.’ That was not in there before. We have resolved this. The lawsuit was they wanted to take a convoluted direction, and this no longer allows that. It states, ‘in a straight line to the nearest public sidewalk or walkway,’ and now it says, ‘they can cross the street’ – that’s the straight line.”
Chairman Maddox addressed Mr. Day, “in the paragraph before (h), ‘if an establishment has two or more customer entrance doors, the measurement shall be made and the restrictions shall apply from each such door.’ If one door is located at one end of the building and the other door is at the other, are you going to measure to the closest door?” (Chairman Maddox said Mr. Day did not have to answer the question; it has already been addressed.)
Earl Warrington (RZ-03-65) has applied for a rezoning from RA (Residential agricultural) to R-1 (Single-Family Residence) to permit the development of a residential subdivision, for property located on the west side of Moccasin Gap Road, to the south of Ellistown Road “Parcel Numbers 179-01-025-300 and 179-01-025-700” in Land Lot 235 of the 8th District. The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval with the following conditions:
1. The net density shall not exceed 0.80 dwelling units per acre.
2. The minimum house size shall be 1,800 square feet (heated space).
3. The homes shall be built on-site (no modular or manufactured homes), with two (2)-car garages standard.
4. The developer shall install sidewalks on both sides of the street.
5. All yards shall be sodded to the rear drip line of the homes.
6. Underground utilities and streetlights shall be required.
7. The front façade shall consist of brick, stone, stucco, or any combination thereof; the remainder shall be constructed of masonry material (hardiplank).
There was no opposition to this request.
Commissioner Holder said Mr. Warrington had agreed to the seven (7) conditions presented by Staff. Commissioner Holder moved to approve the rezoning request from RA to R-1 with the seven (7) conditions. Commissioner Harper seconded.
Commissioner Freedman said in condition #7 it should not state “hardiplank” because it is a brand. He said it should read, “hardiplank type material.”
Commissioner Holman asked what is the lot size requirement for R-1 zoning. Mr. Ray Gibson, of Planning and Zoning, answered, “one (1) acre lots.”
Commissioner Holman referenced condition #7 stating the front façade shall consist of brick, stone, stucco, etc. He asked if only one (1) side of a four (4) sided home would consist of this. Commissioner Holman asked if Mr. Warrington would allow the minimum to be ‘all sides brick, stone, stucco, etc.’ Mr. Warrington said he would like to leave the condition as is.
The vote was taken on the motion to approve the rezoning request; the motion carried 4-1-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Adams and Holder voting in favor of the motion; Commissioner Holman voting against.
Resolution Approving Streetlight Request. The owners of the following subdivisions have applied for the creation of a new streetlight district:
· Jasper Heights, Phase 2, 4 lights, 14 lots, Central Georgia EMC District 2
· Pebblebrook at Kelleytown, Phase 1, 1 light, 32 lots, Georgia Power, District 5.
· Crown Landing, 21 lights, 57 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 1
· Brenleigh Park, 16 lights, 47 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 5
· Grant Manor, 4 lights, 10 lots, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 3
· Kensington Pointe, Phase 2, 22 lights, 93 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 2.
· Canterbury Cove, 4 lights, 19 lots, Georgia Power, District 2
· Springs at Heron Bay, Phase 2, 3 lights, 16 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1
· Parkwood at Heron Bay, Phase 2, 6 lights, 35 lots, Central Georgia EMC, District 1
· Colonies at Williamsburg Plantation, Phase 1, 31 lights, 133 lots, Central Georgia EMC and Georgia Power, District 1
Commissioner Holman moved to approve the revenue streetlights XI-A, 1 through 10. Commissioner Freedman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams voting in favor of the motion.
A resident of Audubon Estates subdivision has requested a Non-Revenue Streetlight at the intersection of Wren Way and Robin Lane in the Audubon Estates Subdivision, 1 light, Georgia Power, District 1. Also a resident of Fairview Manor subdivision has requested a Non-Revenue Streetlight at the intersection of Fairview Road and Fairview Drive in the Fairview Manor Subdivision, 1 light, Snapping Shoals EMC, District 5.
Commissioner Holman moved to approve the two (2) Non-Revenue Streetlights in XI-B, 1 through 2; Commissioner Harper seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams voting in favor of the motion.
Commissioner Holman moved to accept the ordinance for the purpose of amending Chapter 3-8 of the Code of Henry County, Georgia providing the requirements for the division of the parcel of land into three (3) or fewer tracts and for other purposes. He also directed the legal staff to make preparations to amend the ordinance in reference to flag lots. Commissioner Holder seconded.
Commissioner Harper said he would read the Code:
“This would amend the ordinance regarding lot divisions notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Chapter 3-8, (especially Section 3-8-96 hereof) any parcel may be subdivided into no more than three (3) tracts every five (5) years without regard to the requirements of Section 3-8-96, and without the necessity of submitting development plans for review and approval; (such lot divisions shall be submitted for approval in accordance with Section 3-8-54 hereof). For purposes of this code section, the term “parcel” shall mean and refer to tracts or parcels of land as are identified by the 2003 Henry County Tax Parcel Map, prepared and maintained by the Henry County Tax Assessor’s Office, which Map is incorporated herein by this reference. However, all such divisions shall conform to minimum lot size requirements for the applicable zoning district.”
The adoption of this ordinance will render the appeal of Len Brewer, Paulette Bunn, Benjamin Barnett, and Jeff Swaney moot as they will be in compliance with the ordinance.
There was no opposition to this request.
Chairman Maddox said, “we have had some problems with individuals building houses on dirt roads. Our ordinance says you cannot have three (3) or more houses on a dirt road without paving that road. This ordinance should correct the problems.”
Chairman Maddox called for the vote on the motion to accept this ordinance; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Freedman, Adams and Holman voting in favor.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to withdraw Items 1) Len Brewer, 2) Paulette Bunn, 3) Benjamin Barnett, and 5) Jeff Swaney from the Agenda as they are moot and they are now in compliance with the ordinance, and the Staff will be directed to follow the new ordinance and issue the necessary permits. Commissioner Holman seconded.
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Brewer, Ms. Bunn, Mr. Barnett and Mr. Swaney if they were withdrawing their appeal. They all agreed they would withdraw. (Mr. Carey Bunn was present on behalf of Paulette Bunn.)
The vote was taken; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Holder, Harper, Freedman and Adams voting in favor of the motion.
Mr. Carey Bunn is requesting an appeal of the decision by the Development Plan Review Department to deny the construction plan for Shoal Park Subdivision. This property is located in Land Lot 86 of the 8th District and the proposed corner lots in the subdivision are required to have an additional fifteen (15’) feet of width in order to adhere to the Subdivision Ordinance of Henry County.
Commissioner Holder said this piece of property is not on Antioch Road; this property is on Snapping Shoals Road, but in the Commissioners’ exhibit book it says location Land Lot 170 in the 7th District Antioch Road. He affirmed this property was no where near Antioch Road.
Mr. Bunn said, “a few weeks prior to this we filed another plat exactly the same way, and it was approved without having the extra fifteen (15’) feet. We asked to put in a ‘no access’ strip to the lots. We felt this was originally intended for small lots, 75 or 100 foot lots. We drew all of our houses in with setbacks so they would fit either way especially on corner lots. Mr. Chris Mercer of the Plan Review Department wanted us to redraw the whole map, but we saw no reason for this especially when Shoals Park was approved forty-five (45) days before and was exactly the same way by the very same engineer. If we are going to have standards, let us use the same every day.”
Mr. Chris Mercer said in the case Mr. Bunn is speaking of is one (1) corner lot in another subdivision, and it was approved on a previous set of plans. Also this was at a final plat process. Mr. Mercer said it was agreed that one (1) lot was allowed to put a ‘no access’ easement on one side, and the Director of Development Plan Review made this decision several months ago. Mr. Mercer said, “when you have a one-hundred foot lot width, there is a fifteen (15’) foot setback on one side. But on a corner lot, you have to have that as 75% of what the front setback is. If the front setback is fifty (50’) foot, 75% of that is 37-1/2, and if you take 37-1/2 on one side, and you have 15 on the other, that only leaves fifty (50’) foot of width to put a house in. That is the concern for the extra fifteen (15’) foot of width on the corner lots. There is an additional setback coming off of the road adjacent.”
Commissioner Holman asked if Mr. Bunn was in compliance with our ordinances or codes.
Mr. Mercer answered, “on the plans as submitted now, no, not on the corner lots.”
Commissioner Holman asked what Mr. Mercer’s recommendations were.
Mr. Mercer said he has to go by what is in the Ordinance now and deny that, and that is why Mr. Bunn is here now, because the construction plans have been denied.
Commissioner Adams asked, “the lot mentioned before that was not required for the fifteen (15’) foot, if this came before you now, would it be allowed?”
Mr. Mercer said, “yes.”
Commissioner Adams asked was a mistake made?
Mr. Mercer said he did not know if it was a mistake; it was an exception.
Commissioner Adams asked again, “if it came before you today, it would not be allowed?”
Mr. Mercer said, “no, sir. In that subdivision, we had a main road; the road coming in, there was another immediate road coming into a cul-de-sac and it would have caused them to either acquire additional property on that main road or redesign the entire subdivision.”
Commissioner Holder said, “regarding lot #1 in that subdivision, in condition #2 in the original zoning in October, 2003, it stated only one (1) lot shall front onto Snapping Shoals Road. Therefore, lot #1 is by condition that it faces the interior. How can it really be considered a corner lot?”
Mr. Mercer said that is not one of the lots under consideration right now.
Mr. Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director, stated, “there is an extra fifteen (15’) feet required on corner lots because we do not know, by looking at the plat, which is going to be the front. The front should have the larger setback than the side. So we require both sides that front the street to have the equal front setback of fifty (50’) feet in this particular zone.”
Commissioner Freedman stated, in his opinion, the issue has been resolved. He said our concern is we did not know where the front or sides would be, but by Mr. Bunn showing us, we now know where the front and sides will be located.
Mr. Bunn said Mr. Taylor and Staff spent a lot of time and effort trying to figure a way to provide what was needed. He said it boiled down to them not having the authority.
Commissioner Freedman suggested we prepare a new Ordinance (when things are this clear-cut) giving the Planning Staff the authority to make that variance decision.
Commissioner Holder said many times ordinances are not exactly fitting to the particular situation and should be reviewed.
Commissioner Holman directed to Mr. Taylor, “the way this resolution is written, is this going to allow Mr. Bunn to satisfy your needs and for the Board to be consistent?”
Mr. Taylor answered, “if you approve the resolution, I think that will grant us what we need.”
Commissioner Freedman said we need to add wording, something to the effect, the plat as shown will be adhered to.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to deny the resolution to determine the administrative appeal on denial of the construction plans of Shoal Park Subdivision. Commissioner Holman said it is his belief the applicant has solved the problem and there will not be a violation of our Ordinance. Commissioner Adams seconded.
Commissioner Holder clarified the denial by saying, “the reason for what Mr. Taylor said in reading, ‘now, therefore, be it resolved the Board of Commissioners denies the elimination of an additional fifteen (15’) feet of width on the indicated corner lots,’ that means we are denying him having to have the additional fifteen (15’) feet. That is why it is saying ‘denies’ rather than approves.”
Commissioner Freedman said somewhere we need to document that he is going to adhere to that plat showing where the frontage is.
Commissioner Holman asked the records to reflect the direction of this Board.
The vote was taken; the motion carried 5-1-0 with Commissioners Harper, Freedman, Holder, Holman and Adams voting in favor of the motion and Chairman Maddox voting against.
Chairman Maddox said the reason he voted against the motion is because the code is there, and he is voting for the code.
Mr. Bunn wanted to discuss the issue of not having a plat, which was not an Agenda item. He said he had never needed a plat; a legal description is really better than a plat. He recorded the deed, but had no plat to present.
He stated he wanted to amend his appeal to have the Board consider other variances. Commissioner Holman stated the appeal had already been voted on. Commissioner Freedman said the additional items are not on the Agenda, and the Board could not change the Agenda in the middle of a meeting.
The County Attorney, Patrick Jaugstetter, said if the Board so chooses, they could resolve the matter now.
Chairman Maddox said he did not accept the point of order and wanted to get everything resolved.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to amend the Agenda to add the amended appeal of Mr. Carey Bunn for the fact that he just showed. Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 3-2-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holder and Holman voting in favor of the motion; Commissioners Adams and Freedman voting against.
Commissioner Holman asked, “the house was there before you drew that plat.”
Mr. Bunn said, “yes, there is nothing I can do so far as to altering my plat.”
Commissioner Holman said, “you knew the house was there when you drew the plat. You could have moved those pencil lines where the house would not have been the problem.”
Mr. Bunn said, “no sir, there is no way. We cannot move the back property line, where the problem is, because that is where my property ends.”
Commissioner Holman made a motion for Mr. Bunn to acquire a plat. Commissioner Harper added the house to be approved within the encroachment. (There was no second to this motion, and more discussion continued.)
Chairman Maddox made a suggestion to Mr. Bunn, since the additional issues he wanted to discuss were not on the Agenda, for the Planning Staff to gather everything he wanted to discuss and place on one appeal and bring it back to the Board.
Mr. Bunn said he had been held up three months in getting a grading permit on a common piece of land. Now this is being held up another two or three weeks.
Commissioner Holder said when a set of plans is reviewed, we should have one opportunity to find all of the errors in the plan. But as it is, there have been two or three different times we have found other things wrong. He said if it takes a couple of extra days to review it thoroughly, the applicant needs an answer so he/she knows what direction they have to go and what they have to correct.
Mr. Taylor responded, “we do practice that to the greatest extent possible. All these comments were made at the same time.”
Commissioner Harper made a motion to place this on the next available agenda in two (2) weeks. Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Holder, Adams and Freedman in favor of the motion.
A. Economic Development Committee:
1. Request approval of an award of a bid for the purpose of a study of
planning and development services for the planning, development
plan review, building permit and GIS Department
B. Public Safety Committee:
1. Request approval for the Police Department and the Fire Department to
accept a donation from Tanger Outlet Mall.
2. Request approval of an award of a bid for the purchase of uniforms for the Fire Department.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the Consent Agenda; Commissioner Adams seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Holder, Freedman, and Holman voting in favor of the motion.
Mr. Dick Morris requests to address the Board of Commissioners regarding elected officials’ pay increase received under the current budget as follows:
“It is my understanding Commissioner Freedman, Commissioner Adams, and Commissioner Holder are the three who voted for the Budget to pass.” Mr. Morris read from the Board’s own Association of County Commissioners’ Handbook: ‘County Commissioners typically interact with the other elected county officials in their capacity as the physical or budget authority of the County. In fact, this may be the County Commissioners’ most important role in Georgia’s System of Governors.’
“I thought I would read this, because I am here about the budget. It is important to me, and I know it is important to you also. We have already discussed your salaries, the Sheriff’s salary, and the employees’ salaries. We discussed checks and balances. You start getting your money as soon as it is approved. Most counties, and in State government, wait until they face the voters before they get anything. I called some legislators, and they said that is the way it should be. You are the local law here; you set what is going to happen. We discussed the legislative bill the Commissioners had passed and are using now (2-2-23). That is the one that ties the Commissioners to the coat tail of the Sheriff. That needs to change. Something went wrong someplace.”
“Today, I want to talk to you about the other elected officials. Everybody in the elected field seems to be tied to somebody. Why should they be? That is not a State law. I would like to give the Board a couple of examples: Judge of the State Court made $113,000 before he got a raise and now he is getting $127,000. A Judge of the Magistrate Court jumped from $42,000 to $57,000. Something is wrong with these ridiculous increases in pay. The three Commissioners who voted for this budget gave $14,000 to the State Court Judge, $26,000 to the Probate Court Judge, $29,000 to the Juvenile Court Judge, $16,000 to the Judge of the Magistrate Court, and $14,000 to the Solicitor of the State Court. This goes on and on! When I was getting the figures together, I felt kinda bad for the guy who did not get at least $10,000, and that is a lot of money. In the State government, they did not get a cost of living raise. And as far as I know, there is not a goose out there that is laying a golden egg so that we can just put out money like this.”
“They got what you call ‘supplements.’ That is where the State pays the Judges a certain amount of money, and the County gives them some sort of supplement. In every case of the supplement, it was a 100% increase. In fact, the lowest supplement went down to $5,000 (I don’t know how he got out of that). The other supplements were $16,000, $9,000, etc. Just on the supplements, we did not hold back on that either. Let’s give them $16,000 (double what they are getting). I did a little math on this, just on the elected officials (salaries, not supplements), and this will cost the taxpayers $257,819.97 a year to pay these people the pay increases. The supplements will cost $62,000.86. After adding the supplements and the pay increases, it comes to a total of $319,906.61 and this is out of twenty (20) elected people. I think you are pricing them and yourselves out of a job. It is like a ball team; he’s a good man, but we cannot afford him. This is what you are doing to the taxpayers right now.”
“I would not say a bad thing about any elected official or employee of Henry County, but what I am saying is you have priced yourselves out. You are comparing yourselves to five (5) counties that have a greater population than what Henry County has. Gentlemen, all I am saying is something has gone wrong. I wish the three (3) Commissioners who voted for the pay increase would just come out and say, ‘this is what made me approve this budget.’ I would hope they would do it in the open, just like we are doing here, so we can all hear that maybe you do deserve it. Everything is based on population, and we do not have the population and we are not the richest county in the State of Georgia. I would like to see the Commissioners go back into Executive Session and revote this and say we have made a mistake. I appreciate your time.”
Mr. Wayne Chase requests to address the Board of Commissioners regarding 1) a traffic light at the intersection of Highway 138 and Highway 155, and 2) a fence at Eagle’s Landing Parkway and Country Club Drive.
“Back about thirteen (13) months ago I brought this back before the Commissioners, and nothing was resolved. Bill Gardner was the sitting Chairman of the Board when this amendment was made to put the Winn-Dixie at Hwy 138 and Hwy 155. At the same time, the light was to be installed and one-half of the cost to be paid by Winn-Dixie. Winn-Dixie is no longer there, so we have lost that money as a County. Therefore, the County and the State have to put the light in. I want to know where the light is, what the status is, and why have we not gotten a light since the request of 1990. Here it is 2004 and we still do not have a light. Highway 138 and 155 is probably one of the oldest intersections in the County. A daycare is coming soon at this location, and I am concerned about the traffic because we still have the trash there (that Winn-Dixie was to conduct a clean-up), and the water still comes through our neighborhood even more so than before.”
“I have been living in the same place for twenty-five (25) years and that light is still not up. We are still going by 4-way stop signs, and if you would check with the Road Department at the State or County level, we are replacing stop signs on the Hwy. 155 side (the southwest corner) because they are constantly being knocked down by trucks. I have a limousine business on the corner, and when I make a wide turn there, I cannot get through due to the traffic. Many times I have had to cut through the Winn-Dixie.”
“So I am asking you today to tell me where that light is.”
Ms. Linda Angus, County Manager, said, “if you would give us some time, we do not have all those answers, but we can get them for you.”
Mr. Chase responded, “I appreciate that, but I have a question to that. No offense to you, Ms. Angus or the Board, but I have been waiting a long time on this light and my neighbors have also. If someone would make the commitment to contact me and tell me what is going on with that light, I would greatly appreciate it.”
Commissioner Freedman asked if he knew for certain that this was a condition of Winn-Dixie to provide for the light.
Mr. Chase said, “absolutely.”
Commissioner Freedman said it goes with the owner of the land. He said we need to check this legally. If Winn-Dixie never paid it, and that was a condition, we need to look at that.
Ms. Angus said not all of our documents pertaining to these agreements are as clean and clear as you might want them to be. She said we will look at this.
Secondly, Mr. Chase addressed the fence at Eagle’s Landing Parkway and Country Club Drive. “This is not in my district, but this was brought to my attention a year ago. This was property owned by Senator Mike Crotts and was sold to SouthTrust Bank. SunTrust Bank is the same property of Mike Crotts also, and when I started mentioning this, I talked to Mike Crott’s son. He said they would put a fence up. They put a fence up at SunTrust Bank; but they did not put one up at SouthTrust Bank (right next door). My question is, if a child runs away from their parents and crosses the roadway, they will fall off the fence 60 foot deep. Mr. Michael Harris did tell me, because this was Senator Mike Crott’s property, he was told to leave it alone. I have a problem with that. If this is a politician’s property, and he is selling this, why was Mr. Harris told to leave this alone?”
Mr. Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director, stated, “I do not recall ever making a comment about being directed to leave the property alone based on who owned the property. I have been dealing with Mr. Crotts for thirteen (13) plus months. Mr. Crotts agreed to go back on his property and install the fence, which he has subsequently done. The remainder of the property at the corner where the big wall is located, that is owned by SouthTrust Bank. I have spoken with their representatives a couple of months ago, and they are still trying to schedule the work to be done. It has been going back and forth. They said they are not opposed to putting a fence up; they are just trying to get it scheduled and funded. They have never said they will never put it up. We reviewed our ordinances to clarify a situation like this if we have to put a fence up. It is currently listed in our ordinance book and is not clearly defined. I have spoken with the staff to see if we can go through and actually force them to do this. It was the understanding that no we could not. So then we began negotiations by asking them if they would, and we are still in conversation with the Bank.”
Mr. Chase responded, “if he installed the fence, he installed the fence on SunTrust property. He owned both properties; am I correct by saying that statement?”
Mr. Harris answered he was not sure where Mr. Crotts’ property starts and stops. He said Mr. Crotts told him that he installed the fence on his property, and the remaining portion is the SunTrust property, and that is up to them to go through and make the installation.
Mr. Chase said, “I have done my research; Michael Crotts owned both properties.”
Chairman Maddox said if there is nothing in the ordinance book that requires us to force them to do this, then we will have to work with the SunTrust Bank to get this done. The Chairman asked if the wall was originally there, or was it something that was added?
Mr. Harris said he thought it was added and not part of the original plan, but he would have to go back and check.
Mr. Chase said, “if you put a fence on a six (6’) foot wall, a child can fall and die the same way he/she would die on a sixty (60’) foot wall. The only difference is he/she will drop further. If you make them put a fence on a six (6’) foot wall, you should make them install a fence on a sixty (60’) foot wall. This is a very dangerous situation. Why does this County not have an ordinance? We should not play favoritism to a politician because we are voters. If we are voters, we are the ones who vote you in and out. If Mike Crotts is making a comment, ‘it’s not my property anymore,’ then let me say I have talked to Mr. Crotts about this property and he said, ‘I went by the ordinances of the County.’ How do you approve a sixty (60’) foot wall without some kind of restraint for an individual falling off this wall?
Mr. Harris said, “we did not make them; we requested they put the fence up.”
Commissioner Harper said Mr. Chase is correct about the danger. If we cannot enforce it, we have got to change the ordinance.
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Harris to look into this problem and get back with him. He told Mr. Chase he would then inform him of the outcome.
Mr. Leon Forrer requests to address the Board of Commissioners regarding stormwater and greenspace.
“A few months ago, Henry County Water and Sewerage Authority purchased one hundred (100) acres on Hurd’s Creek in Jasper, Georgia for the waste water wetlands that had been condemned. Why can’t we replace all of our wetland property in the County rather than going somewhere else?”
Chairman Maddox said, “I cannot answer that, but this has been a standard practice in other counties. There are other counties that own property in Henry County because they are wetlands. I am not familiar with it; but if we use wetlands in the County, if you can come up with it somewhere else to satisfy the Federal Government that you can buy that, this will take care of it.”
Commissioner Holder said, “all of that is part of the wetland mitigation. All wetlands do not qualify and there are different degrees and levels where you get different points, and it is a point system that is very complicated. For example, there is mitigation land that the Water Authority has bought here, and one of them is in my district at the eastern end of the County (Island Shoals Road / Cody Road area). There is also some on Upchurch Road the Water Authority bought. They do buy some here, but with a 1,500/1,600 acre reservoir like Tusahaw Reservoir is going to be, there is obviously not enough in Henry County to qualify. There is a formula for that.”
Mr. Forrer said, “Commissioner Harper is my Third District Commissioner, and they have started widening and resurfacing Campground Road. We have another road that needs repairing and that is Jonesboro Road. The shoulders are in bad condition with drop offs on the side. Also, at Oak Grove Road, where they are putting in the new sewerage system, the sewerage people have destroyed our road at the bridge. Our road has taken quite a beating with their large trucks and traffic, and we need red lights on each end also. If possible, I would like to see this taken care of.”
“Additionally, due to the fact there is an election this year, how will our sign ordinances take care of all these candidates’ signs that will be displayed all over the County?”
Chairman Maddox said the sign ordinances have been brought up and, before too many more meetings, we will make sure this is handled.
Mr. Forrer asked, “about a year and a half ago, it was discovered $8.8 million dollars of our tax money had not been collected; how much of that has been collected?”
Chairman Maddox said the Tax Commissioner was not present, and he could not answer that question either. The Chairman said he would find out the information from the Tax Department and would get back in touch with Mr. Forrer with the answer.
Mr. Jay Cabaness addressed the Board and stated his Commissioner was Commissioner Warren Holder. “Island Shoals Road is one and a half miles long and there has been discussion on how many houses could be built on a dirt road. I moved in my house in 1963 and lived there until 1979. Then we moved to Stockbridge, but I would still like to build a house on Island Shoals because I own 40 acres there. You touched on the subject that only three (3) houses can be built on a dirt road. But on that mile and one-half there are thirty-six (36) houses and a church and it is still a dirt road. I would like to know what it would take to get on the list to have this road paved.”
Chairman Maddox said he has tried to have the roads that he knew of meet the codes, but of course he could not speak for the ones that came before him. The Chairman said a big subdivision was built on a dirt road before he ever knew it was going on. He suggested Mr. Cabaness have a ‘one on one’ meeting with his district Commissioner to see what he could arrange.
Commissioner Holder stated the reason Island Shoals Road has not been on one of the “high tiered levels” of roads is because it is a dead end road. He said we have so many connecting dirt roads and they have taken precedence. This road has thirty-six (36) homes on it and that means something. Commissioner Holder invited Mr. Cabaness to call him at any time and they will discuss this issue.
Board of Commissioner(s) Comments:
There were no comments.
Approval of Minutes for the January 20th Regular BOC Meeting, January 21st joint meeting with the Board of Education, January 26th and 27th Committee of the Whole Meetings:
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the Minutes; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman said he had one change. On page 24 of 27 of the January 20th Regular BOC Meeting, the 7th paragraph, it says, “He said his perception…..”; this should be “intention.”
A vote was taken and the motion carried 5-0-0, with Commissioners Harper, Freedman, Holman, Adams and Holder voting in favor of the motion.
A Resolution regarding Committee Meetings.
Chairman Maddox read the following resolution for Board consideration:
“WHEREAS, the Henry County Board of Commissioners acts as the governing authority for Henry County, Georgia, in accordance with the laws and Constitution of the State of Georgia;
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners, through action on May 19, 2003, created a system of committees to further address matters intended for consideration by the Board;
WHEREAS, five committees have been created, with one committee for each respective division of County Government;
WHEREAS, these five division committees of the Board have met on individual meeting dates for a number of months;
WHEREAS, the Board adopted Resolution No. 03-309, which implemented a temporary meeting schedule for Committee of the Whole meetings wherein all division committee meetings met sequentially the Monday preceding a regularly scheduled Board meeting; and
WHEREAS, the Board is aware there is a greater coordination of resources by holding said Committee of the Whole meetings in lieu of individual committee meetings.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF HENRY COUNTY, the Board directs the County Manager to implement the following schedule relative to division committee meetings of the Board:
Commencing February 16, 2004, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, shall meet in its capacity as the Board of Commissioners and the Committee of the Whole on the Monday preceding each regularly scheduled Board meeting.
All resolutions, or parts thereof, in conflict with the foregoing shall be and are hereby repealed.”
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Holder asked if a time has been set for the Monday meetings.
Ms. Angus said the time has been set on both meetings for 9:00 A.M.
The Chairman said this should be included in the motion.
A vote was taken; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Freedman, Harper and Adams voting in favor of the motion.
Request Approval of a Memorandum of Understanding/Intergovernmental Partnership Agreement with Newton County, Georgia; Rockdale County, Georgia; and Walton County, Georgia regarding stormwater:
“WHEREAS, the parties hereto share an interest in and responsibility for addressing long term watershed planning and water quality protection for the majority of the Flint, Oconee and upper Ocmulgee Watersheds and desire to provide for planning, funding and implementation of various activities and projects therein; and
WHEREAS, each jurisdiction’s stormwater management program encourages coordination between and joint ventures among jurisdictions to achieve the stormwater pollution goals established in their individual NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permits; and
WHEREAS, it is in the economic interest of each jurisdiction to avoid duplication of stormwater facilities and services and make efficient use of each jurisdiction’s limited financial resources by sharing in the costs of planning, design, acquisition and development of regional stormwater best management practices that will provide benefit to the citizens of all jurisdictions; and
WHEREAS, a cohesive strategy to coordinate the efforts of the public, non-profit and private sectors in coordinating, developing and implementing water quality best management practices is needed; and;
WHEREAS, the parties hereto are geographically contiguous and share many similarities in terms of population, land use and development; and
WHEREAS, the parties hereto have previously met and held serious discussions concerning implementation of a regional stormwater management program to encompass the four counties; and
WHEREAS, the parties hereto desire to continue efforts to implement a regional stormwater management program and formalize their partnership in this program;
WHEREAS, the parties have each taken the appropriate action, by ordinance, resolution or otherwise to allow this Agreement to enter into full force;
WHEREAS, the Board of Commissioners of Henry County is the governing body of the jurisdiction having authority to adopt policy concerning stormwater operations pursuant to the Constitution of the State of Georgia and the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, and as amended from time-to-time.
NOW THEREFORE, by the action of the majority of the Board of Commissioners of Henry County, Georgia, said Board shall authorize the Chairman to execute this Memorandum of Understanding and Intergovernmental Agreement in substance and form to the satisfaction of the County Attorney to examine the feasibility of forming a regional or interjurisdictional approach to stormwater management, coordinating resources and efforts where practical, and for other purposes as articulated in the attached agreement.”
Commissioner Holman said he was very much in favor of this intergovernmental partnership. Commissioner Holman moved that the Board viva resolution to authorize the Chairman to sign this agreement. He noted under Section III, Organization and Membership, #4 Initial Funding, the $16,000 is mentioned. He said he would like to see under the $16,000 figure the language inserted “the initial funding source.” He said a “study group” has been inserted in the appropriate places of the agreement. Commissioner Harper seconded the motion.
Commissioner Freedman said under “Scope,” it mentions $16,000. He asked who will pay that money. Commissioner Holman said Section III provides for Henry County to pay $5,440, Newton County $3,520, Rockdale County $3,520 and Walton County $3,500.
Chairman Maddox noted stormwater management is mandated by the State. He noted Mr. Couch and other staff have been working with three other counties and in so doing, Henry hopes to have an intergovernmental agreement so it will not cost Henry County as much as it would if were solely involved. He said he has been meeting with the three other counties since he has been in office. He said the State agrees with the regional approach.
Commissioner Freedman stated this sounds positive. He questioned what the downside is. Ms. Angus said the downside is more in administration of the program and the rules. She said as long as those issues can be ironed out between the counties and a fair way is determined to distribute the money that is collected, it will work.
Commissioner Freedman noted Henry County is paying more of the initial funding because of population. He questioned whether the other counties have agreed for Henry County to receive more funds when they come in. Ms. Angus said distribution of the funds is based on collections, and the county will get that proportionate share because it is based on population and collection.
Commissioner Holder stated a regional approach is what the Federal and State government like. He said some of the problems which will arise involve fees, collection of fees, water crossing county lines, and many other issues. He said it is his understanding the County is proceeding on its own and then if this regional approach takes place, we can enter into that type of arrangement. He said he can see many problems existing with a four-county area. He noted it is hard enough with a county with four cities to deal with. He said he is willing to participate, but he “can assure you it won’t be without tremendous problems.”
Ms. Angus stated the State and Federal government may make this such an attractive proposal that it will be worth facing those problems. She said the County has hired a stormwater engineer after months of talking to people and in that process, the Water & Sewerage Authority has been involved in the interviews. She said her intent is to make sure the Board, by mid-June, knows it made a good decision by pulling stormwater management toward the County.
Commissioner Adams noted different counties have different requirements, based on population. Ms. Angus stated it is based on the quality of the water and other criteria. She said it is not as simple as people. She said this is a lot more complex than that issue. Commissioner Adams questioned what will happen if Henry County gets in a position where we are different from the other counties. Ms. Angus stated the approach is to divide the revenue based on the source from which it originated. That is the concept.
Commissioner Holman’s motion passed with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor; and Commissioner Freedman opposed.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the resolution authorizing the Chairman to sign the stormwater agreement; Commissioner Holman seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor; and Commissioner Freedman opposed.
Commissioner Freedman said he is not convinced the County cannot do stormwater management itself less expensively. He said he has not seen anything showing there is a cost savings in the regional approach.
Ms. Angus stated the County has met all NPDES filing requirements thus far.
Commissioner Holder moved to adjourn into Executive Session, in accordance with the provisions of O.C.G.A. 50-14-3, and other applicable laws, and pursuant to advice by Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters; Commissioner Freedman seconded; and the motion unanimously passed.
An executive session was held.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams, Holman and Harper in favor.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to approve the affidavit in support of the Chairman pertaining to executive session; Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams, Holman and Harper in favor.
Commissioner Adams made a motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution authorizing the acquisition of property for the proposed expansion of Moseley Park for $18,000 per acre from impact fees (Resolution No. 04-__); Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Adams and Harper in favor; and Commissioner Holman abstaining.
Commissioner Adams made a motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution authorizing the execution of whatever documents are necessary to acquire the park land located in the City of McDonough for the total purchase price of $3,845,750 (Resolution No. 04-__); Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Adams and Holder in favor; and Commissioner Holman abstaining.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve a resolution authorizing the filing of a complaint in Superior Court against Frank Potts and any related corporations related to the theft of dirt (Resolution No. 04-__); Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Holman and Adams in favor.
Ms. Angus requested Board authorization to use $722,000 from confiscated drug funds to purchase 30 police cars under State contract. Commissioner Freedman recommended this matter go through the committee process. Mr. Magnaghi stated the reason this matter is being expedited is to ensure the County does not miss the timing of production of the vehicles. Commissioner Adams made a motion to amend the agenda out of public necessity and to approve the purchase of 30 vehicles at a cost of $722,000 from confiscated drug funds under State bid; Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Harper, Adams and Holman in favor.
Commissioner Harper made a motion to adjourn (1:20 p.m.); Commissioner Adams seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Freedman, Harper, Holder, Adams and Holman in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk