STATE OF GEORGIA

 

COUNTY OF HENRY

 

            The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a public meeting at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, March 2, 2004, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia 30253.  Notice of this meeting was posted on the bulletin board in the entrance foyer of the County Administration Building.  The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting.  Those present were:

 

            Leland Maddox, Chairman, presiding   

            Lee Holman, Vice-Chairman/District V Commissioner

            Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner

            Gary M. Freedman, District II Commissioner

            Jason T. Harper, District III Commissioner

            Gerry Adams, District IV Commissioner

           

            Linda G. Angus, County Manager; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Shay Mathis, Deputy County Clerk; Angie Bailey, Executive Assistant to County Manager; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; and others.

            Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order.

            Commissioner Holder gave the invocation.  He asked for a moment of silence to honor the memory of Hunter Welch, the 12-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. A.J. “Buddy” Welch, Jr., who died last evening from injuries received in an accident.  He noted Hunter was a “challenged, special child” who will be missed by his family and friends.

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the agenda, which was published at 3:54 p.m. on March 1, 2004; Commissioner Harper seconded.

            Commissioner Freedman stated Item VI., “Ordinance for the Purpose of Adopting a Revised version of the Henry County Future Land Use Plan,” he found out late yesterday the Board cannot legally make a change to the Land Use Plan before sending it to the ARC and DCA, and in fact, cannot entertain this change in the Plan today.  He asked that the Board strike that from the agenda until the Board comes into conformity with what the law requires.

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to amend his motion to strike Item VI from the agenda.  Commissioner Harper said he will not second the amended motion until he hears more about same. 

Commissioner Freedman asked the County Attorney for his advice.  Mr. Jaugstetter stated Commissioner Freedman contacted him this morning and provided him with a copy of the DCA regulations.   He said the Department of Community Affairs is empowered by the Georgia Planning Act to establish rules and procedures for adopting the Comprehensive Plan, and one of their rules is that an amendment to an approved Plan has to be done in a two-step process.  He said step one is the Atlanta Regional Commission, in our case, has to make a determination about whether the amendment is a major amendment or minor amendment.  He said if the amendment is a major amendment, you have to go through all of the procedures we are going through now for a new Land Use Map.  He said if ARC agrees it is a minor amendment, then it can simply be brought before the Board like it is being done today.  Mr. Jaugstetter said, to his knowledge, the Planners were going to check.  The first step to determine whether the amendment is a major or minor one has not been made by the Atlanta Regional Commission, so if the Board adopted an amendment today, it would not comply with the DCA rules.  The DCA could disregard the amendment and it would have no affect at all.

Mr. Taylor said he called ARC this morning and they informed him they could not make a determination without seeing the amendment.  He said he described the amendment to ARC, which was not sufficient over the telephone for them to make any determination without reviewing the actual documents. 

Chairman Maddox asked whether ARC said they need to review the information prior to the Board voting on the Plan.  Mr. Taylor said ARC did not mention that, but he would like the opportunity to take the information to ARC for their review.  Chairman Maddox said the map has been out for some time.  He said he feels this is another delay on the map for some unknown reason.  He said in December, 2002, the Board voted on a map.  He asked whether that map was sent to the ARC and DCA.  Mr. Taylor said a representative at ARC does recall reviewing the map.  Chairman Maddox said the amendments today are minor in his mind, and the new map to be voted on in two months will be changed again.  Mr. Taylor stated he talked to the consultants about the map being considered and the one being proposed and he asked them what difference they see in the current and proposed maps.  He said the consultants said there is not that much of a difference, but he cannot testify to that because he has not seen what they have proposed.  He said the map being considered today is for housekeeping purposes to reflect the 15 zoning changes which have occurred and a couple of minor issues. 

Chairman Maddox said he would like to take into consideration whether this is minor or major and decide whether to vote on the map today or not.  Commissioner Freedman stated the Board seems to have skirted the Land Use process. He said a consultant has been hired to prepare the unified development code and land use plan and suddenly one is being pulled out today to do before the final product is complete.  He said he does not have a problem updating the map, but some changes are being made.  Commissioner Freedman said the only way it is being advertised was a block ad on February 10th and there were no public signs.  He said, “in a nutshell, quite frankly, we can’t make that decision whether it is major or minor.  By law, that decision is made by DCA, not by this Board.  We send it, if we want, to DCA; they determine if it is major or minor, not our planning staff, not us.  The only thing we can do is send it to them and ask them if it is major or minor.  Once that decision is made, then we can take action and we should have public hearings and everything.  But at this point we cannot make a change to that map or that land use plan sitting here; it has to go to DCA.  That’s the only decision we can make.”

Commissioner Harper asked Mr. Taylor if he provided the regulations to Commissioner Freedman.  Mr. Taylor answered he did not.  Commissioner Harper said, “what I’m about to say is going to sound crass and I frankly don’t care.  Three meetings ago, Mr. Freedman said he was ambushed about a grant that we brought before the Board, yet he had pre-prepared a statement and had printed documentation about it.  Then, we discussed a park issue yesterday, which was an amendment to the agenda, and he had a slide show presentation to go along with it, yet he didn’t know anything about it.  And then today, we have tabled this thing, I know three times in a public meeting, knowing it was coming, and then the very morning of, we share we can’t do it.  That is ambush and that is ridiculous and I don’t think the Board members should do that to each other.  These people are here because they knew about it and they are here to voice their concern.  I just think it is wrong.”

Commissioner Freedman stated “I got this at 3:30 yesterday afternoon.  I talked to an attorney about it at 4:30.  I talked to a planner about it at 5:30, and I put it on Mr. Jaugstetter’s desk at 5:30 last night.  That’s when I got it.  I passed it out today, which is in accordance with our rules that before anything is brought up, contrary to the way Mr. Harper does things, which he reads and nobody sees.  I passed it out as soon as I got here this morning.  I put it at everybody’s position.  You knew it almost at the time I did as far as the workday goes.  But the fact is, a lot of people knew about this ahead of time.  It was advertised late.  I still am going to research and get to the bottom of how this happened to get on an early schedule ahead of HDR’s planning process. That’s why we hired HDR at $300 or $200,000 to review the Land Use Plan.”

Commissioner Freedman stated “we have interrupted the process.  The fact is we cannot, and I found out about it yesterday.  If I had found out about it sooner, I would have brought it to the Board’s attention sooner.  But, you knew about it the same time I did. The fact is, legally we cannot move on this.”

Commissioner Harper stated he will amend his second if Commissioner Holman will amend his motion “ to be that we will still have this on the agenda for consideration for forwarding to the DCA and ARC for them to review whether it is minor or major.  Why have the staff do it if we are not in favor of the map?” 

Commissioner Holman amended his motion “to allow this to remain on the agenda for discussion for us to make a recommendation to staff for forwarding to the DCA for a decision if it’s a major or minor amendment;” Commissioner Harper seconded.

Commissioner Holman stated he nor Commissioner Adams were on the present Board when this was discussed last.  He thanked staff for providing him with a transparent map he can overlay on current zoning onto the future land use map.  He said “what puzzles me is, and I don’t know what the procedure is, but we are in discussion and I’m trying to find out how it is my fellow Board members have input on the land use map, and it goes also to the one HDR is preparing.  How do we, as the governing authority, have our input on the land use map.  The zoning map I understand quite clearly, that’s just a record-keeping of the action this Board takes.  The land use map, however, is something thrown in front of us each and every time almost that we have a rezoning hearing.  Well, it’s in the Henry County’s future land use map for this type of development.  As I look at District V’s commercial nodes, if you care to call that around intersections, there’s something that disturbs me greatly in that we seem to go down with our eyes closed when we mark the maps.  And what I’m bringing your attention to is that infrastructure is lacking in these areas we claim we’re wanting to have future type of growth.  Be it commercial, be it residential, and I’d like for this Board to consider that this is not just a pigeon hole and a colored map; that it also affects our responsibility as the governing authority to provide for infrastructure, roads and also sewer, if necessary.”

Commissioner Holder stated he was on the Board when the last map was adopted.  He stated “at that time Ross & Associates did the map and each Commissioner was called in to look at the map in his or her respective District to see if it met with their approval.  You probably heard me say before there was one in the middle of my District that’s completely residential that the people had targeted as a commercial corner on a minor arterial road.  But these are the reasons the people, the professionals we have hired, they don’t know the area as well as each Commissioner should know his own District.  And I would certainly hope that HDR, before the new map is presented to us, will give us an opportunity to look at the map and to see where some of these things are taking place.  Another thing I’d like to say is this, we’re talking about adopting a 20 year plan.  None of us know what is going to happen in 20 years.  To think that Henry County is going to remain the way it is today and that residents are going to line the major arterials, whether they be State highways or major County routes, we need to look further than that.  There will definitely be commercial on corners throughout this County, especially at major intersections.  That’s something that’s going to happen and as far as planning for infrastructure, you’re exactly right.  But, that gives us an opportunity.  This is saying that this is potential commercial or potential whatever it may be.  It does not say that that particular land has been ‘rezoned’ at that time, but it is potential.  So that gives us an opportunity to designate these locations for improvements because we think within the next 20 years, which this plan is certainly not good for 20 years, we all know it’s not, but it is called a 20 year plan.  We can make preparations and start targeting areas where improvements need to be made.  So, we cannot go into this new plan nearsighted; we’ve got to be able to look out several years.”

Commissioner Freedman stated “Commissioner Holder is absolutely right.  One key part of that is public involvement.  And I think we should not forget that; we’ve got to make sure we get public input on this because those are the people that live in the areas and work in the areas and for some reason we have not had a big public turn-out at the meetings that HDR has been holding.  We get the people who are interested showing up because they have a vital interest in an area, but maybe we need to find out some better way, and I don’t know a better way.”

Mr. Taylor stated “we did find, discover some ways using door hangars and posting signs.  That seemed to double our attendance at some of the meetings.”

Commissioner Freedman stated “key to the knowledge of the Commissioner for that District is public input.”

Commissioner Holder stated “public input is definitely important and I don’t want to leave anybody out of the loop.  My point is this; if we target areas in the plan and people move into an area knowing that something is going to take place or is projected to be there, then nobody can really criticize us for doing it.  Where we catch a lot of problem is, myself included, being nearsighted, have not projected some of these areas to be commercial or higher density residential or whatever the zoning classification might be.  And, I’m saying when we do this plan, it will probably offend some people, but at least we will have something in place that we can look back on and say, okay this is what we said in 2004 is the way Henry County should go.  The biggest mistake that we can make is to have sort of a bland land use map and come back in one year or two years or 18 months or six months and have to amend a plan that we have just adopted.  That will be terrible.  We don’t need to do that.”

Chairman Maddox said “it would seem to me if each Board member in your District wanted to get your people in your District to have some input on the map between now and the time we would bring this back up to the Board again, I would maybe suggest that you call a meeting in your District and have them look at it.  My other thing is about having to send it to ARC and DCA.  I wonder how many of those people live in this County that’s going to look over this map.  I would say that the people we have down in Planning and Zoning Department probably know about as much about what needs to go on that map as any Commissioner in the District.  I would think that, otherwise, we’re falling down on our jobs paying them to do their job.  Therefore, I feel like they would probably know much more about it, certainly more than I do because I’m not a planner.  That would be my discussion on the fact is that we have had this thing over and over again and then all of a sudden we come up and now we have to send it to ARC and DCA.”

Commissioner Holman’s motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Freedman, Holder, Holman, Adams and Harper in favor.

 

Public Hearing:  Vicious Dog Hearing.

Mr. Charlie Tomlinson, Director of Animal Control and Code Enforcement, stated, “we received a request from a victim of a bite from a dog owned by Mr. Colin Mitchell.  This incident took place on the 19th of December, 2003 at 117 Hampton Brook Drive, Hampton, Georgia, and the victim was Ms. Diana Gore.  This case was taken to the Magistrate Court of Henry County where fines were imposed, court cost and medical expenses totaling $449.92.  After the case was disposed of in the Magistrate Court, Ms. Cathy Hewitt, Animal Control Supervisor, was approached by Ms. Gore and a neighbor requesting this animal be classified as potentially or dangerous.   After receiving that request, I approached the County Attorney and made her aware of this and followed the procedures outlined in our County Code.  A letter was sent to Mr. Mitchell dated February 11, 2004 advising Mr. Mitchell that I had done an investigation, and the investigation consisted of the report of the bite and the testimony of the victim.  We advised Mr. Mitchell the dog was being considered potentially dangerous, which is the first step.   Also, the letter advised Mr. Mitchell that he had the right to request a hearing, and he had fifteen (15) days to respond.  He did come forth and requested a hearing before this Board.  These people are here to testify.”

“Ms. Hewitt is here to testify based on her knowledge of animals; she is what we consider an expert in animal care.  She is the Supervisor and well qualified.  Mr. Vince Farrah, Animal Control Officer, can testify to what he knows about the case involving the bite and what was told to him.  The victim and Mr. Mitchell are present.  Mr. Farrah can state what prompted this whole matter.”

Mr. Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, said, “the decision this Board is called upon to make is to determine whether the dog in question is a dangerous dog.  Under our Code, there are two (2) things that qualify a dog as a dangerous dog.  First, if it inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989.  Secondly, if a dog aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans without provocation after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog. The dog was just now classified by Mr. Tomlinson’s staff as potentially dangerous, so the determination for the Board to make is whether this dog has inflicted a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property.  It is proper for witnesses involved to come forth and bring their evidence to the Board.”

Commissioner Harper said a potentially dangerous dog does not have to be severe injury, just a bite. 

Mr. Jaugstetter corrected his first condition to state, “any dog that without provocation bites a human being on public or private property.”  It does not require infliction of a severe injury.

Mr. Vince Farrah said, “what brought this to our attention is on December 19, 2003 our office received a complaint in reference to a victim being bitten from the 911 Center.  Upon the arrival on the scene, I was advised the animal had been taken into custody by its owner, and the victim had been transported for medical treatment.  I initiated a Bite Report that is standard procedure in this situation.  I talked to the animal owner, which at that time, we did a home quarantine.  I observed the dog in it’s crate, and issued a court citation for Magistrate Court and charged the animal owner with ‘Failure to Keep Animal Properly Restrained’ and ‘Vicious Animal.’  After the dog was released from the ten (10) day quarantine,  the dog did not show any signs of rabies.

Ms. Diana Gore, the victim, said, “a few weeks prior to being bitten, I saw the dog for the first time.  The dog was out in the yard, and I have never been afraid of dogs, but this one was big.  I asked the lady if it was safe, and she stated she did not know.  So I just turned around the other way and went back home.   On December 19th I went out walking, and I did not see the dog up the road, so I walked up toward the cul-de-sac.   As I was walking back, a lady opened up her door and let her dog out and she went back inside.  I was walking on the opposite side of the street, and immediately the dog ran to me and bit into my arm.  At that point, I had a can of mace that I carry with me.  I pulled it out and sprayed it, and kept it right down in the dog’s eyes and face.  Then the dog let go of my arm and then bit into my leg.  I kept spraying the mace until I used up just about the whole can.  The dog finally let go of me because I was screaming the whole time.  A neighbor saw what was happening and hurried to help me.  The owner of the dog was at her door, so I screamed and told her the dog had bitten me.  The neighbor was trying to calm me down, and the dog owner called her dog to come to her; the dog did mind the owner and went to her.”

“The neighbor asked the owner if she wanted to help me by taking me to get medical attention, and the owner said ‘no.’  The owner then went into her house and shut the door.  At that point, the neighbor was kind enough to take me for medical attention.”

Commissioner Holman asked the victim if the street had sidewalks?

Ms. Gore responded the street does not have sidewalks and she was walking on the opposite side of the street from where the dog lives. 

Commissioner Harper asked what were her injuries.

She responded she had on several sweat shirts and a jacket, and when the dog bit down on her arm, he went down to the bone and straight out; he did not tear the arm.  (Ms. Gore then presented pictures of her leg injury to the Board.)

Commissioner Holder asked what kind of dog was it.

Ms. Cathy Hewitt said the breed of dog was a pressa canaries, a one year old white male named Hoss.  Ms. Hewitt said this is the same type of dog that several years ago killed a woman in California that made the news media.  This breed of dog’s weight can range from 90 to 130 pounds; they are extremely strong and are considered very aggressive.  These dogs were bred to hold cattle down while they were being slaughtered.

Ms. Hazel Baylom, a neighbor living directly across the street from the dog in question, began telling her aggressive experiences with Hoss.  “When I was weeding my front pine island, he would cross the street to bark at me, and occasionally had no owner supervision.  There was a cyclist, Erika, who discontinued riding on our street because of Hoss’s attacks.  My last encounter with Hoss was when he attacked a young woman walking on our street for exercise, and her name is Diana.  The attack on Diana resulted in a trip home with an unknown neighbor, trip to the doctor, numerous conversations with police, the dog pound and ended up in the Magistrate Court.  I am here today to see Hoss registered as a ‘potentially dangerous dog.’  Thank you.”

Ms. Hewitt said this attack report was the first report made on Hoss.

Mr. Colin L. Mitchell, owner of the dog Hoss, lives at 117 Hampton Brook Drive, Hampton, Georgia.  “Hoss is as close as a child to our family.  We are deeply sorry this happened; he has never given us any reason that he would do anything harmful.  We are sorry for Ms. Gore’s physical and emotional trauma from the incident.  I believe this was accidental due to it was a hectic day in our household.  We had a grandchild coming home, and the dog was unsupervised.  The dog was not let out at the time Ms. Gore walked by; the dog was already outside.  Hoss has been around thousands of people at a time; we had him over to Hampton Speedway on race weekend walking him around.  Hundreds of people have touched the dog without any aggressive behavior.  As vicious as the incident sounds, I do not believe Hoss was trying to hurt her.  The dog outweighs Ms. Gore by 20 or 25 pounds, and did not get a running start and knock her down.  He did jump up on her, and he does play rough at times.  I believe Hoss does not know his own strength.   I believe this classification is being requested because the dog is intimidating and based on his size.  When he runs across they yard, he sounds like a little pony.  This dog was born in our home, and out of the litter of puppies, we kept him.  He has been treated with great love and affection; he has never been encouraged or been allowed to show aggressiveness toward other people or dogs.  To this day, I know the argument is going to be ‘yeah, that is around ya’ll,’ but he is nothing more than an oversized lap dog at home.  He lays on the couch and next to our newborn baby, but would never hurt any of us.  Since the incident, he has been confined to the crate, the garage, or leashed at all times; we also have him in training on Mondays, Wednesdays, and one-half day on Saturdays every week.  We are doing everything we possibly can to make sure nothing like this happens again.  We are making every attempt to sell our home, and we have already looked at a couple of mini-farms in the State of Florida.  My wife and I feel responsible, and all we can ask for is one more chance.  If the classification stands, I do know of a registered kennel where they train and where he can live until we move.”

Chairman Maddox asked if he had a fenced in back yard.

He said he did not have a fenced in back yard, but he did have a 10’ X  30’ kennel.

Chairman Maddox asked if any of the other neighbors had complained in the past. 

Mr. Mitchell said no complaints to him or his wife had ever been made.

Ms. Gore said, “there was another girl in the neighborhood who was also bitten; she was at the Magistrate Court at the same time I was.  She said while she was riding her bike, the dog ran out and tore her pants.  This girl did not call the pound, but was at the Magistrate Court when my case was brought before the Judge.”

Commissioner Freedman said he could not understand Mr. Mitchell letting the dog out without a leash.  He commented there was a Leash Law in the County. 

Mr. Mitchell said Hoss is usually under voice command.

Commissioner Freedman said voice command is not leashed; the yard is not fenced for a large dog. 

Mr. Mitchell said his step-daughter and son-in-law are dog trainers; they belong to clubs.  He said they are aware of a kennel outside of Henry County where Hoss can live until their house sells.  Mr. Mitchell said he is willing to pay insurance on this dog as the Code calls for, but you cannot find insurance on a dog.  The only thing an individual can obtain is a surety bond on him for $15,000 (that is $16,500 in collateral up front, $2,500 a year for the bond, and $100 registration fee with the County).    He said Hoss is at his home presently, pending this hearing. 

Commissioner Adams said he was fortunate the victim was not a small child. 

Commissioner Holman asked Mr. Mitchell what his responsibilities will be if this Board upholds the determination by Animal Control to classify the dog as potentially dangerous. 

Mr. Mitchell said he has to make sure this does not ever happen again.

Mr. Tomlinson said, “there is more to it than a surety bond and insurance policy.  Some of the requirements for owning a potentially dangerous dog are insurance for $15,000 or a $15,000 surety bond, the animal has to be registered with the County, and an annual registration fee is to be paid each year of $100.  If the owner is moving from Henry County or if the owner is getting rid of the dog by donation or selling, we have to be notified within twenty-four (24) hours of where the animal is.  Also if Mr. Mitchell continues to keep the dog, the dog has to be enclosed by way of a fence at all times and the property has to be posted (a sign indicating the dog is dangerous).  There is quite a bit involved in this other than insurance or surety bond.”

Commissioner Freedman asked Mr. Tomlinson if the dog was moved to a different location in the State of Georgia, is Mr. Mitchell required to notify the new locality he has a dangerous dog.

Mr. Tomlinson said, “that is correct.  The classification follows the dog.”

Commissioner Harper said the way he reads the statute is, “if the dog is potentially dangerous, you have to confine the dog and post a notice on the premise, as well as pay the registration fee; only if we classify him as dangerous, would he require a $15,000 bond.  Is that correct?”

Mr. Jaugstetter said, “you are correct.”

Commissioner Harper stated, “the only way we can classify the dog dangerous is if the injury is severe (broken bone or disfiguring laceration requiring multiple sutures or death). 

Mr. Tomlinson said, “under the definition of a dangerous dog, it is any dog, according to the records of an appropriate authority, inflicts a severe injury on a human being without provocation on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989 or aggressively bites, attacks or endangers the safety of humans without provocation  after the dog has been classified as a potentially dangerous dog, and after the owner has been notified of such classification.  The definition of a potentially dangerous dog is any dog without provocation bites a human being on public or private property at any time after March 31, 1989.  It could be the first step, but then again we can go to ‘dangerous’ on the first time.”

Commissioner Freedman asked if anyone knew the definition of severe.

Commissioner Harper said, “any physical injury that results in broken bones or disfiguring lacerations requiring multiple sutures, cosmetic surgery or a physical injury that results in death.”

Commissioner Harper said, “I think it is clear the dog bit somebody without provocation on public or private property after the effective date of that statute.  I hereby make a motion to declare the dog ‘potentially dangerous’ under Section 3-4-41 of the County Ordinances and further require the owner to comply with Section 3-4-46 which is to confine that dog properly, post a sign of ‘potentially dangerous dog’ on the premises, and to pay the registration fee to the County;” Commissioner Adams seconded.

Commissioner Adams wanted to express his feelings on this issue.  “I love animals and I have had animals all my life.   But I do not have any use for a dog that will not allow somebody to walk in their neighborhood.  The dog is not human and it is not your baby.  I know you have a deep love for the dog, but it is not human.”

Commissioner Freedman said he wanted to read one portion, “it should be unlawful for the owner of a dangerous or potentially dangerous dog to permit the dog to be outside a proper enclosure unless the dog is muzzled and restrained by a substantial chain or leash and is under the physical restraint of a responsible person.”

The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Adams, Freedman, Holman and Holder voting in favor of the motion. 

Mr. Mitchell asked when he needed to have the dog registered by?

Chairman Maddox told Mr. Mitchell he would need to talk to Mr. Charlie Tomlinson to get all the information. 

 

Request approval of an ordinance for the purpose of adopting a revised version of the Henry County Future Land Use Map, originally adopted by the Board of Commissioners on December 19, 2002. 

Chairman Maddox said there was no use in approving this, and asked for a motion on the request.

Commissioner Harper made a motion to forward it to the DCA and the ARC for approval.  Commissioner Holder asked how long it will take for the DCA or ARC to make a decision on whether it is minor or major. 

Mr. Danny Taylor said he had no idea.  He said on the adoption of the plan it takes about 45 days.

Chairman Maddox said, “I would like to request for Mr. Taylor to call them and see if he can physically take this to them, and let them look at it and walk it back to the County.”

Chairman Maddox asked for a motion; Commissioner Harper said he had already made a motion to send it to the ARC and DCA; Commissioner Holman seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Holder, Adams and Freedman voting in favor.

 

Board of Commissioners:

Commissioner(s) Comments.

There were no comments.

Approval of Minutes for the February 16th and 17th Regular BOC Meeting and February 23rd Called BOC Meeting.

Commissioner Harper moved to approve the Minutes; Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Holman, Adams, Holder and Freedman voting in favor. 

Discuss a date for a Called Meeting regarding SPLOST, Impact Fee and General Fund Capital expenditures and the distribution thereof in total.  (A resolution was approved on February 16th to freeze all further Capital Expenditure Commitments from all funds for 30 days.)

Commissioner Freedman said, “on February 16th we approved the resolution to freeze all capital expenditure commitments, yet yesterday voted on two (2) things to expend money that is a violation of that resolution.”

Commissioner Harper said, “capital expenditures to build capital…..”

Commissioner Freedman responded, “No, I think the resolution said all funds (SPLOST, Impact Fees, etc.).  Was it not, County Manager?”

Commissioner Harper said he knew what he had said.  “I said capital project construction; we are not going to build the Courthouse, we are not building the YMCA, we are not going to build anything until we have this meeting.”

Commissioner Holman said the reference is to the making of the ramp on the front of the train and a memorial.  “Is that a capital project?”

Ms. Angus said, “let me tell you why I do not believe that was included.  When the SPLOST I funds were divided among all of you in May and you each received $1.4 million, the funds that Commissioner Harper specifically authorized yesterday were part of the funds in that $1.4 million remaining in his account, and I verified yesterday there is $179,000 remaining in SPLOST I funds of the amount already allocated to Heritage.  The resolutions says, ‘the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereby authorizes the County Manager to take the steps necessary to prepare forecasts, and the Henry County Board of Commissioners hereby commits to moving no resolutions forward for a period of thirty (30) days regarding capital expenditures until this information is provided by the Manager and a full Board Meeting is held to discuss this issue in depth.’   I understand your point, but because the $1.4 million was transferred from SPLOST I funds, it would not be used to calculate SPLOST II designations.”

Commissioner Freedman said he just did not want the Board to be in violation of their own resolution.  Commissioner Harper said, “if you want to make a motion to rescind you can; I am not.”

Chairman Maddox asked the County Manager, “if the money was already appropriated for that park, this would not be expending more than what has already been appropriated.  Is that correct?”

Ms. Angus stated, “I do not believe once you made the allocations…….I do not think those have to come back to you.”

Commissioner Harper said, “we are talking about freezing SPLOST II because there is a finite number of dollars left to build the list on SPLOST II.  This is SPLOST I we are trying to finish.  And secondly, it is not a capital expenditure; you define to me how design services are bricks and mortar, and I will agree with you it is capital.”

Chairman Maddox said the Board needed to decide on a date for a Called Meeting regarding SPLOST, Impact Fees and General Fund expenditures.  It was agreed among the Board Members and the County Attorney to schedule the meeting on Monday, March 8, 2004 at 2:30 P.M.  

Ms. Angus said she was concerned about the Courthouse and the money required that is not in SPLOST, and the only alternative is getting the County Attorney to say we can use SPLOST funds to do that or not. 

 

Upcoming Meetings:

3/15/04 (Monday)        -           9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting

3/15/04 (Monday)        -           9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. the Unified Development

3/16/04 (Tuesday)        -           9:00 A.M. to 12:00 P.M. the Unified Development

3/16/04 (Tuesday)        -           6:30 P.M. Board of Commissioners Regular Mtg.

Commissioner Adams 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, the County Attorney, to adjourn into Executive Session for the purposes of discussing the acquisition of real estate, pending and/or potential litigation, and personnel matters.  Commissioner Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Adams, Harper, Freedman and Holder voting in favor.

(Executive Session)

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to reconvene into public session; Commissioner Holder seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 4-0, with Commissioners Maddox, Freedman, Holder and Holman in favor.  (Commissioners Harper and Adams were absent.)

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to authorize the Chairman to sign the executive session affidavit; Commissioner Holder seconded; and he motion passed with Commissioners Maddox, Freedman, Holder and Holman in favor.  (Commissioners Adams  and Harper were absent.)

            Commissioner Holman made a motion to adjourn (11:37 a.m.); Commissioner Freedman seconded; and the motion passed with Commissioners Maddox, Freedman, Holder and Holman in favor.  (Commissioners Adams and Harper were absent.)

 

                                                                        Leland Maddox, Chairman

 

Peggy L. Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk