COUNTY OF HENRY
The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a regularly scheduled public meeting at 9:00 A.M., on Tuesday, April 6, 2004, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. 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
Also attending were Rob Magnaghi, Deputy County Manager; Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney; Susan B. Craig, County Clerk; Peggy Malcolm, Deputy County Clerk; Danny Taylor, Economic Development Division Director; Tom Couch, Human & Community Services Division Director; Michael Harris, Public Works Division Director; Mike Bush, Finance Director; Tommy Smith, Interim Purchasing Director; Jim Luebbering, Stormwater Manager; and others.
Chairman Maddox called the meeting to order and stated before he asked for an acceptance of the agenda, he would like to recognize Chief Barry Jenkins, Fire Department. Chief Jenkins approached the podium:
“The Republic of Palau is located near the equator about 500 miles east of the Philippines. It is in the Western Pacific Ocean; it is part of the Pacific realm. After World War II it became part of the U. N. Trust Territory, and in October, 1994 it became its own governing nation. Through the Pacific Emergency Health Initiative, we sent disaster medical assistance teams over from the United States to the Island of Chuke when flooding, mud slides and hurricanes occurred. We are in agreement, with no cost to the County, to provide trained instructors to teach emergency medical techniques to survivors in this country. Last year I was fortunate to travel to Palau for the purpose of evaluating the fire protection for the Republic of Palau through the CDC. While I was there I was able to talk with the Minister of Justice and the President of the country, and during those discussions, an exchange program came up between Henry County and the Republic of Palau. They were able to come here and see what techniques we use in both the EMS, fire protection and law enforcement, and the benefits for our guys were to be able to learn the different cultures and the different techniques in fire protection in their country. From Palau we have here today two (2) Public Safety Officers, Maurice Takeo and Godwin Phillip, who are visiting with us for three (3) weeks. They will be touring our 911 Center, the hospital, the Police Department, and Fire Department (EMS work and firefighters). We would like to give them a warm welcome.”
Chairman Maddox said, “we are glad to have them here, and maybe their stay will enhance their ability to help their countrymen in case of emergencies.”
Commissioner Holder stated, “anytime an exchange program occurs, it enhances the culture of both countries. I know in our travels to their country, we saw things we had not even thought of, and I know they will do the same. I think it opens up a new avenue of communication, and I support an exchange program.”
Chairman Maddox asked for an Acceptance of the Agenda. Commissioner Holder stated in regard to Item VI-A, Hudgins Communities, Inc., Mr. Mike Horne with Hudgins Communities has asked for this item to be tabled for thirty (30) days because their attorney has a problem attending this meeting. Mr. Horne is aware Hudgins Communities will be responsible for the payment of the re-advertisement.
Commissioner Holman moved to accept the Agenda with the recommended change from Commissioner Holder regarding Item VI-A (Hudgins Communities) to be tabled for thirty (30) days and is willing to pay the re-advertisement fee. Commissioner Holder seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Holder, Freedman, Adams and Harper voting in favor.
Mr. Dick Morris Request to Appear before the Board Regarding Salaries.
“Commissioner Freedman, Commissioner Adams, and Commissioner Holder, I started not to even come up here to speak, because I do not think I am reaching you in what I am trying to say. However, I did read the Business Section this week and people are still without jobs and businesses are still going bankrupt. Under that atmosphere, you three (3) voted to increase your salaries. Increasing your salaries is unprecedented; by doing a little checking and talking and meeting with some employees, I am trying to determine just how this took place. How did this budget come about? It was a dead locked budget; three (3) of you were for it, and three (3) of you were against it. So how did you elect to pass the budget? You waited until one of the Commissioners (Commissioner Harper) who was against the budget to leave, and then you brought it up for a vote. This is a budget, according to the papers, you had studied for six (6) months. Commissioner Harper represents the most registered voters in any of the Districts. After the budget was passed, you raised your salaries to the highest in the entire State.”
“In DeKalb County the Commissioners stood up before everyone and said, ‘we want a raise,’ unlike you. You tie your salaries to the Sheriff of Henry County and you say you want 40% of what the Sheriff makes. So how does the Sheriff get his salary? He got it from the Superior Court Judge who you raised $16,000. This year you attached the Sheriff’s salary to the Superior Court Judge’s salary, saying whatever you gave him in supplements, which is $32,000, that is the amount of money we want to raise the Sheriff’s pay. Then when you raised the Sheriff’s pay, that automatically gave yourselves a raise that brought you to the highest paid in the entire State.”
Commissioner Freedman and Commissioner Adams stated they would like to comment when Mr. Morris finished.
Mr. Morris continued. “Commissioner Adams, I almost forgot about you; I think you are one of the newer Commissioners serving for about two (2) years. You have not been a Commissioner long enough to get your feet wet.”
Commissioner Adams responded, “yes sir, but I have pretty good concentration powers, and I was in the room and I know what goes on and you have most of this wrong. But you go ahead and then we will straighten this out.”
Mr. Morris stated, “by you voting to pass this budget, and I believe you work for Clayton County………………….”
Commissioner Adams interrupted and said, “you know, it really was not a budget; it was a pay plan, and that is another problem you are having, Mr. Morris.”
Mr. Morris said, “any way you call it, it is the same thing.”
Commissioner Adams said, “there is no reason to be deceptive about it though; it was a pay plan. You can call a Ford a Chevrolet, but that does not make it one.”
Mr. Morris said let me make it clearer. “When you voted for the pay plan for yourselves, you increased your salaries to the large amount. There is no arguing to that. In fact, in Clayton County, where you work, you draw double plus more than the Commissioners in Clayton County. Clayton County has over 100,000 more people living in that County than Henry County. Most of these salary increases are based upon population.”
Commissioner Adams responded, “yes sir, their pay is a portion of Superior Court Judges; our pay is a certain portion of the Sheriff’s pay. But none of us on this Board set that. You indicated how we got it tied……..no sir, that has been that way for who knows how long.”
Mr. Morris replied, “I do not know what you and I are discussing. I know the County Legislation you are referring to. But as a Commissioner, why have you not done something to change it?”
Commissioner Adams asked, “why haven’t you done something instead of addressing us every week? Why don’t you lobby our legislators? None of us up here go to the House of Representatives.”
Mr. Morris said, “I am here hoping to tell you what is wrong so that you will change; I do not want to be a Commissioner. However, I do want the people who represent me to do the things that will make it a responsive type government where the voters and the taxpayers can rely upon.”
Commissioner Adams said, “your time would be better spent lobbying our State Legislators; nobody up here asked for a raise, and we have never had a pay plan before in Henry County. We went to all the counties around, did a comparative study to get mechanics where they should be, because we could not get qualified people.”
Mr. Morris said, “we are not talking about employees; we are talking about you. You increased the employees’ salaries 3%.”
Commissioner Adams interrupted, “3% but some went 57%, some went 15%; you are correct in that most of the employees received 3%.”
Mr. Morris directed his question to Commissioner Freedman, “did you really intend to increase the Sheriff’s salary $32,000?”
Commissioner Freedman said Mr. Morris’ time is up and he would be glad to answer his questions. “First of all, I called you three (3) times and you did not return any of my calls. Three (3) times I called you and you did not give me the courtesy of returning my calls. Secondly, you said you would not want to be a Commissioner. I can understand why. Because Commissioners work hard and then people come in and criticize them for the pay they receive. But that is not really the issue here. The issue is, from your prospective, what the Commissioners are making; it is not what the Judges are making. You say we make 40% of the Sheriff’s salary; that is not true, it is 30%. I did a proposal, which I gave a copy to you, about changing that pay plan to 6%, 7% and 8%. 6% for the Commissioners, 7% for the Vice-Chairman, and 8% for the Chairman and tie it to the Judges’ salaries. You did not respond to that; you did not comment on that; all you did was come up here and challenge the first pay plan. When I came up with a solution, you did not want to hear that. You wanted to hear the problem and make it a bigger problem. You did not give me the courtesy of calling about that, and you did not give me the courtesy of saying, ‘well this might be a good alternative.’ That might be because your biggest contention is the Sheriff’s pay, and his pay is based to a great extent on population. Once we went over 100,000, and you can check the law, his pay went up substantially. We did not raise our pay.”
“You say we get higher pay than Clayton County and other counties. We are the fastest growing County in Georgia. We are the third fastest growing County in the Nation. We put in more time than most of those other counties. So don’t compare populations; compare the workload. We hold more meetings and called meetings probably than any of those counties. I would challenge you to find out if any of those county commissions meet more often than we do. Do some research and come back (I’ll call you because I know you will not call me). The point I am making is population is not the issue; it is the workload. We have a tremendous workload (such as pay schedules, to infrastructure, to parks, to roads, etc.), and we are here constantly because we are a growing County.”
Commissioner Adams said, “you seem to think I make $43,000 and that is not correct. I make $38,000 and change. You mentioned people out of work and bankruptcy. What does the pay raise have to do with that? If we made ‘0’ or $9,000,000 a year, people would still be bankrupt and people would still be out of a job; I do not understand how you relate the two.”
Mr. Morris answered, “I just read the paper and the Country is not doing well in its economy. And when it is not doing well, we do not expect our elected officials to raise their pay to such an extent. Let me bring up one example…….Judge Judy Hayes. I could not believe it. She is the Magistrate Judge, and she got $9,000 in the 2003 budget. The Commissioners said that is more money than she deserves. So you took it away from her. Then she sued you, went to Court with it, and she got the $9,000 back. You appealed that decision. Now, whether or not the appeal has been acted upon or not, I do not know. But now it does not matter. Because what did you do in this budget? What you did was this. You gave her an increase in her salary of $16,000 or there about. Does that make sense?”
Chairman Maddox interrupted Mr. Morris and told him his time was up, and we needed to move on with the agenda.
Commissioner Adams stated, “my whole point is I did not have anything to do with the formula that sets my salary. I did not ask for a raise; the Sheriff did not ask for a raise. Our pay plan gave him a raise, and by State Law, we got a raise.”
Mr. Morris responded, “there is no State Law that says you have got to get ‘X’ amount of dollars.”
Commissioner Adams said, “it says we get a certain amount of the Sheriff’s salary; 30% is what it says.”
Mr. Morris said, “that is not State Law.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “yes it is.”
Mr. Morris said, “I am saying it is local legislation; ya’ll go in that back room and you can change it and it would not be affective anymore.”
Commissioner Adams reiterated, “it has to go through the Legislature.”
Commissioner Holman said, “I hate to get into this, but Mr. County Attorney, is it State Law that is mandating our salary based on the Sheriff’s salary?”
Patrick Jaugstetter, County Attorney, said, “it depends on what you want to call State Law. There is no legal definition of State Law. This law is a local act of State Legislature, adopted by the State Legislature, and applied to Henry County.”
Commissioner Holman asked Mr. Jaugstetter, “is what Mr. Morris saying true in that we can change our salary without affecting the other elected officials?”
Mr. Jaugstetter replied, “it is State Law today that states your salary is based on the Sheriff’s pay. Yes, there is a procedure you can go through to change that, but you cannot do that in one day. But there is a procedure where you can ask the Legislature to amend that act or there is a separate procedure authorizing you to amend that act without going through the State Legislature, but it is a cumbersome procedure.”
Chairman Maddox asked Commissioner Holder to contact Mr. Morris and set up a meeting to discuss this issue.
Commissioner Holder said, “I will be brief but since my name was mentioned by Mr. Morris, I have several things to say. First, this is not a budget, but a pay plan. Who did the research? It was not this Board of Commissioners; it was the staff and started about six (6) months ago. They studied it, brought it to us, and said this is a ‘bring to market’ pay adjustment for the employees. My question to the staff is, when it was mentioned about the Commissioners’ salary, what does that do to the Commissioners’ salary? It brings you in line, and I accepted that. Two to three days after that meeting, I called Ms. Angus and asked her to send me a copy of the Commissioners’ salary based on the other comps she did in the survey and where do we range. She did; I saw it, and you are exactly right in that it made ours the highest in the Metro area. My response to her was ‘I will not accept the pay.’ She said ‘you are going to have to or you would violate State Law.’ I have not accepted the pay increase, nor will I accept the pay increase…….case closed.”
Chairman Maddox said, “I would like to sit down with you, Mr. Morris, and talk to you myself, but I do not want to discuss it here on the Board of Commissioners. But I think we need to move on with this Agenda.”
Isenhardt & Martinez – Rezoning RZ-03-70 Commissioner Adams, District IV.
Isenhardt & Martinez of Morrow, Georgia, requests a rezoning from R-2 (Single-Family Residence) to OI (Office/Institutional) for property located at 3219 Jodeco Road, in Land Lot 79 of the 6th District (Parcel ID Number 071A-01-052-000). The property consists of 0.45 +/- acres and the request is for a business office. The Henry County Municipal Planning Commission reviewed and recommended approval with the following conditions:
1. All new buildings shall be constructed of similar materials to that of the principal structure. The Department of Development Plan Review shall have approval of the architectural plans.
2. All signage, not attached to a building, shall be a six (6’) foot monument-based and shall have consistent character and design details that reflect the architectural design of the project.
3. An exterior lighting plan shall require all lighting to be of moderate brightness and downcast.
4. Dumpster(s) shall be gated and enclosed with a three-sided wall being consistent with the façade of the building.
5. If the concurrent variance request is denied, the required buffers shall preserve the existing vegetation, and where appropriate, additional vegetation shall be provided for adequate screening. Additional vegetation shall be comprised of the following plant materials for each fifty linear (50’) feet, or portion thereof, or as determined by the Development Plan Review Staff.
· One (1) Canopy Tree
· One (1) Evergreen Tree
· One (1) Understory Tree
· Five (5) Shrubs
Mr. Steve Isenhardt came to the podium to speak on his application:
“Isenhardt and Martinez is a small accounting and tax practice presently located in Clayton County, and we are seeking to obtain this property which is currently single-family residence, and we are hoping to convert it into office space. (Mr. Isenhardt displayed a picture of the façade of the residence.) We are going to do some minor alterations to dress it up and modernize it. We are proposing an addition on the back of the structure which is about a 1,200 square foot addition and will double the square footage on the building. Going to the site plan, we will pave the front for parking and we will have a monument style sign for the center of the driveway. We will install a six (6’) foot privacy fence around the lot.”
Commissioner Adams stated, “I have met with Mr. Isenhardt and what we propose to do is take away the first one or two parking spaces on each side for a ten (10’) foot planted area in the front.”
Mr. Ray Gibson, Planning and Zoning Department, said the only issue he did bring up was on February 26th the Planning Commission did deny the reduction of the forty (40’) foot variance.
Mr. Jaugstetter said, “if they approve it on that basis, and I guess they had essentially given it.”
Commissioner Freedman asked if there was residential on each side.
“Mr. Isenhardt said, “I was going to point that out; the particular stretch of Jodeco Road where this property is master planned for commercial development; both are two lots to either side of our lot and are now vacant.”
Chairman Maddox asked if there was any opposition to this request. No one spoke up with objection. Chairman Maddox said he was looking for a motion.
Commissioner Adams made a motion that we allow Mr. Isenhardt to have a ten (10’) foot setback on each side and to take away the front parking spaces on the plat to put in a monument base sign plus the landscaping and curbside and privacy fence and to approve the zoning with conditions #1 through #4, removing condition #5. Commissioner Freedman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman asked, “what are the side setbacks between commercial?”
Mr. Gibson answered, “0 to 30. The Plan Review Department will permit a ten (10’) foot landscape buffer around the perimeter of the property.”
The motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Adams, Freedman, Harper, Holder and Adams voting in favor.
Mr. Harold Brooks, 505 Clearwater Drive, McDonough Georgia, stated he moved from Clayton County to Henry County in 1999. “I chose this location because of the builder and the location in Henry County. At that particular time, there was no homeowners association in Cotton Creek. I live in Commissioner Holman’s District (District V).” Mr. Brooks stated he objects to the homeowners being required to pay an annual fee for the establishment of a streetlight district in his neighborhood. Mr. Brooks said he does not object to having streetlights; however, he does not think it is appropriate for 51% of the homeowners in his subdivision to dictate a fee being added to all property owners’ tax bills.
Commissioner Holman explained to the Commissioners what Mr. Brooks was making reference to. He said there has been a petition to have a streetlight tax district, and they will be coming before the Board. Some of the residents are supportive of the petition and some are not. Mr. Brooks said the problem is the cost of $80,000 for the installation of the streetlights by Georgia Power Company. He said they want the cash up front and a proposal has been brought before Commissioner Holman. The understanding is the Board of Commissioners will accept and pay that bill, but add it to the homeowners’ tax structure. Mr. Brooks said he is not a member of the homeowners association and never will be a member.
Commissioner Freedman said, “you are right; if the lights are put in, the cost of those lights will be assessed to the property owners via their property taxes. Also the cost of operating and maintaining those lights annually will be charged to the property taxes. Most of the telephone calls I have received are against the idea. All streetlights in subdivisions in Henry County are done that way; if it is outside the subdivision, it is called non-revenue and the County pays it but in the subdivision, it is assessed to the property taxes.”
Chairman Maddox asked Commissioner Holman to take Mr. Brooks’ name and phone number and set up a time to discuss this issue in length, and to contact the President of the Homeowners Association and see if the problem can be solved.
Before leaving, Mr. Brooks thanked the Board for repaving Kellytown Road.
Resolution Pertaining to the Purchase of Uniforms for the Police Department.
WHEREAS, sealed bids were solicited for the purchase of Uniforms for the Police Department; on an annual renewable contract basis; and
WHEREAS, seven (7) vendors submitted bids for this purchase, as indicated, and
WHEREAS, funds are budgeted for uniforms and accessories; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners awards the contract for uniforms to Command Uniforms. Award is to be a unit/price contract with no fixed quantities; prices shall remain firm for the contract period; materials will be ordered as required and approved. The Chairman is authorized to sign all necessary documents to accomplish this purchase.
Captain Tim Hatch, of the Henry County Bureau of Police Services, said he would summarize where we are with the uniform bid:
“The bid packet was sent to our office from the Purchasing Department with several vendors submitting bids. We reviewed it and only two companies, T&T Uniforms and Command Uniforms, submitted bids addressing the shirts and pants requested. Of those two companies, Command Uniforms’ bid was $5,000 below T&T Uniforms based on the projection done by the Quartermaster and the County Purchasing Staff. We met with the Manager, Mr. Bogart, of Command Uniforms on several occasions. Primarily our concerns in the past were we had not necessarily received the best service from Command Uniforms. We would send people to Atlanta, they would charge us overtime to go there, stand in line waiting to be fitted, waiting to get service, come back and then the uniforms ordered would be messed up. Our officers would receive part of their orders within a certain period of time and might not get the rest of their orders at all. So obviously our concern, before we recommended Command Uniforms, was this was not going to be repeated. We verified through Mr. Bogart that there has been a change in management. Command Uniforms has a completely different process, and has released some problem employees. They have new software and new computer processes adhering to, and according to the manager, service is on the rise. Mr. Bogart is willing to enter into an agreement with us where he will come to Henry County in advance of the money being set aside in the budget. He will fit us, take our orders, and Command will begin stockpiling our orders. So in July, when the money is actually calculated and payment can be made, he will have the order in hand. He will come to us and deliver the uniforms on site in Henry County; there will be no traveling to Command Uniforms.”
Commissioner Harper made a motion to award the contract to Command Uniforms on the unit price contract with no fixed quantities; prices shall remain firm for the contract period. Commissioner Holder seconded.
Commissioner Freedman asked where T&T Uniforms was located.
Captain Hatch answered, “in Jonesboro, Georgia.”
Commissioner Freedman stated, “keep us apprised of their business practices; get in writing that Command Uniforms is coming to Henry County. During their last visit, they had orders so mixed up and that is why they lost the contract.”
Commissioner Holman asked, “has Purchasing reviewed?”
Mr. Tommy Smith, Purchasing Department Interim Director, said, “the justification was based on the quality of the uniforms which would make the next best bid the best bid. The Police Department has evaluated the clothing that was bid equal to or exceeds the bid requirements, and it fell short of that expectation. As far as the bid, based on the items and response, Purchasing would recommend Command Uniforms. I understand the Police Department is satisfied that the past bad reputation has been addressed, and they have been assured within reason the problems will not happen again.”
The vote was taken; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Adams, Freedman and Holman voting in favor.
Resolution Pertaining to the Sale of Alcoholic Beverages from a Wholesale Dealer.
WHEREAS, Donald M. Leebern III who is locating a central warehouse facility in Henry County at 100 Georgia Crown Drive, McDonough, Georgia, 30253. Request a license to distribute and sell package beer and wine and distilled spirits at a wholesale level from this location.
WHEREAS, Donald M. Leebern III has met the required specifications set forth in the Alcoholic Beverage Ordinance.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Henry County Board of Commissioners grant said license for wholesale distribution of alcoholic beverages.
Mr. Nicholas Day, Tax Commissioners Office, said the applicant has met all the requirements set by the Board of Commissioners.
Chairman Maddox asked if there was any opposition; there was none.
Commissioner Holman made a motion to approve the resolution for a wholesale license. Commissioner Holder seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holman, Holder, Adams, Harper and Freedman voting in favor.
Discussion of Political Signage.
Mr. Patrick Jaugstetter stated, “in the current Sign Ordinance there is a license and application requirement for any sign posted except for the little stake signs people put up and take down. It is $50 a sign and that requirement extends into political signs, and the reason it does, you cannot treat political signs any different than any other sign. You cannot regulate signs based on what the sign says; you can only regulate where they are put and how big they are. In looking at ways to avoid paying $50 per sign when individuals run for office, there are two (2) potential solutions: 1) amend the ordinance to suspend the requirement to pay fees during campaign season (4’ x 8’ signs) or 2) change the definition of our temporary signs. Presently, there is no application or permit required for a temporary stake sign. We can extend that exemption to any temporary sign. For a temporary sign, an individual obtains a license for a 30-day sign which can be renewed up to four (4) times, but that may not be enough to cover a campaign season. Also, no sign should be placed in a right-of-way.”
Chairman Maddox asked, “in the Sign Ordinance that we have today, political signs are not addressed. Can this Board not approve an ordinance for political signs only during the campaign season?”
Mr. Jaugstetter responded, “I do not think so; the reason for that is, sign regulations have to be content neutral. That means that every sign has to be treated the same regardless of what it says. You cannot treat a sign that says, ‘ VOTE FOR ME’ any different from the sign saying, ‘HOUSE FOR SALE.’ If you get in a dispute over a billboard sign or any sign, someone can come in and challenge your Sign Ordinance based on the fact you have this regulation to treat political signs differently. In 2002 this Sign Ordinance was rewritten; it has been challenged once and it survived the challenge.”
Commissioner Holder asked Mr. Jaugstetter, “have you looked at neighboring counties, such as Clayton, DeKalb, Rockdale, etc., and how they address this issue?”
Mr. Jaugstetter replied, “I have not; I have not had the chance to look into other jurisdictions, but I can do that. I know time is an important element in this, but what could be done is I could draft some alternate potential solutions, and we could put them all in the pipeline with Planning and Zoning.”
Chairman Maddox said, “the Sign Ordinance prior to this had a time certain to put out political signs. I would like for you to find out the limitation on when they have to be out and when they have to be put up. I think the candidates in this upcoming election should have the privilege of putting up signs. Also, if you decide to research this, I would like to ask you to look at the size of the signs to comply with the ordinance.”
Commissioner Freedman said he had a call yesterday from a candidate who said our current size limitations on signs are 2’ x 4’.
Mr. Jaugstetter said our current temporary stake sign limitation is ten square feet.
Chairman Maddox asked Mr. Jaugstetter to research the Sign Ordinance issue and return to the Board with his findings.
Commissioner Freedman stated, “Regarding hospital appointments, I know we decided the appointees did not have to live in the district for which they were nominated. However, I thought they were still nominated by district; District II had three (3) nominations, etc. I have a copy of the letter you sent to the Hospital Authority, and I do not understand why you put that it was ‘on behalf of the Board of Commissioners.’ I have not seen this letter and I do not know if any of the other Commissioners have seen it. I do not think this went out on behalf on the BOC by the way it is written. I would like an explanation of why you created categories ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C,’ and how you decided what names went in what categories.”
Chairman Maddox responded, “well, Commissioner Freedman, it seems like anything or any time I write a letter, you’ve got some questions about it. The Hospital Board asked us for nominations; did you not turn any in?”
Commissioner Freedman replied, “I turned in three (3) for District II.”
Chairman Maddox asked, “are they on this list?”
Commissioner Freedman answered, “not for District II. You have not answered my question about why you created these categories?”
Chairman Maddox replied, “these are the ones I sent to the hospital that were turned in.”
Commissioner Freedman asked, “what is ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C?’ Why did you categorize them like that?”
Chairman Maddox answered, “there were three (3) vacancies for appointment. And those are the three I put, ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C.’
Commissioner Freedman responded, “this list does not make sense.”
Chairman Maddox said, “it might not make sense to you, but I have not heard back from the hospital; it must have made sense to them.”
Commissioner Freedman asked, “why did you put certain names in ‘A’ and certain ones in ‘B’ and so on? Did you do that on your own?”
Chairman Maddox answered, “I do not think I asked Ms. Craig, County Clerk, to help me on that. I think I listed them as they are.”
Commissioner Freedman asked, “you did that on your own?”
Chairman Maddox said, I did it exactly as on the paper.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “on your own. My problem is the credibility; when you send something out in the name of the Board, that the Board has not seen and has not blessed………and I certainly do not agree with this list. I intend to send a letter to the Hospital Board saying this is not the Board’s choice; this is your choice.”
Chairman Maddox asked, “did the Hospital Authority send you a letter or did they send me one?”
Commissioner Freedman answered, “they sent it to the Board of Commissioners.”
Chairman Maddox said, “it was addressed to me.”
Commissioner Freedman responded, “so you unilaterally are making the decisions again. You do not have that authority.”
Chairman Maddox said, “this is the decision I made and sent them to the Hospital Board.”
Commissioner Freedman replied, “that is exactly what you said……decision you made, but that was not your decision; it was the Board’s decision and should have been sent by District. Why didn’t you send them by District?
Chairman Maddox said, “we have five (5) Districts and we only had three (3) vacancies for appointees.”
Commissioner Freedman said, “you made up a list based on the names submitted, you categorized it, and the Board did not even see it. That is another unilateral decision that is paramount with how you do business, and I think it is unethical.”
Chairman Maddox said that was his opinion.
Commissioner Holder asked if the ‘A,’ ‘B,’ and ‘C’ are the three (3) who have been recommended to the Board, or what did the three (3) categories mean?
Chairman Maddox said, “the names I received were sent to me by the Board. Some Commissioners sent one name and some sent several.
Commissioner Holder said in category ‘A’ were the three (3) current seated Board Members for vacancies, so what is category ‘B’ and ‘C?’
Chairman Maddox said they note two (2) other people are coming off the Board.
Commissioner Freedman asked, “may I ask what District are these people from?”
Chairman Maddox said, “you give me the names, and I’ll tell you what District they are from.”
Commissioner Holman said he would like to talk about each of these nominees. He said there are some on the list he knows and are familiar with, and the same applies for the other Commissioners. He asked for something in writing on each nominee.
Commissioner Harper explained, “the procedure is there are three (3) vacancies. Those three seats are held by Gerald Taylor, Geraldine Helton, and Jeff Mills. Let’s assume we want those three individuals reappointed. We cannot only send those three names; the law requires we send three names per seat. We will forward those nine (9) names to the Hospital Authority and those seats, by tradition, we rotate (District 1, 2, 3, 4, and at Large) to appoint. They do not have to live in my District; if I want to appoint somebody from District V, as the District III nominee, I can do so. Once those names arrive at the Hospital Authority, at the next Hospital Authority meeting, they will review those nominees. They have the right to choose one (1) of the three (3) from each seat. Then that person is sworn in. If they do not like our nominees, the law says they can reject them and they will send us notice. Then we will create a new slate. I did not know this letter had gone out, but I am assuming we will be receiving a letter from the Hospital Authority saying, ‘we accept the nominees,’ or ‘we reject them.’ That is what the law says they are to do.”
Commissioner Holder (District I) said he submitted Dr. Geraldine Helton, Kathy Engeman, and Diana Haulk.
Commissioner Freedman (District II) said he submitted Emanuel Jones, Susan King, and Neil Wilson.
Commissioner Holman submitted Chris Masengill, Tom Tingle, and Ross Cook.
Commissioner Freedman said he did not know how we got fifteen (15) names submitted, when there are three (3) vacancies.
Chairman Maddox said there are five (5) people on the Board and 3 X 5 = 15.
Commissioner Freedman said, “I would suggest we compose a letter based on the input from the Commissioners of the Districts.”
Commissioner Harper made a motion to move to the next item on the Agenda. Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman said, “I am going to draft a letter on this and bring it to the Board.”
Approval of the Minutes for the March 15th and 16th Regular BOC Meeting and March 25th Called BOC Meeting.
Commissioner Harper moved to approve the above Minutes; Commissioner Holman seconded.
Commissioner Freedman said he had one change on the March 15th Minutes, Page 16 of 16. On the second paragraph from the end, it states, “Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Freedman, Harper and Holder voted in favor; and Commissioners Holder and Holman opposed.” According to this, Commissioner Holder voted for and against.
Commissioner Harper amended the motion correcting the paragraph to state, “Chairman Maddox, Commissioners Freedman, Harper and Adams voted in favor; and Commissioners Holder and Holman opposed.” Commissioner Holman amended his second; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Harper, Freedman, Holman, Holder, and Adams voting in favor.
4/19/04 (Monday) - 9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting
4/19/04 (Monday) - 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon – Unified Development
4/20/04 (Tuesday) - 6:30 P.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting
4/20/04 (Tuesday) - 9:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon – Unified Development
5/03/04 (Monday) - 9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting
5/04/04 (Tuesday) - 9:00 A.M. Board of Commissioners Meeting
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 Holman seconded; the motion carried 5-0-0 with Commissioners Holder, Holman, Freedman, Harper and Adams voting in favor.
The Board did not hold an Executive Session and noted for the record an Executive Session was not held and, therefore, an affidavit pertaining to Executive Session is not necessary.
Commissioner Freedman made a motion to adjourn (10:30 a.m.); Commissioner Harper seconded; and the motion passed by a vote of 5-0, with Commissioners Holder, Harper, Adams, Holman and Freedman in favor.
Leland Maddox, Chairman
Peggy L. Malcolm Deputy County Clerk