5/5/2015 BOC Work Session Minutes

MAY 5, 2015

The Gordon County Board of Commissioners held a Work Session Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 5:30 p.m. in the conference room of the Administration building.

Chairman Hood called the meeting to order.

The Board discussed each item on the agenda for the Regular Meeting and made no changes; one item was added to the agenda later in the meeting.

Ms. Dana Burch, Chief Tax Assessor, spoke to the Board to advise that she wanted to update the Board about her staff’s fieldwork. They have divided the county up into territories, and are trying to visit one third of the parcels every year, which means that they need to visit 9,000 parcels per year. The IT Department has posted the areas on the County’s website, and each day the staff will post the parcels location that they will be working in that day in order for the citizens to know that staff from the Tax Assessor’s office are out in their area working.

County Administrator advised the Board that requests for RFP’s were sent out soliciting for mental health service. Three proposals were received and a panel met to discuss and evaluate the proposals. The three proposers were invited to make a presentation and answer questions in front of the panel. After reviewing and hearing the presentations, the panel unanimously recommends Fellowship Health Resources to the Board of Commissioners. The panel believes Fellowship Health Resources is best suited to provide the mental health services requested in the proposal. There was a consensus of the Board to add this item to the Regular Meeting agenda for consideration.

Ms. Sue Henson, Director of the County’s Animal Control Department introduced her newest employee, Haley Hartsook, to the Board of Commissioners. County Administrator pointed out to the Board member that he had supplied them with copies of some letters with positive feedback from citizens about the improvements made at the Animal Control Department.

County Attorney, Jim Ledbetter, advised that it is on the Work Session agenda to talk about ordinances and ordinance enforcement. Attorney Ledbetter informed the Board that Commissioner Sexton wished to speak about this and has some material to present to the Board. Commissioner Sexton advised that he has some concerns to express about the County’s ordinance situation. He shared several photos with the Board pointing out evidence of neglect to properties that are located near his home, some being overgrown, and dwellings apparently abandoned with door missing. Entrances into several houses were blocked by trees and overgrowth. Commissioner Sexton commented that he believes that Gordon County really does have a problem concerning the ordinance officer. The ordinance officer should be free and able to tour the county to be mindful of violations and take appropriate action. He stated that he is persuaded that the ordinance officer is working at another department and is subject to be used other than taking care of the county’s ordinance situation. He stated that the officer needs to be, either under the ordinance department, if not there, under our Administrator. But he needs to be free; he needs to be a county employee. As long as he is under a constitutional office, the Board has very little say so concerning his duties. It is also unfair to the person holding the ordinance officer position. He has to go through the procedure working under a constitutional office, not the procedure the other county employees go through if they have a grievance, work schedule, or whatever. The position needs to be independent of any constitutional office. He can be held responsible by the county if he is free to work and do his job. Firemen work under the fire department, and 911 employees work under that department, and the ordinance officer should work under the ordinance department so that he can be free. Commissioner Sexton stated that the county does have some problems and he didn’t realize it until he began to look around his neighborhood. People are not going to complain too much because they don’t want to offend their neighbor.

Commissioner Sexton spoke about a past ordinance officer, he was told that person did a wonderful job with no complaints whatsoever. He stated that when he began to check with people around the county, the reason they had no complaints was because that past officer toured the county and if there was a potential situation there, took care of it then, before a complaint was made. Sexton further stated that he hopes the Board sees that we need a change in the direction of the ordinance officer. Only two things I ask you to do – keep politics out of it and don’t be blinded by friendship, but do what’s best for the county.

County Attorney Ledbetter read the Board the history and duties of the position of Ordinance Officer and explained that in 2009 that position was placed in the Sheriff’s Department.

Commissioner Chad Steward commented on the poultry operation ordinance and inquired if any progress was being made on suggested amendments to the ordinance. Attorney Ledbetter advised that he was working on some suggestions for amendment such as tweaking of the vegetation buffer and setbacks. He commented that he would have a timeline ready at the next meeting for the Board and that the Board members wanted to have that as an item for discussion at their Strategic Planning Meeting later this month.

Commissioner Sexton commented about the problems being brought up by a number of citizens concerning the construction of poultry house operations being built all over the county. He stated that he would like to have a 60-day moratorium approved by the Board in order to give the Board time to make some changes to the poultry operations ordinance.

Commissioner Sexton made a motion to close the Work Session. Commissioner Gazaway seconded the motion and all voted aye. There being no further business the Work Session adjourned at 6:00 p.m.

Author: County Clerk

Share This Post On