Hart County Board of Commissioners

May 23rd, 2000

7:00 p.m.



The Hart County Board of Commissioners met May 23rd, 2000 at 7:00 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative & Emergency Services Center.


Chairman Joel Moore presided with Commissioners Ken Brown, Don Burdick, Harry Hannah and R. C. Oglesby in attendance.


Call to Order, Welcome, Moment of Silence


Chairman Moore called the meeting to order, welcomed those in attendance and asked for a moment of silence.


Approve Agenda


Commissioner Hannah entered a motion to approve the meeting agenda. Commissioner Burdick provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The agenda is recorded in the minutes book.


Approve Minutes of Previous Meeting(s)

            4/24, 05/08 and 05/09/00


Commissioner Burdick entered a motion to approve the minutes of the meetings held April 24th, May 8th and May 9th, 2000. Commissioner Hannah provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Remarks by Invited Guests, Committees, Authorities, Etc.



Reports By Constitutional Officers & Department Heads


County Attorney Walter Gordon reported the Chief Public Defender has submitted a letter of resignation and the Circuit Committee will be seeking resumes to fill the position.


County Administrator's Report


County Administrator Gary Cobb reported eight candidates have been chosen for the interviewing process for the Fire Training officer. He said interviews will be scheduled within the next two weeks and someone will be selected for the position within a month.


Chairman's Report


Chairman Moore reported the Courthouse/Annex renovations are complete and the final stage of the project is to acquire furniture. He invited the public to visit the annex building and he commended County Administrator Gary Cobb for overseeing the project.


He reported the county was awarded a Community Development Block Grant to expand the Library for the Adult Literacy Center and to renovate an existing house for the Domestic Violence (Battered Women's Shelter) in the amount of $500,000. Chairman Moore commended the committee members that serve on the Literacy Council and Domestic Violence for their efforts in acquiring the grant.


Commissioner Burdick commended Chairman Moore for his efforts in acquiring the grant.


Chairman Moore reported that according to Bill Chafin of the Complete Count Committee they are at the final stages of completing the Census. He said of seventeen counties the committee is the first to complete the process. He commended the individuals that have worked on the Census reports.


Chairman Moore presented a press release that Hart County will pursue to continue the 1% SPLOST for an additional five year period. He said the referendum would be placed on the November ballot. He encouraged everyone to take an active stance to continue the 1% SPLOST to fund special projects to benefit the county.


Chairman Moore released a memo from Hart Telephone Company stating they will not submit an RFP for the E911 system.


Commissioners' Reports


Commissioner Oglesby presented a request from the City of Hartwell to widen Johnson Street. He said the project could be funded from Commissioner Hannah and his district road allotment. He said the total cost for the project is $26,424. Commissioner Hannah provided his support for the project and suggested the Public Works Director and County Administrator review the project costs.


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to proceed with the City of Hartwell's request for assistance to widen Johnson Street. Commissioner Burdick provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Commissioner Burdick reported Mr. Charles Lattuada is willing to serve another term on the Georgia Mountains RDC board.


Commissioner Hannah entered a motion to re-appoint Mr. Lattuada to the GA MTN. RDC board for a one-year term.  Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Consent Agenda

a.                  Budget amendment/GEMA

To create expense and revenue accounts to expend and account for the $13,590.71 GEMA reimbursement and amend the budget accordingly. $5,000 of the reimbursement is allocated to partially offset the cost of providing water to the Fire Training facility.


b.                  DFACS fund

To create a DFACS fund for the purpose of managing and accounting for revenues and expenses associated with the DFACS facility and grounds.


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to approve the consent agenda. Commissioner Brown provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously. The consent agenda is recorded in the minutes book.


Old Business

a.                  Midnight Rider Road status


The County Attorney and County Administrator have begun the process to close Midnight Rider Road at the request of the property owners. County Attorney Walter Gordon reported all property owners on the road are in concurrence and the ad to close the road will be placed in the legal organ. He said the Board of Commissioners at a later date would take action.


New Business

c.                  RDP - E911


Commissioner Burdick entered a motion directing the County Administrator and the EMS Director to prepare a specification requesting proposals for the purchase and installation of an upgraded E911 System. Commissioner Hannah provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


County Administrator reported proposals are to be received by 4:00 p.m. July 10th, 2000 and are to opened at the regular BOC meeting 5:30 p.m. July 11th, 2000.


d.                  Pipe Policy


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to modify the Hart County Policy on furnishing culvert pipe as follows:

            The Hart County Road Department will supply and install driveway culvert pipe of appropriate size to each new residence located on a Hart County Road. For the purpose of this policy, a residence is a living unit and includes homes built on site, manufactured homes moved on site, or mobile homes moved on site. The county will continue to sell pipe until its present stock is exhausted after which no pipe will be ordered or sold to the public.


Commissioner Brown provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.


Public Comment - Executive Session As Required - Adjournment

a.                  Virgil Ayers

b.                  Kenneth Hodges


Mr. Ayers read the following statement:


On April 15th, 2000 an equipment sale was held at the Lavonia V.F.W. The Hart County Board of Commissioners through their employee, the County Administrator did sell or caused to be sold certain surplus equipment that you the Board of Commissioners at the February 8th regular meeting of this year voted to dispose of. First and foremost this sale was not advertised in the Hartwell Sun, the legal organ of this county as required by law. This should not have happened, because this knowledge is a requirement of the position, the county administrator now holds and I refer you to page 2 of the county administrator's job description, under "Knowledge Required by the Position" the term surplus does not mean, that just because it is not being used at the moment that it will not be needed again. There has to be no future need for that piece of property within the authority that it belongs to and in the case of this John Deere Tractor and sidearm bushhog, there is no justification for the sale of this equipment as it may very well be needed this year by the county as it was last year, when the county went back and cut placed where the grass grew up between regular cuttings by the contractor. Third, the fact that this same contractor just happened to buy this tractor and sidearm bushhog leaves a question of why this tractor was even sold in the first place. Did you the BOC check to see what the worth of the tractor and sidearm bushhog were worth, (Book Value)? Did you place a floor on the sale of this item or designate someone to "no sale" this equipment should it not bring what it should? It would probably have brought much more had it of been legally advertised in the legal organ of Hart County.


On May 8th, 2000 a request for Information was made to the Hart County Board of Commissioners concerning a committee appointed by the Chairman of the Board of Commissioners in the summer of 1999. The County Administrator, Mr. Cobb responded on May 12th, 2000 stating that Chairman Moore appointed Commissioners Burdick and Oglesby and County Administrator, Gary Cobb to study updating the existing Chapter 46 Land Development Standards Ordinance. Mr. Cobb stated that no minutes were kept of these meetings and that he could only assume that each member of this committee kept their own notes to the degree that they felt necessary. Mr. Cobb also stated, that many of these meetings were attended by the Public Works Director and the Environmental Compliance Officer. Now, we are working out of the code section dated 10/15/99 of O.C.G.A. 50-13-1G. You may want to obtain a copy and read it as it appears that you have been working out of another code book not used by the State of Georgia. Paragraph 2b states that: "Except as otherwise provided by law, all meetings as defined in subsection (a) of this code section shall be open to the public. Any resolution, rule, regulation, ordinance, or other official action of an agency adopted, taken, or made at a meeting which is not open to the public as required by this chapter shall not be binding."  These above acts of this Board of Commissioners and their employee's means that any purchases or sale of any county property or any action taken on an ordinance according to these above stated codes have not been legal and binding, where no minutes have been kept.


Unless some corrective action is taken by you, the Hart County Board of Commissioners on these Issues Immediately we fully intend to take the proper legal remedies available to us to correct these illegal procedures. You may not be aware of it, but last year the legislature took the control of these types of procedures out of the hands of local governments and placed them in the hands of the Attorney General's Office. You may also want to take a close look at O.C.G.A. 50-14-6 as it pertains to some of the penalties for the above actions.


This is all we have to present at the moment, however there will be other charges forthcoming.


Chairman Moore said the Board will provide a copy of Mr. Ayers comments to the County Attorney.


Marsh Adams asked if the county has a Nude Dancing Ordinance. County Attorney Gordon responded that the Beer & Wine Ordinance prohibits Nude Dancing in establishments that sell beer and wine by the drink.


Mr. Ayers asked why he was placed on the agenda at the end of the meeting. County Administrator Gary Cobb stated Mr. Ayers was placed on the agenda for the public comment section. Commissioner Oglesby stated in the future Mr. Ayers should request to be placed on the agenda and the topic for discussion.


Chairman Moore said the Board addresses issues that are on the agenda and the agenda is posted prior to the meeting.


Commissioner Burdick said the agenda is set on Monday during the working session.


Wade Fleming inquired about gravel records and gravel being hauled on private property. Commissioner Oglesby said work orders for gravel etc are kept at the Road Department. Mr. Fleming was not sure if a dump truck he saw hauling gravel on private property was a county truck or not.


Mr. Fleming also complained that a truckload of dirt was hauled to Commissioner Brown's residence. Commissioner Brown responded that the county would haul dirt to anyone's property if the Road Department is doing work in the area and someone requests dirt.


Commissioner Brown entered a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried unanimously.




----------------------------------------------------       --------------------------------------------------

Joel Moore, Chairman                                  Lawana Kahn, County Clerk