Hart County Board of Commissioners

February 11th, 2003

5:30 p.m.



The Hart County Board of Commissioners met February 11th, 2003 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative and Emergency Services Center.


Chairman Randy Banister presided with Commissioners R. C. Oglesby, Dan Reyen, Ricky Carter and Joey Dorsey in attendance.


Call to Order


Chairman Banister called the meeting to order.




Chairman Banister welcomed those in attendance.




Chairman Banister opened with prayer.


Pledge of Allegiance


Everyone stood in observance of the Pledge of Allegiance.


Approve Agenda


Commissioner Reyen entered a motion to amend and approve the agenda as follows:


          Remarks by Invited Guests

c)                  Daryl Snyder – Georgia Power


Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


Approve Minutes of the Previous Meeting(s)

          1/28/03, 2/5/03


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to approve the minutes of the January 28th and the called meeting of February 5th, 2003. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


Remarks by Invited Guests, Committees, Authorities


a.                 Hedrick Isley – Chairman Board of Tax Assessors


Hedrick Isley gave a brief summary of the Board of Tax Assessors hearings. He stated that during 37 days of session they have heard 381 appeals and there are 428 remaining to be heard. He said they have changed 75% of the property assessments and are preparing them for the Board of Equalization. He reported that some appellants have requested to by-pass their process and go to the Board of Equalization. In that instance their Board has still reviewed the case and made adjustments if warranted.


Mr. Isley reported that the hearings are scheduled in fifteen minutes intervals and the hearings should be over the first two weeks of April. Adding that they will forward the information to the Board of Equalization after they have completed the hearings. He also reported that he is scheduled to meet with the Tax Equalization Board Chair Doris Brown Friday to discuss the timeline to get the appeals information to them so they can begin their hearing process.


Mr. Isley asked that the Board remove from the table the request for an additional Appraiser III and consider the review the request in the future.


Commissioner Reyen questioned what percentage of the appeals resulted in changes. Mr. Isley responded that approximately 75% of which, some were minor changes while others were changes with gross errors.


Jay Earle, representing the Hart County Property Owners Association, asked Mr. Isley if he planned on updating the Taxpayers Bill of Rights brochure. Mr. Earle asked why the Tax Assessor Board doesn't suspend their hearings for a couple of days in order to answer some of the many letters sent to them. Mr. Isley stated that Mr. Earle needed to take the issue up with the Tax Commissioner, concerning the brochure since his office is responsible for ordering them.


Pete Nagele remarked that allowing fifteen-minute intervals for appellants did not appear to be enough time. Mr. Isley responded that if they did not change the schedule the hearings would go on through May. Mr. Nagel remarked that additional appraisers could attend the hearings.


Jerry Linne asked at what time would the appeals be submitted to the Board of Equalization. Mr. Isley responded he would discuss that with Mrs. Brown Friday.


Mr. Linne asked whom whether Margaret Crossley or Mr. Isley was going to represent the Tax Assessors office in the Equalization hearings. He also asked if Mr. Isley was aware of a state statue that allows the Chief Appraiser to delegate other staff members to attend hearings. Mr. Isley remarked that there is an Appraiser I & II on staff. However, they are not experienced enough to answer detailed questions. Mr. Isley said that will be determined later.   


b.                 Larry Holbrook – Native American Festival

Mr. Holbrook did not attend the meeting.


c.                  Daryl Snyder – Georgia Power


Daryl Snyder invited the Board to participate in a one-day training session developed by Georgia Power for community leaders tentatively scheduled for March 25th, 2003 from 8:00 – 2:30 along with the Board of Education, City of Hartwell officials and the Chamber of Commerce.


Reports by Constitutional Officer & Department Heads 


No reports


County Administrator’s Report 


County Administrator Gary Cobb reported that Georgia Mtns. RDC would conduct a public hearing February 20th, 2003 to close out the Literacy Center/Battered Women’s Shelter Community Development Block Grant.


Administrator Cobb reported that there have been 39 meetings reserved in the lower level of the Literacy Center. He reported $1,060 has been collected from private business and Athens Area Technical School in rental fees.


Chairman’s Report


Chairman Banister reported that the Board would be meeting February 12th, 2003 at 12 noon to discuss the redistricting maps. He also reported that the Board would hold an appeal hearing for Joe Crowe/Crowe’s Nest beer and wine license February 18th, 2003 at 7:00 p.m.


Commissioners’ Reports


Commissioner Oglesby questioned County Attorney Walter Gordon about the status of the George Bowers road problem. Attorney Gordon responded that the situation is not a clear-cut case and he is continuing to seek resolution since the county had already abandoned the road.


Commissioner Carter announced that the Fire Department is sponsoring a hot dog supper to aid volunteer firefighter, Junior Hendrix, with medical expenses.


Commissioner Carter addressed rumors that he claimed have been circulating concerning him including a false statement he has alleged made against Commissioner Oglesby. He said his name is being slandered and that there seemed to be an effort to make him look bad.


Commissioners Oglesby and Dorsey stated that the personal issues that Commissioner Carter addressed should be discussed privately and not in a public meeting.


Commissioner Carter also addressed an issue of the Road Department replacing a culvert in his nephew’s driveway on Junction 77. He reported that the Road Department installed a culvert in the driveway in 1998; however, it was not the adequate size and the fill dirt had settled. Therefore, the county taxpaying resident could not use the driveway.


Commissioner Dorsey remarked that he advised Commissioner Carter to bring the issue to the full board to decide. Commissioner Carter remarked that he had made a newcomers mistake and he would not do so again. He added that he would not make decisions to benefit a few people.


Commissioner Dorsey commented on a newspaper article addressing a Superior Court ruling on the sale of beer and wine in clubs on Sunday in Fulton County.


Chairman Banister stated that Commissioner Dorsey was attacking the decision to deny the beer and wine license application for the Crowe’s Nest. He remarked that the Board has discretionary powers to deny beer and wine license when it would have an adverse effect on the neighborhood adjacent to the business. He added that the county’s Beer & Wine Ordinance is to protect the citizens of the county.


Consent Agenda


a.                 Thibodeau Subdivision

Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to approve the Thibodeau Subdivision. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


New Business


a.                 Public Hearing – FY04 CDBG Application  


County Administrator Cobb introduced Angela Steedley of Steedley-Hosey Enterprises the Chairman turned the meeting over to her for purposes of the Public Hearing.


Ms. Steedley called the public hearing to order. She explained that the purpose of the hearing was to inform citizens and solicit input regarding development of a $500,000 CDBG application for water improvements to serve homes located on Ernest Oliver & Bryson Drives, GA Hwy 77, Liberty Hill Road, Liberty Hill Church Road and within the Rhodella Park subdivision.


Ms. Steedley stated that the funds must primarily be used to benefit low and moderate-income individuals. She announced that deadline to submit the grant application to the Department of Community Affairs is April 1st, 2003. She said the county would have to contribute a $10,000 cash match if the grant is approved.


Ms. Steedley opened the hearing up for public input and adjourned the hearing at 7:09 p.m.


b.                 Wal-Mac Springs Subdivision Roads – Tentative Acceptance  


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to accept the main Wal-Mac Springs Subdivision Road ending 100 feet from the creek into the county road system. The county would not maintain the road past this point. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


c.                  Burton Plat


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to table the Burton Plat matter. Commissioner Reyen provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


d.                 SPLOST II Budget Amendment Resolution – Elizabeth Road Project


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to adopt the SPLOST II Budget Amendment Resolution. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0. The resolution is recorded in the minutes book.


e.                 General Fund Budget Amendment Resolution – EMS Ambulance Rebuild


Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to adopt the General Fund Budget Amendment Resolution. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


f.                  Abstinence Proclamation  


After Chairman Banister read the “Abstinence Proclamation”, Commissioner Oglesby entered a motion to adopt the proclamation. Commissioner Carter provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


Public Comment


County resident Joe Brandenburg presented newly elected Commissioners Reyen and Carter each with a plaque. He thanked the Board for their service to the community.


Jay Earle read a brief statement that he addressed to Mr. Isley. He said he submitted a request January 6th, 2003 to the Board of Tax Assessors' about the Taxpayers Bill of Rights and has not received a response to his letter.  He said the Taxpayers Association requested property cards on thirty-six parcels in Melody Farms and comparable sales on those properties. He said Mr. Cobb responded to that request and stated that the Tax Assessors' office couldn't comply with the request until April 14th because of the workload. He said that Mr. Cobb said the cost to produce the material would be $761.84. He added that the information is needed before they present their tax appeal cases. He said obviously they were "stonewalling" and putting them off until all the appeals have been heard.


Executive Session






Commissioner Dorsey entered a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Oglesby provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.





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Randy D. Banister, Chairman                            Lawana Kahn, County Clerk