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Meetings

MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
CALLED MEETING HELD ON JULY 28, 2011

Chairman Mathis called the meeting to order at 3:02 p.m., with Commissioners A. James Nance and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Administrator Lester E. Crapse, Jr. and Secretary Linda Finch.

TABLE 2011 TAX LEVY RESOLUTION

Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to put off voting on the millage increase until we can have additional time, in a very timely manner so we can get our digest to Atlanta, and see if we can find any other cuts in the budget so that they can prevent this increase, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously. Chairman Mathis asked if we postponed doing this today, would we have to completely start over with this process. Administrator Crapse stated that he doesn't believe we would have to start over again if the millage rate does not go up; the paperwork can be re-done, and the advertising would still be good as long as the millage rate doesn't go up. Chairman Mathis stated that a few months ago we had a room full of people here when we were working on the SPLOST allocation, and at that time a comment was made by one person that they want these projects whether it makes our taxes go up or not; we haven't made the taxes go up on account of that, but we had to take into consideration the things that we are trying to work toward to improve this county like the Inland Port and Darton College. It is going to take some money to make all this happen, we have got to get it from somewhere, we are trying to do this as mildly as possible, and we are going to go back and revisit this as the public says so. We appreciate all you coming, appreciate your interest, bare with us, as we are citizens just like you are, and we are going to do the best job we can. Mr. Pless stated that he thinks he came to the wrong hearing and asked at what point would he have known that the taxes were going up. Administrator Crapse stated that he would have known that when the budget was adopted it required a one mill tax increase, and in accordance with the letter of the law the board should adopt the budget without considering the mill rate and then set the mill rate at whatever it is to fit the budget. Chairman Mathis stated that we do track all the revenue and expense every month and keep on top of what is going on, but there are a lot of things we don't have any control over. He stated that the Constitutional Officers and department heads are good about following suit and cutting expenses whenever they can. Mrs. Stripling asked when they were going to have the vote on the tax millage and will it be at an open or closed meeting. Administrator Crapse stated that it will be an open meeting, advertised in the local paper, the county's legal organ, WSST, and on the website. Mr. Henderson stated that the commissioners can't tell the constitutional officers how to spend their money, and you have to fund them to the level that they can perform their duties. Also, we had a federal judge tell us that you will build a 24 more jail cells with an isolation cell, and we are building 24 new cells, which is not free. He advised that this is not like you are in business for yourself, you have other people telling you what to do and you have to do it. Mr. Carney stated that he doesn't want to know about all the little costs, that is why we have a County Administrator, what we are really saying is Mr. Crapse thanks a lot for all you did, but we want 3.5% and not the millage increase. That is our instructions, for to go to a budget meeting is not going to do anybody any good. Mr. Pless asked why not tell the department heads and constitutional officers what has been asked of you, and tell them to get the 3.5% and ask them how they are going to do it. Mr. Summers stated that no department head, whether elected or appointed, can assess taxes except the County Commissioners, but you do control their budget, and go back to them and tell them their budget is cut 3.5%, figure out how to do it. Jade Summers stated that she is a recent college graduate and has had public relations and every law class in school and can quote statues, but as a 20 year old, we are not going to want to move to this town unless you shape up and do your job and make some cuts. You are not going to get any new property owners, any new tax payers, any new business owners and she certainly doesn't want to come back to Cordele and start her advertising agency here when she is going to have to pay for everyone else that is not doing anything. Mr. Long asked the commissioners to reduce the millage 3.5% and vote on it today. The Chairman thanked the audience for coming and stated that the commissioners appreciate their suggestions. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to adjourn the meeting at 3:28 p.m., seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.

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