MINUTES OF THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
MEETING HELD ON NOVEMBER 8, 2011
Chairman Wallace Mathis called the meeting to order with Commissioners James D. Harris, A. James Nance, William Culpepper, and Clark Henderson in attendance. Others present were County Attorney Rick Lawson, Finance Director Sherrie Leverett, and Secretary Linda Finch. Commissioner Henderson gave the Veterans Prayer and led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America. Chairman Mathis thanked Mr. Henderson, Mr. Harris, and also Jack Windham, who was in the audience, for their military service for our country, and also welcomed all in attendance.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion was made by Mr. Harris to approve the regular meeting minutes of October 11, 2011, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve the called meeting minutes of November 3, 2011, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE RESOLUTION HONORING JOHN HINES FOR HIS SERVICE ON THE CRISP COUNTY BOARD OF EQUALIZATION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to approve a Resolution Honoring John Hines for his service on the Crisp County Board of Equalization, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Commissioner Henderson advised that he served with Mr. Hines on the Board of Equalization, he was on this Board for well over twenty years, and he was very sharp, attended all the training sessions, and he was fair to the taxpayer as well as to the appraisal staff. Chairman Mathis advised that he and Mr. Henderson went out and presented the Resolution to the family over the weekend as they were having 100 years of celebration of Pridgen Brothers being in business. Chairman Mathis read the Resolution honoring him for his good and faithful service on this Board and to the citizens of this county as a long time local business owner along with his other civic duties. Jack Windham, who served on this Board with Mr. Hines, stated that it was such a pleasure to serve with John; you never had any doubt that he was going to listen to both sides of the presentation and decide on whichever one presented the facts.
RESOLUTION HONORING KIRBY WOOD FOR HIS SERVICE ON THE SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT AUTHORITY OF CRISP COUNTY
Commissioner Nance advised that he and Mr. Wood share several of the same things in common, alma maters, the same community, and fraternities, and he has provided an uncanny amount of service throughout the community over a number of years. Commissioner Nance read the Resolution thanking Mr. Wood for serving on the Solid Waste Management Authority from February 2, 2002 to December 31, 2011 as was Chairman of this Board from January 2001 to January 2011 and lead the authority in one of the most difficult times in it's existence, along with his service to the Crisp County Recreation Department for many years. He advised that Commissioners had approved this Resolution in June 2011.
CDBG 12 PROJECT REVIEW AND RECOMMENDATION
Jarrod McCarthy, Community Developer, thanked the Commissioners for all the past opportunities that they have had to work with them, and they hope to carry on the success. He advised that he has been speaking with the county in considering several different projects that the county has been looking at to serve the public and try to figure out where out best chance will be to get funding for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) 12 Project. The first project they looked at was in the Newtown area where there are ditches next to the roads and are no sidewalks. He looked at each street and there definitely is some need there, but in looking at it within the framework of a CDBG project, they would probably have to focus on those areas where the ditches are the deepest rather than just a lack of ditch or sidewalk. He thinks that we would end up with a project that is a little bit small as far as the CDBG voting standards go; we might end up having to cut it back to the severest issues which would actually cut back the number of beneficiaries, which would lower the score. He has spoken with his department head, which assures him that there will be T-money available some time in the next year or so, and that funding source might be a little bit better tailored for that need as compared to CDBG. Another project would be a continuation of the Omar Heights and Meadow Park area and would be drainage in Meadow Park. He has been out there, there is a definite lack of ditches, which seems like it would lean itself to big drainage issues, but in the times that he has been out there after rains, about three times, he has not seen the severe drainage problems that he saw in Omar Heights across a broad area; it probably does occur but it may be infrequently so it difficult to document. He advised that there could be a need there, but it is just a matter of documenting that need. The third project is the health department, and it appears that they might have some real issues. The had mentioned that they have space limitations, the roof leaks, the heating and air conditioning has to be repaired often, and they can't add additional phone lines because of how the building is wired. That project has an excellent amount of potential beneficiaries; it being a building that serves so many people and the beneficiary number would be very high in comparison to the other projects. Also, being able to document the evidence, with a building like that is usually not a difficult issue, and based on what they have found so far, he would recommend that they consider the health department to be the frontrunner of the projects that the county considers. He advised that they don't have to make a decision today on what project the county pursues just that a project will be pursued. Mr. Henderson asked what was the percentage of the matching funds, and Mrs. Leverett advised that on a $500,000 grant, it is normally $10,000 cash and $10,000 in kind work, but it does depend on the cost of the project. Mr. Henderson stated that he thinks the health department needs to be our priority. Chairman Mathis asked if $500,000 would fix the problem at the health department, and Mrs. Leverett reported that the original request for the health department during the SPLOST discussion was $600,000 to relocate and build a new health department. She advised that the SPLSOT allocation for the health department was dropped down to $90,000 for paving and redoing the parking lot. Chairman Mathis advised that he doesn't think $600,000 would be enough to relocate and build a health department. Mrs. Leverett advised that they could do it like they did in the Newtown and the Northside areas, which was to request $500,000 this year and apply for another $500,000 in the FY 13 cycle. Mrs. Leverett stated that the grants are rated and Mr. McCarthy thinks that the health department would come in with a higher score than the other two because of the number of people involved. Mr. Nance advised that you could argue that the health department is going to be beneficiary for the entire community instead of just a concentrated area; he is a real big component of trying to get the Newtown area some sidewalks, curb, gutter, and drainage, as it is a major problem. He advised that it really is a bigger problem now with the addition of Rosewood subdivision, but whatever leverage or better chance to get the $500,000, we definitely want to try to do that. Mr. Henderson stated that they also provide an essential service. Mr. McCarthy reported that the deadline for submitting the application is April 2, and generally they work very heavily on the project from January thru March; this year they are trying to evaluate in November and hopefully make the decision in December. Chairman Mathis asked how we could do any pre-planning on the health department to see if $500,000 would facilitate that and make that better without spending a lot of money. Mr. McCarthy advised that once they get the Resolution passed, a CDBG will be go in, and they will put out a RFQ for an architect or engineering firm; they leave it open ended and the firm can come in and give us their professional expertise with a cost estimate. He also works with them, so they will have that professional input before the county is at the point of making a decision on which one to proceed with.
APPROVE LETTER OF AGREEMENT WITH RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMMISSION
Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to issue a Letter of Agreement with River Valley Regional Commission for the CDBG 12 Funding Application for a fee of $500 and authorize the Chairman to sign the paperwork, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
MR. HENDERSON COMMENTS
Mr. Henderson stated that he keeps his credit card in the safe in the finance department and would like to make a motion to that effect. Chairman Mathis stated that we were going to move to number 7 on the agenda first, and we will get to this in other business. Mr. Henderson stated that he as a board member has the authority to make a motion and then if it gets a second that is fine, but if it doesn't get a second, he doesn't have to be on the agenda. Chairman Mathis stated that he has to be recognized by the Chairman, and he will recognize him in other business. Mr. Henderson asked that if he says Mr. Chairman he makes a motion for something that is not on the agenda, he is then not authorized to do that. Chairman Mathis stated that he is authorized to do that but he is not recognizing that as the next order of business that we are going to take care of.
APPROVE RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE FILING OF THE CDBG 12 FUNDING APPLICATION
Mrs. Leverett stated that we have a Resolution Authorizing the Filing of the CDBG 12 Funding Application with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the FY 12 Small Cities Community Development Block Grant Program Funding in an amount not to exceed $500,000. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to adopt the Resolution to file the 2012 grant application in the amount of $500,000 and authorize the chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
APPROVE REFUND OF 2008, 2009 & 2010 AD VALORUM TAXES FOR BEVERLY WHELCHEL
Mrs. Leverett reported that we have received a request from Beverly Whelchel for a refund of ad valorum taxes for tax years 2008, 2009, and 2010. The taxes were paid on a piece of property, and there was an error found in the measurement of the square footage of that property. She forwarded the request from Mrs. Whelchel to the Board of Assessors for a recommendation, and the letter from the board states there was an error, and she recommends that we honor her request. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to refund 2008, 2009, 2010 ad valorum taxes paid by Mrs. Whelchel due to an error by the Tax Assessors, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Leverett advised that if her 2011 taxes are not paid, it will be applied as a credit, and if the taxes are paid then the Tax Commissioner will give her a refund.
APPROVE REFUND OF 2009 AD VALORUM TAXES FOR LAMAR PERLIS
Mrs. Leverett reported that we have received a letter from Mr. Perlis requesting an adjustment and refund of personal property taxes paid and assessed on the property owned by him that we know as the truck stop property for years 2009 and 2010. The Board of Commissioners does not have the authority to adjust a tax bill but you do have the authority to refund taxes if you find that it was in error. She sent this request to the Board of Assessors, and they did not recognize this as an error on their part and therefore they chose to abstain from making a recommendation. She advised that basically what happened was their was a failure on the part of the taxpayer to file a personal property return, so the Board of Assessors, in accordance of the law, picked up the previous years values; the previous year's values was based on the previous owners property. She advised that Mr. Perlis has already talked with each Commissioner, so they know what went on. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to refund Mr. Perlis' overpayment of taxes due to an error on the fact that he was billed for property that was no longer existed on the property, seconded by Mr. Harris for discussion. Mr. Henderson stated that Mr. Perlis appealed this decision to the Board of Assessors, and they agreed that he did not owe those taxes on the 2011 year as the property was no longer there; so if the Board of Assessors gave him relief for 2011, you can't use the argument that he didn't make a return if we are going to do it for Mrs. Whelchel, as we have to treat everybody the same. Mr. Culpepper stated that this was two different situations as we are talking about Mrs. Whelchel's property and Mr. Perlis' issue is on the inventory that was actually in the store. Chairman Mathis stated that the merchandise was owned by TA and they moved it out. Mr. Henderson asked whose error that was, and Mrs. Leverett advised that it was Mr. Perlis' for not appealing within his window of opportunity. Chairman Mathis stated that it was an error on Mr. Perlis, but he probably assumed that the TA merchandise was transferred. Mrs. Leverett stated that since the Board of Assessors has not deemed this is an error on their part, if the Board so decides to refund the amount to Mr. Perlis, we should refund only the county portion of the tax. He would have to request the school board portion from the Board of Education, because we cannot be responsible if the Board of Education decided not to return that money. She advised that the county portion is about $8,300 and the school board portion is about $11,200. Mr. Culpepper stated that the law states that he has a certain time to file this appeal, and if we grant him the money wouldn't we be going against the law doing this appeal. Mrs. Leverett stated that you are not adjusting the tax value you are refunding the money. Chairman Mathis stated that Mr. Perlis has been here a long time, and he has people looking after his business, and they just missed this that year but caught it last year. Mr. Nance stated that he thinks the thing to do would be to be fair to Mr. Perlis and treat him like we treat everybody else, and if we have had a situation like this in the past and we refunded it, if that be the case, then we have to be fair and we are not setting a precedent. Motion was made by Mr. Henderson to refund Mr. Perlis' 2009 county portion of his overpayment of taxes to apply as a credit to the 2010 taxes, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Mrs. Leverett will forward a cover letter with this information to Mr. Brinson, School Superintendent.
UPDATE ON CURRENT ROAD/OUTSIDE PROJECTS
Carl Gamble, Public Works Director, reported that 1) he had a conversation yesterday with DOT regarding the LMIG projects, Tremont and Hatley Roads resurfacing projects, and they have rated the roads, they are good projects, and the price of both projects is $416,000. He stated that our LMIG money that we will get will only be $330,000, which is a difference of $86,000. Last year we took road SPLOST money and put with the LMIG money and DOT let the entirety of the project; do they want to proceed with working on both projects or cut the projects back to just the $330,000 and pick up the rest of it later. They do want to resolve this pretty soon as they will be going to bid shortly to make the February letting. Mr. Henderson asked if we had the funds, and Mrs. Leverett replied yes. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to approve both projects as we had submitted them to DOT, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously; 2) the airport hangars are being erected and coming along on schedule; Reeves will be moving back in the week of November 14th to continue with their paving projects around the hangar; 3) the work at the landfill is progressing well and they are able to generate a little bit more airspace; 4) the 71 miles that was submitted for the off system safety plan was a larger quantity than what it had been in times past but we were going to be cutting back because of their stipulations on some of the roads; however they have changed some of their criteria and they will be able to put more onto some of the surface treatment roads where they were not able to in the past. DOT will assess all the roads and the mileage will come down but they will be doing more work on the miles of roads that they do; 5) the Go Fish ramps are tied into the shoreline now, the walks have been poured, and they are now waiting on information for the additional pier that was going to be put in; 6) he has talked with a couple of representatives from DOT regarding the Hatley Road project, and they do not know of any additional monies we can receive other than our LMIG monies for that project, and we already have our LMIG monies committed. DOT is working with the school board on getting their permits for ingress and egress into the new school. DOT does not have a project on their books that will be changing the overpass over I-75, and they are probably going to require turn lanes in this area as that is according to DOT policies. The county has adopted the DOT policies, so it puts us in a situation where they will probably have to put in turn lanes on this road. Chairman Mathis asked whose responsibility that would be to put those in, and Mr. Gamble stated that it was our right-of-way, and that would have to be breeched with them; it would be the vendor's responsibility to pay. Commissioners advised Mr. Gamble to write a letter for Chairman Mathis' signature to the school board letting them know that they will have to install turn lanes in front of the school; 7) River Valley Regional Commission is obtaining drainage easements for the Omar Heights street drainage improvements for the 2011 CDBG grant; and 8) the jail expansion is coming as planned.
REVISION OF WATERWORKS STANDARDS
Mr. Gamble reported that they have some individuals in Worth County that are planning on tying into the county's water system. In looking into this, they noted that the standards and specifications had not been revised since 1999; we need to do this so that our water system will conform to all the new standards. Most of the changes are grammatical; some of it is deletion of things like the pressure regulators, as the county no longer puts them in. Another change will be for the fire hydrants serving residential areas to be located at intervals not to exceed 1,000 lineal feet instead of 800 lineal feet. Mr. Henderson asked if we are using the auto read meter system, and Mr. Gamble replied yes. Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to adopt the revision of the Waterworks Standards, seconded by Mr. Harris, motion carried unanimously. Mr. Gamble reported that in October, 2010 the static water level was 44' and the pumping level was 66'; in October 2011, the static water level was 55' and the pumping level was 78', so the water level is still down and they still request people to conserve water as much as possible.
DISCUSS RELOCATION OF WATERMELON FESTIVAL PLAQUE & WATER FOUNTAIN
Mr. Gamble reported that the watermelon festival plaque and water fountain was moved from the old Watermelon Park, which is now where the new Courthouse is located, so it would not be damaged during the construction of the Courthouse. It has been stored at the Chamber since then, and now the question is do they want to put it back where the original Watermelon Park was or do they want to contact the city and see if they want to put it at the present Watermelon Park. He advised that the Plaque is very nice and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the watermelon festival along with the water fountain. Chairman Mathis asked if there was anywhere in front of the courthouse where it would be noticeable, and Mr. Gamble stated that he looked at an area coming from the north parking lot and that is an area large enough to put it there, plus there is electricity and water available and will be seen by everyone coming in from that parking lot. Chairman Mathis instructed Mr. Gamble to get with Monica at Main Street, and Monica at the Chamber and put their heads together and come up with an agreeable spot. Motion was made by Mr. Nance to take the recommendation of the committee to where the plaque and water fountain is placed, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
DONATE SURPLUS FIRE TRUCK
Ray Lunsford, Fire Chief, reported that he had asked the Commissioners previously to consider the idea of donating the used fire truck that has been sitting on the yard for a while to a worthwhile organization. He feels like this would be great to donate this truck to the Guardians of the Ribbon organization, and asked Commissioners if they are willing to donate the truck. This organization would paint the truck pink and raise money by letting people sign the names of cancer survivors and victims on the truck. He advised that he has contacted the organization, and they are positive of receiving a vehicle, but he didn't want to invite them here without knowing what their desires were. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to donate the surplus truck to the Guardians of the Ribbon for purposes of helping in the fight of cancer and to promote Crisp County, seconded by Mr. Culpepper, motion carried unanimously.
Mrs. Leverett reported that today's packet includes an executive summary on the financial condition of county at the end October 2011. General Fund revenues for the month of October totaled $1,170,308, while YTD reached $2,595,698. Monthly expenditures were $1,006,287, bringing YTD expenditures to $4,391,933. YTD expenditures are running about 12% ahead of YTD revenues at 10/31/11, which equates to almost $1.8 million. We continue to rely on cash reserves to get us through this “dry” revenue season. The 2010 ad valorem tax revenue has begun to trickle in. As of today we have collected about 6%, or $340,000. Accrued Landfill revenue for the month totaled $93,920, YTD $397,018. Expenditures for the month reached $74,946, YTD $332,743 leaving the landfill with a net income at 10/31/2011 of $64,275. At 3267.34, this month's tonnage was up about 400 tons over last month but down about 200 tons from this same time last year. 34% of this month's tonnage was delivered on the Veolia commercial contract and 14% under the Veolia residential contract. The principal balance on the GEFA Loans is current at $2.5 million and we have drawn $2.6 on the new GEFA Construction Loan. The Water Fund recorded monthly revenues of $38,855 and YTD revenues of $180,156. October expenditures totaled $31,396, YTD $145,931 leaving it, also, with a net gain at the end of the period of $34,225. Water usage billed during the month of October was 5,845,000; the USDA Bonds are current at $1,617,499 million. In the cash on hand report, the General Fund is at $3.9 million; the Landfill Fund, $916,538; the revolving loan fund $197,300; the SPLOST Funds, $6.2 million; and the Water Fund ended the month with $1.2 million giving us a county wide total of $12.5 million. Almost half of that $12.5 million, $6.2 million is reserved for debt service or restricted to special projects. In the budget to actual report for the 2000 SPLOST ISSUE, as of October 31st, we have spent $16.8 million of the $17.6 million dollars collected, leaving us with $810,000 to complete the various projects associated with this issue. Following that is the SPLOST budget to actual by category summary report for the 2005 Issue. To date we have total collections of $23.8 million and total expenditures for projects associated with this issue of $19.5 million. This month's contribution of $305,314 is down 4.17% from last month but up slightly 1.4% over October of 2010. It also drops our monthly average another $586.00, down to $345,194. Total SPLOST disbursements for the month was only $18,529, all in support of the Crisp County Airport. The Local Option Sales Tax receipts, just like the SPLOST, this month's receipt of $143,497 fell 4.17% from last month but was up slightly 1.4% over October of 2010. For the CDBG Revolving Loan Fund monthly report, which includes the balance and status of all our CDBG Revolving Loan Fund Accounts as of October 31, 2011, we have eleven outstanding loans with a total balance due of $2.3 million. Of those eleven, five are current and six are delinquent. Last are the preliminary revenues by fund and expenditures by department report for the period of July through October 2011. All departments and divisions should be within 33% of their annual allowances, and as of this report, the General Fund is at 30%, the Water Fund at 24% and Landfill Fund at 21%. She advised that the auditors have been here for about two weeks and pretty much wrapped up the on-site work and hopefully we will have a report to present at the December meeting for the FY 11.
HEALTH PLAN UPDATES
Mrs. Leverett reported that they made some minor changes to our health plan so that we could incorporate some cost savings to keep the plan solvent and hopefully get us through the next year without having to inject additional monies. Some of the changes took place effective July 1st, and the changes that are coming into effect at January 1, 2012 are the deductibles on Plan A will increase to $589 for in-network service, out of network service will be $1,177, and out of pocket goes up to $2,943 in network, $11,770 for out of network. Plan B deductibles will be $1,177 for in network, out of network will be $2,354, and the out of pocket goes up to $4,120 for in network and $11,770 for out of network.
APPROVE TRYALOR BUSINESS SERVICES, INC. CONTRACT
Mrs. Leverett reported that Tim Quick, Chief Tax Assessor, brought her a contract with Traylor Business Systems, the same company we have been using in the past, to conduct the personal property verification reviews for the office of the Tax Assessors. There is one slight change in the fee schedule, Class 1 fee is going up to $325, previously it was $300, and the rest of the fees remain the same. This is in the budget, and the value is based on their work; they bill us for what they do, and we have up to $50,000 budgeted. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to renew the Traylor Business Services, Inc. Contract and authorize the chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried unanimously.
CONTINUE SERVICE WITH RIVER VALLEY REGIONAL COMMISSION TO MAINTAIN GIS BASED MAP
Mrs. Leverett reported that River Valley Regional Commission maintains the GIS based map and parcel for the Tax Assessor's office, and the maintenance is $13 per parcel. The price is the same as it has been, and she recommends that we renew this contract. Motion was made by Mr. Harris to continue the service with River Valley Regional Commission to maintain the GIS based map and parcel maintenance at $13 per parcel and authorize the chairman to sign, seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
DISCUSS COMMISSIONERS CREDIT CARDS
Mr. Henderson stated that he thinks they need to hold themselves to the same standards that they would expect from the employees of the county. When he travels and buys something that is not related to the government function, he uses his own credit card. He is not trying to be punitive to anyone but it seems that through the years we have been very lenient in letting Commissioners use their credit cards from buying anything from clothes to gasoline. He leaves his credit card in the safe with the Finance Director. So that we don't have a problem with the community thinking that we have one set of rules for the employees and another set of rules for ourselves, we have a county handbook that says if you travel, you will only spend so much money per day; if you attend a conference, you will attend the sessions. When you go the Association County Commissioners meetings now they have a barcode on your nametag and they scan you in, and they can tell if you attend that meeting. If you are going to a meeting, you need to attend the meeting. If one of our employees were to go to a meeting and someone calls and said that they came and stayed in the hotel, they ate, but they never showed up to any of the meetings, we would immediately talk to the department head and that employee would be in trouble. In essence that is misapprotiation of county funds. He stated that if he had Mr. Gamble deliver him a bulldozer out to his house, and he used that bulldozer to clean up around his pond, you would be ready to put me in jail, think about it, would the public be ready to put me in jail. If I get a county vehicle and keep it for 78 days, and I put almost 7,000 miles on that vehicle that is the same thing. He made a motion when he first came on this board that we wanted all the county employees, not the constitutional officers, to not use those county vehicles for personal business, why can't we be held to the same standards. To start with, that is misappropriation of county property, and it is abuse of the taxpayers. He is not holier than though, but if you do the right thing in every situation you are in, you don't have to back up and apologize to anybody. He thinks that as a Board we need to look within ourselves, and he hopes this can end at this meeting and it won't have to go any further; that we can come together as a Board and not have animosity toward each other but to say yes we have got and problem and we are going to straighten it up and we don't need anybody else to come in and clean our house for us. Mr. Henderson made the motion that the Commissioners turn in the county credit cards, the only time we get them is when we are traveling, we don't put any personal expenses on those cards and that we hold ourselves to the same standards that we expect out of our employees. He stated that if we attend a conference and spend county money that we should attend those sessions. If the employees were going and not attending these sessions they would be terminated, so he thinks we need to set standards for ourselves and say if we expect this from the employees of this county, we are going to expect the same thing from ourselves. He advised that if anybody had a balance on their credit card, he would like to see that balance paid, because it is an obligation to the county and the county is not a bank. Chairman Mathis advised that Mr. Henderson made a motion and we can allow a second or we can take Mr. Henderson's comments as he presented them and do what we need to do. His example is that when he goes to meetings he keeps his credit card, and he doesn't put anything on it other than what county business he does, and he has never charged any mileage or tank of gas to the county. He doesn't expect everybody to do that, that is his choice. When you use the county credit card for anything other than government intention, then it is bookkeeping that Sherrie has to keep up with, just take that into consideration. Mr. Nance stated that a lot of times he forgets to scan in at meetings, and most all the time when he goes to Atlanta, he chooses what he is going to and goes by his alma mater, and if he has his kids there, he and Brad have partnered together and they went to the Coke Museum and different places that they take their kids to and try to blend it in. Generally he always tries to get with other Commissioners and fellowship and talk with them, being a Commissioner is an elected position so you can kind of choose and everybody has different opinions. Over the years there use to be a time where the Board didn't really have a policy and that kind of evolved over the years, I think we did implement a certain amount on meals and yes he has put some meals for his kids and family on the credit card but when he comes back to settles up and pays what he owes. He doesn't think he owes the county anything at this point, and he thinks the county owes him a credit. Mr. Culpepper stated that his card has been put up for about three years now; when he quit farming he didn't have the liberty to go to some of the training like he did before, he completed his required training but he never went to the advanced training, and since he was not pursuing that avenue, he didn't need to have it. We are all subject to the open records act and everything we do is on paper, whichever way the Board sees that is fine with him. Mr. Henderson stated that if we are going to have a credit card, he would like to see them adopt a policy and all follow that policy. When he travels, he gets the credit card and the tax-exempt forms for the hotel/motel tax, and if I go to a hotel without that form, it is just incurring more expense for the county. As far as using county vehicles, if we are going to use county vehicles, we should be attending county business, and abuse of a county vehicle is theft of services no matter which way you look at it if you are not doing county official business. We need to come together and say we are not going to do this anymore. Maybe ya'll don't agree with me and maybe we just need to keep going the way we are going but for me he told the people of this county what you see if what you get, he isn't always going to do everything to please them, if he did he couldn't be effective. He has faults, but he is honest to a fault, and he thinks doing stuff like that is dishonest and it is not being fair to the community and to the taxpayers of this county. It is up to the taxpayers, if they want the Commissioners to keep doing this, don't say anything, but we know we have a problem; it is up to us to do something about it. That is all he can say. Gladys Bishop stated that as an example she has a credit card for Solid Waste Management, if she is going out of town this weekend and she uses that credit card to buy her family a meal and hotel room, how is the Solid Waste Management Authority going to address that or is she going to lose her job. Mr. Henderson advised that they would be upset, and as Chairman of the Solid Waste Authority he would recommend to the Board that she be terminated. Mrs. Bishop stated so if it is okay for the Commissioners to do that, then it is okay for me to use my card for the same thing as long as I paid the Authority back. Mr. Henderson stated that it was easier to use your own credit card. Mr. Nance stated that it depends on your prospective, if he is eating somewhere and I has his family with him, yes it will be easier if he uses two different cards, the county card to pay for his meals and the other card for the family, but Mrs. Bishop is an employee, these are elected officials, and if the Board chooses to do it, that is the Board's decision and that is two different things, and the Board can follow that. Mr. Henderson said that if this went to the Ethics Committee, the person that is doing that is going to be fired. Mrs. Bishop stated you have to set examples for employees, and Mr. Nance agreed. Chairman Mathis stated that we have a motion by Mr. Henderson and if we don't have a second then he is going to recommend that we pay attention to what we are doing and be respectful of Sherrie having to do the bookkeeping on all the stuff, do what is right. He said you can go from his example up and limit your expenses as much as possible, you can't expect people to go out of town at their own expense over and over. He has gone to numerous meetings, he carries his credit card doesn't use it, but it is there and he gets off somewhere and the need arises. Mr. Henderson asked Attorney Lawson if he took this to the Ethics Committee, did he think they are going to look on this with favor, that we are using county vehicles for personal use, that we are using county credit cards to upgrade hotel rooms to suites, that we are putting room service on the bills, do you think they would look at that as an ethical thing to do. Mr. Lawson advised that he would need to look into that, and would have no opinion at this time without researching the issue and knowing what is really on the books. Mr. Henderson stated that maybe he needs to call the Ethics Committee. Mr. Nance stated that if he researches it, he needs to research for over the past twenty years. Mr. Henderson stated that just because something has been done for over twenty years, doesn't mean it was right. Mr. Nance stated that he thinks that we should have a standard, we should follow it, we got the policy, and we need to stick by it. Mrs. Bishop stated that Mr. Nance referred to her as an employee, and all of you are employees of the citizens of the county. Mr. Nance stated that he was just saying that they were elected officials, that is all he is saying, and he thinks he is very humble. Chairman Mathis stated that we are all grown people here, Mr. Henderson has expressed his views and unless we have a second on it, the best he can do is recommend that we do what is right, revaluate your policies as to what you think is right or not, regardless of whether what you think is right or not, we need to all move forward with what we need to do. Commissioners agreed.
REMEMBERING ROMEO GRIFFIN AND ALL VETERANS
Mr. Culpepper reported that his grandfather, Romeo Griffin, passed away. He was a Vietnam war veteran and a City Commissioner, and he wanted to remember him as well as all the veterans and the people that serve our country now.
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper at 11:43 a.m. to recess until 1:15 p.m., seconded by Mr. Nance, motion carried unanimously.
GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Curlpaper to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried with Mr. Harris absent.
COME OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION
Motion was made by Mr. Culpepper to come out of Executive Session, seconded by Mr. Henderson, motion carried with Mr. Harris absent.
By common consent, Commissioners adjourned the meeting at 4:46 p.m.