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7-17-03 Oglethorpe BOC Agenda Meeting -New Chairman & Policies

Oglethorpe Chairman Johnson 'Hits Ground Running'!

Oglethorpe County News Online

July 7,2003

Board of Commissioners Agenda Meeting

Submitted by Joel Gossett

Agenda Items

1. Wolfskin Vol. Fire Dept. spokesperson wasn't present, but District 1 Commissioner (DC) Doug Bower spoke of the roof leaking at the firehouse, which is a county owned building. County Commissioner (CC) Robert Johnson asked that the fire chief call him and they'd talk about a plan to get the source of the leak corrected.

2. Ken Whitehead was unavailable to discuss the status of the new jail, new health dept., and the landfill.

3. BOC discussed the possibility of receiving a reduced fee (approx. $,000 savings) for workers compensation if the county met certain expectations around safety, injury performance, safety training, safety inspections, etc.

4. The BOC will vote next week on the proposed regulation that would require subdivision developers to hook up to a public water source, if available, or use a local well system. See 7/3 Echo article.

5. C(ommission) C(hairman) Johnson reviewed the 2003 mid-year budget status. CC stated that all depts. were on target except for the sheriff's office and jail budgets: jail is already over for the year, and the SO is at 71% vs 50%. Out-of-county prisoner housing remains the biggest expense.

It was also stated that the whole county's budget is tight and the year end prediction is "close"....no room to wiggle.

6. CC stated that he's aware of the heavy rain impact on roads...."they're in bad shape in some places". Washouts, muddy roads, culverts/pipes plugging due to limbs/trash, etc. "We're working on it", said CC.

7. CC reminded everyone that in order to be on the BOC agenda, a request must be made at the CC's office NLT Wed. noon the week before the meeting. Try to keep presentations to 5 mins. or less, but longer is OK if communicated in advance.

Robert (Johnson-Chairman) said he wants citizen/public input at the end of each meeting, and he values public participation in county government.

8. Well/water grant money provided to the county has been spent, with 36 families benefitting from these grant funds.

9. Ordinance variance for a mobile home was discussed, with everyone agreeing that the standards must be maintained.

10. County website will be put on hold due to budget problems.

11. Question was asked about citizens placing signs on the roadside (for sale, notifications, etc.). CC said signs should not be placed on right-of-ways, but the county doesn't have a regulation on this. TC stated he felt the state has that covered under their regulations. Appears this will get some followup.

12. Several questions were asked concerning the status of the new jail and sheriff budget overruns. CC (Johnson) said he estimated the new jail will be available in approx. 18-24 mos. CC said he and the sheriff met for 2 hrs. to discuss the SO and jail budgets.


AVOC COMMENT: This is a good and positive report for Oglethorpe County. Chairman Robert Johnson has "hit the ground running".

It is heartening that he will deal with the jail and sheriff budget issues right off. That has been boiling for sometime and is not good for the county or the officials involved. (Just wish he could find a little money for a county website!- An excellent way to give citizens access to information.

Chairman Johnson is experienced and has the wherewithal to get things done. We wish him well.

Wendell Dawson, Editor