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Political Debates
Do you plan to attend any of the political debates planned throughout the county in the coming weeks?

 

By: Eddy Gifford, Publisher

 

The Dade County Commission met for its regular monthly workshop and meeting last Thursday night in the Commission Meeting Room of the Dade County Administrative Building with all commissioners present for the meeting.

During the work session the Commission discussed items to be placed on the Consent Agenda for the meeting to follow, allowing Commissioners to vote on a number of items at one time.

Among the items discussed was the appointment of Eddie Pittman to another three-year term on the Library Board, a position he has held for some time. This item was not put on the consent agenda since his brother, Scottie Pittman is a Commissioner and he abstained from the vote.

The Commission reviewed the personnel status report that showed little change since the last Commission meeting. The only change was in the Sheriff’s Department and it was a replacement for someone who had left the department.

A proclamation was presented for Armed Forces Day, which is May 17, and Tom Black, the county’s representative on the Regional Mental Health Board, gave a report on their recent meetings and the Governor’s budget and how it impacts the program, especially in north Georgia.

The Commission also discussed the county’s Return to Work Policy and changes that were needed to meet state requirements. The policy has been in the employee handbook but official action and minor changes had to be made to comply with state requirements.

County Clerk Don Townsend gave the Commission a brief report on progress with changes to the County Retirement Plan. Those changes dealt with simplifying the way it is being handled and consolidating to one company.

They are currently working with GEBCorp (Government Employees Benefit Corporation who is owned by the ACCG (Association County Commissioners of Georgia). The GEBCorp currently serves over 75 percent of Georgia’s counties with some level of retirement services.

The regular meeting started with each Commissioner giving department reports.

Commissioner Mitchell Smith reported that the riders in the 3 State 3 Mountain Bicycle Race would be in the county Saturday, May 3 and asked residents to use caution in the areas of the racers. He also reported that 911 services were kept busy in April with a number of fire calls, 1,242 law enforcement calls and 169 EMS calls.

Commissioner Scottie Pittman reported work at the county’s recreation complex had been hectic with the recent rains and that workers had pumped water off three fields and had them ready to play but one field that recently had infield mix added to it was still too wet for play. He also commended Dade County Rec baseball league for their work in purchasing the infield mix and paying to have it put on the field. The county hauled the dirt for the league.

Commissioner Allen Bradford reported that the transfer station continues to do well. He also commended Billy Massengale and the Roads Department for all their hard work in repairing road damage from the recent storms. He also stated that the damage was having an impact on the budget but the work had to be done.

The newest commissioner, Ricky Breeden didn’t have a report at the meeting, as he is still getting familiar with the workings of the Commission.

County Executive Ted Rumley reported that April had been a busy month with budget meetings taking place almost daily and that process should be coming to an end soon as the budget has to be approved in the near future.

Rumley also reported that the tourism group was here during the month and would be back at a later date to report on what they saw and make suggestions on how Dade County can best capitalize on the county’s assets.

Rumley reported on Arbor Day activities and special recognition to Eloise Gass for all of her hard work over the years with Tree City.

Citing Monday night storms, Rumley reported that the upcoming SPLOST vote would include community storm shelters similar to those being built in Jackson and DeKalb counties in Alabama. These shelters can accommodate up to 250 people and would be placed in each community in the county.

Marshana Sharp, manager of the Dade County Public Library, gave a brief report and turned the floor over to William Beck, a Library Board member. He requested additional funding for the library so they could expand their hours since use of the library continues to increase. He thanked the commissioners for their past support and stated they hoped to get some renewed funding from the Dade County Board of Education this year. The library has a deficit of about $23,000.

Cody Doyle, Dade County High School 4-H president gave the UGA Extension report listing a number of activities that took place in April and activities that are coming up in May including Ag Day that will be May 8th. The 4-H awards banquet will also be in May, a change from years past.

Chris Musser, Executive Director of the Dade County Chamber of Commerce, reported a good turnout for the annual banquet and that the survey forms are currently at Covenant College being consolidated and should be available soon for review.

He also reported that the tourism group was “bedazzled” by Dade County and spent longer that they had planned here. Their report on any suggestions they might have for the county to capitalize on tourism should be released soon.

The Commission then approved the consent agenda that included the Armed Forces Day Proclamation, awarding Citizens Bank and Trust a bid on the Tax Anticipation Line of Credit for the amount of $800,000 at a fixed rate of 1.50 percent with no loan fee and the Return to Work resolution. All Commissioners voted for approval.

A motion was then made to reappoint Eddie Pittman to the Library Board for a three-year term ending June 30, 2017. Commissioner Scottie Pittman abstained and all other commissioners voted for the appointment.

Don Townsend, County Finance Officer, gave the monthly financial reports and the Commission approved those reports.

There were no legal matters to discuss and no citizen participation so Commission voted to go into Executive Session for, according to County Attorney Robin Rogers, records that are exempt from open records laws.

The Commission returned after a lengthy session but no action was taken. 


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