-Update on 2017 coordinated election - Dallas Schroeder, County Clerk, reported that 10 school districts and 1 parks & rec district could potentially be on the ballot this fall; won’t know for sure until September 8. Public comment: Linda Krausser stated that there has been “confusion in the community about previous votes on removal of term limits.” (Editorial comment: Really?? The citizens have misunderstood their ballots on all SIX previous votes to remove term limits for the sheriff?) Therefore she is requesting, and presented suggested wording for the ballot, that the sheriff’s and treasurer’s term limits be removed and that this item be placed on the ballot this fall. Paul Mazarella also spoke in favor of removing term limits for the sheriff and the treasurer and asked commissioners to vote on it TODAY. Commissioners declined to vote due to lack of public awareness of proposal.
-Review of BOE (property tax protest) actions - Mike Akana, assessor’s office, gave summary of numbers of adjustments, denials, etc., during 4 days of hearings during previous week. The numbers he presented did not add up. Public comment: Mary Lou Froberg asked if there was a public record of the hearing. Commissioner Willcox said, “There is….however there was a technical glitch” so everything the county thought was being recorded was not actually recorded. (Editorial comment: when are the county commissioners going to admit that our IT director is incompetent???)
-2018 Budget Process Update - Ric Pettit, Chief Budget Officer, stated that all department heads are reviewing budgets and will meet again next week to ensure that revenues exceed expenses. Initial wish lists equal about $1 million in expenses over revenues. Public comment: Marlene Groves applauded the work on the budget but is disappointed that the commissioners did not carry forward on their campaign promises to include citizens in the budget process. Commissioner Willcox stated that the commissioners are not ready to establish a citizens’ advisory committee for the budget; maybe in the future.
(Editorial comment: there are accountants, CPAs, CEOs, financial planners, etc. living in Elbert County that could provide valuable input and would understand the budgeting process right out of the chute. Why not utilize them?)
-Need for Compliance Officer - Bart Greer, County Attorney, stated that this position is not presently budgeted; doesn’t think EC needs a full-time person for this job. Reviewed guidelines for various approaches to fines/reporting for non-compliance. Will be for enforcement of zoning regs with courts utilized for enforcement, if needed.
-Approved July 20, 2017 BOCC minutes
-Update to ORR policy - Bart Greer, County Attorney, reported on new standards, per legislature, for Open Records laws. Format changes: allows for sortable data to be provided in specific formats that can be provided feasibly (electronic records can now be provided). Senate bill effective 8/8/17. (Editorial comment: Commissioners felt the need to vote to approve the update to the ORR policy for Elbert County, even though it is now state law.)
-Proclamation of Health Center Week, August 13-19, 2017
Agenda items for next BOCC 8/23/17 meeting - workshops/study sessions, liquor license approval for Murphy Oil USA, term limits for sheriff and treasurer, subdivision regulations, update on budget, update on Master Plan process
Meeting continued until Land Use Hearing @1:00PM.
LAND USE HEARING:
Independence hearing continued until September 5 @ 6PM at the fairgrounds, per Commissioner Willcox at the end of the morning session.