Hart County Board of Commissioners

Peer Review Work Session

August 31st, 2004

5:30 p.m.



The Hart County Board of Commissioners met August 31st, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative & Emergency Services Center.


Chairman Daniel Reyen presided with Commissioners R C Oglesby, Randy Banister, Ricky Carter and Joey Dorsey in attendance.


Chairman Reyen called the meeting to order and turned the floor over to BOA Chairman Randy Combs.


Mr. Combs addressed the allegations of an illegal meeting held August 10th, 2004 by the BOA. He reported that the meeting was re-scheduled August 12th, 2004 and that any questions could be deferred to the County Attorney.


Chairman Reyen suggested that the BOA open the meeting room door for the public and there wouldn’t be any public perception that they are conducting illegal meetings.


Mr. Combs began the discussion of PRB Recommendation #11, which noted that inadequate funding was not provided for the BOA and the Chief Appraiser to attend the annual legislative update held in the spring in Athens. The BOA proposed in their FY05 budget request for the entire BOA and the Chief Appraiser to attend the annual workshop.


Commissioner Carter suggested that they present a detail of the courses that everyone is going to attend with their budget request.


Mr. Combs continued with PRB Recommendation #12 which noted that the office space for the BOA was inadequate. They estimated that the BOA needs 2080 square feet of office space plus an allowance for future growth.


Commissioner Carter asked how much space they currently have. Mr. Combs reported that they have 1450 square feet used by the Chief Appraiser, staff and the BOA. He commented that the computer and server need to be in a secure location.


Mr. Combs stated that the BOA proposed the following locations for consideration:

1.      The Old Mental Health Facility at a cost of $250,000 plus renovations

2.      The Old Belk’s Department Store at a cost of $500,000 plus renovations

3.      The Old DFACS Facility at a cost of $300,000 plus renovations


Commissioner Dorsey commented that it would be better to build a new facility that would house the Tax Commissioner and the Tax Assessors offices.


BOA member Burdick inquired about the proposal to conduct a study on the courthouse facility. Commissioner Carter responded that the matter has been tabled.


Mr. Burdick remarked that their immediate need is for space for conducting meetings. Chairman Reyen offered the BOC meeting facility as an alternative.


Mr. Combs remarked that they need access to the maps and the computer. Commissioner Carter suggested that the BOA hold their meetings in the courtroom.


Chairman Reyen remarked that with today’s technology they could set up a remote terminal at any location.


Commissioner Banister remarked that the county needs to proceed with the comprehensive study addressing the needs for the courthouse.


Chairman Reyen remarked that every office in the courthouse and annex has space issues and that it is time to take the issue off the table and discuss it.


Mr. Combs continued with PRB Recommendation #13 that complete documentation of the methods employed by the BOA to appraise property, including techniques and all schedules and tables should be bound, kept in a book and made available to the public. The BOA proposed that the appraisal manual will be available to the public.  


Chairman Reyen commented that the appraisal manual that was shown to the BOC was a highly technical Cott manual and is not easily understood by the average individual. Mr. Combs responded that it would be very costly to write a manual in layman’s term.


Mr. Combs continued with the BOC recommendation that the BOA establish a website. He reported that he visited Elbert, Franklin, Madison and Stephens Counties BOA offices to conduct a survey of their operations etc. He commented that Hart County’s BOA office is superior to the other counties.


Mr. Combs remarked that the BOA does not have anyone on staff to set-up and establish a website. A company in Florida (Q Public.Net) could set up and maintain a website for $8,000 per year. The company would gather data from Cott and have a website developed with all the information put on it in two weeks.


Commissioner Banister commented that Mary Hughes (Hart County’s IT Specialist) can put together a website if she can be provided with the data at a lower cost to the taxpayers.


Chairman Reyen commented that the key issue that is needed is a policy manual and the website is something to be considered later.


Ernest Rudeseal commented that there are things property owners need to know to make sure if there is equitability in the appraisal system such as the comparables used.


Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to convene the work session on September 28th, 2004 at 5:30 p.m. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.


Commissioner Oglesby entertained a motion to adjourn the meeting. Commissioner Dorsey provided a second to the motion. The motion carried 5-0.




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Daniel W. Reyen, Chairman                                          Lawana Kahn, County Clerk