Hart County Board of Commissioners

January 17, 2005 Special Meeting

12:00 p.m.

The Hart County Board of Commissioners met January 17, 2005 at 12:00 p.m. in the Hart County Administrative & Emergency Services Center.

Chairman RC Oglesby presided with Commissioners Dan Reyen, Gary Mize, Ricky Carter and Joey Dorsey in attendance. 

The resolution to adopt the Service Delivery Strategy was added to the agenda.  Commissioner Reyen voted to add to the agenda, Commissioner Dorsey seconded the motion.  Vote was 5-0 to add to the agenda.

Commissioner Dorsey made a motion to adopt the SDS resolution.  Commissioner Reyen seconded the motion.  Vote was 5-0 to pass the resolution.

The floor was then given to the County Attorney, Mr. Walter Gordon to discuss the actions of the Board of Commissioners on December 14, 2004 and January 11, 2005 regarding the appointment of Mr. Roy Segars to the Board of Tax Assessors and the subsequent rescission of same.  Mr. Gordon explained the legal opinions of the county attorney are rooted in law and not in fractional politics, personal or party loyalty, or otherwise. 

He then recalled that at a meeting of the Board of Commissioners, held on December 14th, a 3 to 2 majority of the Board made an appointment to the Board of Tax Assessors.  At the next regular meeting of the Board, held on January 11th, a 3 to 2 majority of the Board voted to rescind that appointment.  He stated that as a result of his research of the law in Georgia and elsewhere, he had concluded, that it is his opinion, that the vote to rescind the appointment was ineffective, and is a nullity. 

He stated that he found no court case in the state of Georgia where the rescission of a Board appointment has been addressed.  No law prohibits rescission, and no law authorizes rescission.  Thus, he looked to other sources of legal guidance.  

He reviewed the applicable sections of Roberts Rules of Order, which have been adopted as the BOC parliamentary rules, and he researched cases arising outside the state of Georgia.  Cases in other states are not binding on Georgia courts, but such cases can provide guidance, or shed light on a subject, when Georgia cases do not.

Roberts Rules provide that the “motion to rescind can be applied to votes on all main motions, including questions of privilege and orders of the day that have been acted upon, and to votes on an appeal, with the following exceptions: a vote cannot be rescinded after something has been done as a result of that vote that the assembly cannot undo,” Roberts Rules of Order §37.  The fact that the assessor’s taking of the oath of office, administered by the Superior Court, followed by the fact that the assessor has entered into the duties of office by attending and participating in a meeting of the Board of Assessors resulted in an act that under Roberts Rules, cannot permit the BOC to rescind this appointment.

He conclude that, based upon his research, as applied to the specific facts of this matter (as he understood them to be) it was his legal opinion that the BOC vote to rescind the appointment of Roy Segars to the Board of Tax Assessors is ineffective, and stands as a legal nullity.

Commissioner Reyen then stated that he knew of the situation surrounding Mr. Segars before the appointment vote December 14, 2004.  He further stated that the application was in the BOC office 4 weeks prior to the vote and that all BOC members had an opportunity to do research on Mr. Segars.  He further stated that he felt that the building permit issue had no bearing on Mr. Segars qualifications for the BOA appointment.

Commissioner Reyen requested an apology from the BOC to Mr. Segars for the issue raised by the recent BOC.  He stated that BOA Thompson received an apology publicly by the BOC when she failed to pass the BOA testing requirements.

Commissioner Dorsey stated that Commissioner Reyen knew about the building permit issue well in advance of the appointment and that he should have advised the other BOC members of this issue but he did not.  He went on to state that it is time for the BOC to work as a team and have open communication amongst the BOC.

Commissioner Reyen agreed that more communication among the BOC is needed.

Commissioner Carter stated that he does not think that information now presented on Mr. Segars would have changed his appointment vote had he known about it prior to the December 14 appointment vote.  He further stated that if the BOA office had been running like it should have been we would not be here talking about the BOA office today.

Commissioner Carter also stated that the tax assessment on home and dock was not accurate because it had not changed from 1996 until now, also the garage was estimated to cost $10,000 but it was appraised at $7,900.

With no further action needed, Commissioner Reyen made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Commissioner Dorsey, passed 5-0.

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R C Oglesby, Chairman                                        Jon Caime, County Administrator