Pike County Times
The Pike County Times, PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295. Click here to donate through PayPal. Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor@pikecountytimes.com
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Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 9 a.m.
Courthouse Annex, 79 Jackson Street, Zebulon, Georgia

This meeting was attended all five commissioners, County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye to take the minutes, County Manager (CM) John Hanson, and County Attorneys Rob and Tom Morton.

1. CALL TO ORDER .................................................................................... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

2. INVOCATION………………………………………………………………………….Frank Winfrey

3. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE ................................................................... Chairman J. Briar Johnson

4. APPROVAL OF THE AGENDA - (O.C.G A. § 50-14-1 (e) (1))

5. APPROVAL OF THE MINUTES - (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2))

a. Minutes of the October 25, 2016 Regular Monthly Meeting.


a. Employees to be recognized for their service to Pike County.

Christopher Laggis was commended for his 10 years of service to Pike County. He received his 10 year certificate and service pin. Christopher also received his 10-year Employee Certificate as well as his service pin.

David Neal was commended for his service to the county as well. He received his 15 year certificate and service pin.

b. Mike Hubbard, CEO for McIntosh Trail CSB.

Mike Hubbard from McIntosh Trail presented a slide show to show what is being provided for citizens in our area. McIntosh Trail provides programs for mental illness, addictive disease, and disability with a concentration on individuals and believe that people can learn to manage their symptoms. 59% of their funding comes from the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities with 26% coming from Medicaid and Medicare, 10% from fees through self pay and insurance, 3% coming from the 7 counties that they serve, and 2% from grants. They serve about 6,000 people each year from the entire region with 150 citizens from Pike in 2010 to 263 this year. www.mctrail.org/

Mayor Bobby Blalock praised Mike and McIntosh Trail for their work and the good that they do in our community. Commissioner Timmy Daniel has also sat on this board and echoed the same praise. County Attorney Tom Morton said that the Council on Aging also falls under their umbrella and meets at their facility. He also praised him for their work. Sheriff Jimmy Thomas said that the state spends over a billion dollars on mental health addiction, etc. every year and that the staff there works with the Sheriff’s Office when there is a mental related problem for citizens. Others spoke as well.


a. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities, including a Revenue/Expenditure Statement for all departments and a summary check register.


Commissioner James Jenkins asked about the Wash and Wax purchased by the Fire Department - $10,100. CM Hanson said that he wasn't prepared with numbers, etc. for this but would explain it regardless. He said that we were invoiced for that amount but paid a little over $5,300. Back in January, the Chief purchased 12 gallons wash and wax for the Fire Trucks. It was authorized and a particular amount was bought in order to get a discount. Apparently more arrived in March and more in June. The CM and the Fire Chief spoke about this in June and said that we didn’t need anymore. Long story short: Wash and wash was sent back to the company and our attorneys had to get involved to make them stop shipping to the county.

CM Hanson said that we won’t need any soap for probably the next 10 years and it is now part of our inventory. Commissioner Jenkins advised that he had looked into this and called as a vendor to get info that makes this more than $50 a case than through a company in a neighboring county. He said that it is $122 for a case from them and it will last 6 months. Jenkins said this slipped by the County Commissioners and the County Manager and that he wanted to be accountable for taxpayer dollars. CM Hanson said that the Fire Chief got hoodwinked on this and similar incidents have happened in the past in other departments, but the situation has been handled. Last of the discussion was from Commissioner Daniel asking about the gifts that came with this purchase like a Dewalt drill and coffee maker. Commissioners were advised that these items are accounted for and are in either in a fire station or on a fire truck.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ............................................................................................... $919,559.05
Fire Dept. Donations ........................................................................................ $4,594.88
BOC – Jury Account………………………………………………………………$0.00
Cash Reserve Account ........................................................................ ….....$506,052.20
Pike County CD Special Revenue funds………………………………………….$0.00
Jail Fund ........................................................................................................ $14,797.99
E-911 Fund .................................................................................................... $85,933.42
DATE Fund ................................................................................................... $41,237.76
Juvenile Court Fund ....................................................................................... $14,103.90
Residential Impact Fee ................................................................................ $341,615.93
Commercial Impact Fees ............................................................................... $19,361.07
C.A.I.P FUND ................................................................................................. $3,009.39
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2011 ...................... $279,543.49
L.M.I. Grant (DOT) ..................................................................................... $548,742.03

c. County Manager Comment

CM Hanson said that the county is trying to do a final sweep with mowers and motor graders and trying to do as much as possible before the winter begins. He added in the County Manager Report to commissioners that the county is waiting on infrastructure changes by GA Power and AT&T to be completed before Public Works can start on the Jonathan's Roost Road widening and resurfacing project.

d. Commissioner Reports

Commissioner Daniel said that he wanted to recognize that government starts right here and recognized those who won their elections last night on a local level.

Chairman Johnson also congratulated those who won their seats last night from a local up to presidential level.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners.



a. Approval / denial of Second Reading of Text amendment to the Pike County Code of Ordinances, .... Chapter 156, Zoning Code, Sections 156.06, 156.26 (J), 156.43, 156.63, 156.78, 156.93, 156.137, 156.173, 156.188, 156.203, and 156.218 for various code changes and clarifications, including, but not limited to, standards and restrictions for shooting ranges, and new standards for garage apartments and animal hospitals / clinics.

Motion to approve second reading. Guy, Jenkins. Approved 5-0.


a. Proclamation to honor County Attorney Tom Morton.

Proclamation Honoring Thomas H. Morton (from the Post Agenda)

WHEREAS, Thomas H. Morton was born on May 29, 1922 to Lydia Ann Shuttleworth Morton and Russell Neely Morton in Fall River, Massachusetts and raised in New York City.

WHEREAS, He graduated from Public School 134, Hollis, New York in 1937 and Jamaica High School, Jamaica, New York in 1941. Tom attended Mercer University and Walter F. George, School of Law in Macon, Georgia where he graduated in 1949 with an AB Degree as well as a Law Degree. He was a post graduate of George Washington University in Labor and international law, Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Virginia, received a graduate certificate in Government, Military and Contract Law, certificate in urban unrest and local government; University of Southern California, ABA Certificate in Modern Real Estate Transactions.

WHEREAS, Married Mary Elizabeth Mowell, Decatur, Georgia, April 10, 1942, they were freshman together at Mercer University. Mary passed away from cancer and he is now married to Sonya D. Morton. Tom and Mary have four children, Thomas H. Morton, Jr., Cherry Lynn Morton (deceased), Janice Gail Morton, Robert Lamar Morton.

WHEREAS, In his younger days Tom was active in the following sports: Sailing, Basketball, Track, Boxing, Bowling, Handball, Tennis, Golf, Volleyball; with the first six being in competition. He was also in Drama (College-Radio), Singing (Choir and choral solo) and was a Boy Scout where he played the drum in a Boy Scout Bugle and Drum Corps.

WHEREAS, Tom served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1045, TM2C and the U.S. Army from 1949- 1955, Captain. He was involved with 5 major campaigns, 29 engagements with the enemy and holder of Eight Battle Stars WW11 while in the Navy.

WHEREAS, Tom holds the following Decorations: Recipient of the Navy Ribbon of Commendation for Valor in the battle of Okinawa – WW11, Recipient of the Letter of Commendation – U.S. Army for negotiating an agreement with the French and Arab Governments for establishing Air Force bases in North Africa (was the sole US Attorney), Recipient of the Letter of Commendation - U.S. Army – Judge Advocate General’s School, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia, Recipient of the Letter of Commendation – U.S. Army for establishing the Procurement Division at the Judge Advocate Generals School. He also is the recipient of the following Campaign Ribbons: National Defense Service Medal, Asiatic – Pacific Campaign Medal, Philippine Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the American Campaign Medal.

WHEREAS, Tom was admitted to practice law in 1949 in the following courts: Georgia State, Supreme Court, Georgia State Court of Appeals, Superior Court of Georgia, U.S. Court of Military Appeals, U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, U.S. District Courts (Northern District and Middle District) and on a case-by- case basis, he was admitted, Pro Hac Vice in California, Massachusetts, Washington, Minnesota, Maine, Ohio, Illinois, Florida and Idaho. Tom opened his first law office in 1949 in Douglasville, Georgia. In 1950 was commissioned in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps of the U.S. Army ( as an Attorney), in 1955 joined the law department of Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, his area of responsibility included 10 Western States and 3 Eastern States. In 1985 he joined the law firm of Belcher, Henzie & Biegenahn in Los Angeles, California as a Senior member of the Firm. In 1991 he became a law partner in the law firm of Crawford and Morton in Zebulon, GA. After his son Robert L. Morton was admitted to the practice of law, Tom founded the law firm of Morton, Morton & Associates in Zebulon, Georgia.

WHEREAS, In addition Tom became the City Attorney for the Cities of Zebulon and Meansville, Georgia. He also served as County Attorney for Spalding County and Meriwether County. Tom is currently the County Attorney for Pike County. Georgia. He has handled legal matters in every state except Vermont and has also handled legal matters in Zurich, Switzerland, Canada and for a corporation in Japan.

WHEREAS, Tom has served his community well in the various places he has lived and has received recognition from many organizations for a job well done. He also had his own newspaper column, authored a three-act play and written poetry. Tom has traveled all over the United States as well as England, Scotland, Wales, France, Portugal, French Morocco, Canada, Mexico, Australia and the Philippines.

WHEREAS, Tom’s church affiliation is Southern Baptist, he was ordained as a Deacon in 1954 at the University Baptist Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, ordained as a Southern Baptist Minister in Georgia, served as chairman of the Deacons for 32 years at Trinity Baptist Church in Downey, California and at the First Baptist Church in Downey, California. He also served as a Deacon at Bethany Baptist Church in Bellflower, California and at Mt. Olive Baptist Church in Molena, Georgia. He currently serves as organizer, Director and Instructor for both the Los Angeles Southern Baptist Seminary Extension Center and of the National Negro Baptist Seminary Extension Center.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners of Pike County that on November 9, 2016, the Pike County Board of Commissioners recognize and honor Thomas H. Morton for the service to our country, our community and his profession as well as the outstanding character he has displayed throughout his life.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this Proclamation is to be spread upon the minutes of the proceedings of this Board to memorialize this occasion and express our sincere appreciation.

Chairman, J. Briar Johnson (L.S.) County Manager, John Hanson (L.S.)

There was a gathering of county officials and family to honor Mr. Tom. CM Hanson said that Mr. Tom’s life is a testament to what you want to do with your life. The proclamation for Mr. Tom was read aloud.

Mr. Tom said that he is not often surprised. His wife and grandchildren are here so he had a clue that something was going on this morning. He is 94 and said that he appreciates this very much as well as serving with staff members. City Attorney since 1992 and County Attorney for a long time. It is an honor to be your attorney along with Rob and this has been one of the most rewarding jobs for them. This has been one of the most productive county Boards that they have worked with and praised the Board members for working together and remaining friends even after meetings.

Motion and second for presentation. Approved 5-0.

Sheriff Thomas praised Mr. Tom for his wisdom and his sense of humor.

Commissioner Tommy Powers said that Mr. Tom inspired him to sit at this desk and when he was down and out. He thanked him for a job well done.

Commissioner Tim Guy thanked him for all of his support and love that he has for the Lord and is a great example for our country.

Commissioner James Jenkins echoed Tim’s sentiment and said that Mr. Tom is a God-fearing, God-loving man and a gentleman.

Commissioner Tim Daniel said that he was also the Mayor in Downey County in California. He echoed their appreciation.

Chairman Briar Johnson also echoed these sentiments and thanked him for his wisdom in working with the Board.

Bobby Blalock said that he has been a big help in the City of Zebulon and pointed out that people don’t often think of lawyer and preacher in the same sentence.

Steve Fry echoed the sentiments and said his appreciation for keeping them on the moral path.

Mayor Gayle Burden from the City of Meansville praised him as well for the City.

Mr. Tom thanked everyone for this honor.

Rob Morton said that he is the AND in Morton and Morton. He remembers his Sunday School Teacher from the 5th grade and who was his baseball coach who made all but one of his games regardless of being the Firestone Tire attorney and traveling for them. I wouldn’t be here today without his support. This is his testimony to us all because he has done that for many in here. His example brought me back to the church and that it’s been an honor and a privilege to serve with his father in his law practice. He has been an example and a mentor on how to live life. He was also invited by Ronald Reagan to be part of his cabinet but turned it down because he is a family man. People listen when his Dad walks in the room. First and foremost he has loved God and he has loved his family.

b. Tom Lacey to present the Farm City Proclamation to the Board.

Tom Lacey to present the proclamation to the Board. Chairman Briar Johnson read the proclamation aloud. Motion to approve the proclamation. Approved 5-0.

Farm City Proclamation (from the Post Agenda)

Georgia farmers and ranchers play a key role in providing food, clothing, shelter and fuel to our state, nation and the world by producing a bounty of agricultural products. To do this, they rely on essential partnerships with urban and suburban communities to supply, sell and deliver finished products Rural and urban communities working together have made the most of our state’s rich agricultural resources as they contribute to the health and wellbeing of our state, our country and to the strength of our economy.

During Farm-City Week in Georgia, we recognize the importance of this cooperative network. Agriculture contributes more than $72.5 billion annually to Georgia’s $786.5 billion economic output. The 2014 total Farm Gate Value for the state was more than $14.07 billion. One in seven Georgians work in agriculture, forestry or an agriculture-related field.

The agricultural industry provides us with food, clothing and shelter as well as fuel for our energy needs. As we welcome new opportunities for trade, the hard work and successful cooperation between farmers and city workers will continue to play a vital role in our state and nation’s future.

Farm-City collaborations help maintain and improve our food and fiber supply and contribute to a better quality of life for our citizens. We commend the many Americans whose hard work and ingenuity reflect the true spirit of America and help to ensure a prosperous future for all.

This week, as we gather with family and friends around the Thanksgiving table, it is fitting that we count among our blessings the vital farm-city partnerships that have done so much to improve the quality of our lives.

Therefore, we do here proclaim November 18-24, 2016 as Farm-City Week in Georgia. We call upon citizens in rural and urban areas to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of all those who, working together, produce and supply our community and nation with an abundance of agricultural products.

Chairman J. Briar Johnson (L.S.)

c. Consider one appointment to the McIntosh Trail Community Service Board to fill a three-year term, set to expire December 31, 2019.

Angie Jackson recommended to be reappointed. Motion to approve. Approve 5-0.

d. Approve/deny renewal of Alcohol License (Retail Sales-beer) for Jack Park, d/b/a The Cedars Golf Course, 13080 Hwy. 18, Zebulon, GA. Applicant has met criteria.

Motion to approve. Approved 4-0-1. Guy abstained.

e. Approve/deny renewal of Alcohol License (Retail Sales-beer) for Jack Park, d/b/a The Pines Golf Course, 3094 Reidsboro Rd., Williamson, GA. Applicant has met criteria.

Motion to approve. Approved 4-0-1. Guy abstained.

f. Approve/deny renewal of Alcohol License (Retail Sales – beer) for Mitul Patel d/b/a Caddie’s Corner, 10030 Hwy. 19 N, Zebulon, GA. Applicant has met criteria.

Motion to approve. Approved 4-0-1. Guy abstained.

g. Approve/deny the 2017 Holiday Schedule.

This will follow the normal holiday schedule. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

h. Approve/deny the 2017 Board of Commissioners Regular Monthly Meeting Schedule.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

i. Approve/deny request from the library to pay for library materials from Impact Fees.

This is for expansion because you can’t use it for replacement of materials, but CM Hanson asked for approval after confirming that with Director of Planning and Zoning David Allen. Motion to approve per David’s approval. Approved 5-0.

j. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input in regards to the Approval / denial of the private maintenance covenant for a proposed private street, required per Code Section 155.02 (Y)(2). Also, approval / denial of the road name “Low Pass Lane” for the proposed private street. The proposed street right-of-way will be located off of Patton Road, Land Lot 60 of the 2nd Land District, and is further identified as Tax Map Parcel #075 022 A.

Bonnie Mordas spoke in favor. She said that today has been a pleasure to attend this meeting and that this is part of the reason that they want to stay here and have her children stay and raise their families. This is so that her children can stay here and inherit land and raise their kids here.

No one spoke against. No further discussion.

Motion to approve both. Approved 5-0.

k. Approve/Deny the 1st reading of the text amendment to amend the Personnel Policy in regards to the new Exemption Law.

There is a December 1 deadline on this with minimum salary requirements. There are specific criteria for this and it addresses overtime specifically. This is a federal requirement. This is the first reading so it can be approved before the deadline. It can be changed after further study. Motion to accept the first reading. Approved 5-0.

l. Relocation of county offices.

CM Hanson said that over the last 3 years there have been a lot of discussions about efficiency. He has discussed this with various entities as far as security and renovations will be needed. This is less than $3,000 in materials and this will be a slow move from one place to the other. Magistrate Court will begin meeting in the Courthouse in January. Maybe sooner.

Here is a list of who is moving where according to the recommendations of the County Manager. The Magistrate and District Attorney's Offices will be moving to the Pike County Courthouse. The Tax Commissioner's Office will be moving into the main section of the current Board of Commissioner's Office. The Voter Registrar's Office will be moving into the current meeting room of the Board of Commissioners. And the Office of Planning and Development will be in the middle section of the current Board of Commissioner's Office. moving into the Courthouse Annex. CM Hanson said that this will put three of the most utilized offices together for easy access for the public.

The District Attorney's Office will move into the Tax Commissioner's Office. Magistrate will move into the Voter Registrar's Office. And the Board of Commissioners will move into the current building where the Magistrate Court is at now. He has met with the Fire Marshall and gotten an ok on this. Commissioner Tim Daniel said that this is not a long term solution and CM Hanson said that is a 3-5 year plan now. They have reviewed parking, space needs for each department and use by citizens.

Motion to allow a citizen to speak. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: Yes, this is me talking in the next section of the meeting. I rarely get actively involved in county politics, but they were gracious to allow me to ask a couple of questions.]

I thanked them for allowing me to speak and asked for verification that early voting was going to be moved to the Board of Commissioner's Meeting Room. I then asked if he had spoke with state and federal entities about moving the early voting place from the courthouse. [Note from the Editor: I imagine that the Department of Justice is going to have to be notified but don't know for sure.] He said that he is talking to the appropriate entities because the state will require some intervention. This will be a 45 day moving process for the Tax Commissioner's Office and will be something similar for other offices. I asked where meetings would be held in the future. I was advised that the meetings will be in the main Courtroom of the Courthouse and that this has already been coordinated with the Superior Court Judges. I thanked them for answering my questions for the public. [Note from the Editor: I have been advised by CM Hanson on November 23, 2016 that all Planning Commission and Board of Appeals meetings will also be in the main courtroom of the Pike County Courthouse.]

Motion to approve this relocation plan. Approved 5-0.

m. Discuss Fire Department SOP for Medical First Response.

The commissioners have a copy of this. Click on the following links to read SOP. SOP Part 1 and SOP Part 2

Commissioner Jenkins asked if we still have the ambulance that we are storing? The Fire Dept still owns an ambulance that was given to us and we are not recommending CM Hanson advised that we are no using this ambulance right now because of the amount of confusion that could come from this. No transports are being recommended. If we were to use that at some point in the future, it would be need to be clearly marked as First Response so there would be no confusion. What are we going to do with it? We are going to hold onto it for now.

Tim Daniel asked how this applies to the City of Meansville. CM Hanson said that they have an EMT there now and he responds to other areas of the county under the intergovernmental agreement. The license will not cover the City of Meansville because they are not a county entity, but County Attorney Rob Morton said that they will be able to work with us through the intergovernmental agreement.

Commissioner Tommy Powers asked if this is a benefit to Grady. CM Hanson said that this can be--especially on a large scene. How many firemen do we have that are qualified to go out on a scene? There are about 60 volunteers with 25 to 30 who are regular responders and those who qualify as first responders as paramedics, EMT’s etc. There are approximately 15 who are already qualified and trained through the state.

County Attorney Rob Morton said that the county reviews the policies of the County Fire Department and that a motion is needed for approval.

Motion to approve the review of this document by the BOC. Approved 5-0.

[Note from the Editor: The following paragraph is verbatim from the County Manager Report.]

Medical First Response: The Fire Department SOP is being presented for your consideration to apply for a Medical First Response License which I provided earlier this week and in your NovusAgenda packet for the meeting. There has been some recent confusion in the “social media community” about Fire Department First Responders and a Medical First Response License. We have not and are not removing Fire Department First Response from our Fire Department. As I have stated in my reports and in the meeting, the majority of our calls are first responder calls which deserves the utmost attention in all aspects for the safety of our citizens and responders. The application for the First Response License is a separate layer of service for your consideration as recommended by the Fire Chief and will enhance the level of service provided. Part of this confusion was due to the inspection of the jump bags used by first responders. The inspection was conducted to ensure that the bags were properly equipped and meet basic life safety standards. During the inspection period the Chief required the first responders to use a fire department apparatus which is properly equipped and inspected by the department to respond to these calls. As we work to provide a quality service, we must be certain that we are in compliance with state regulations. End of County Manager Report paragraph.

Motion to allow Bobby Blalock to speak. He said that this is the best County Commission that we’ve had in years and thanked the commissioners for working with them on the City Park and recognizing that city citizens pay taxes too.

10. PUBLIC COMMENT- (Limited to 5 minutes per person) None



Motion to adjourn. 10:55 a.m.

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