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, December 12, 2018 – 9:00 a.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia

www.pikecoga.com/novusagenda has a download of the agenda and accompanying information for this meeting. This includes items listed on the agenda such as the Medical First Reponse License and the property being decided on Bottoms Road. Monthly information from Animal Control, Coroner, Fire Department, Grady, Library, Magistrate Court, McIntosh Trail CSB, Planning & Development, Registrar, Superior - Juvenile Court, Tax Assessor, and the Water Authority are included as well.

[Note from the Editor: I was late to this meeting so I am uploading County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye's minutes from the meeting with a personal comment in blue regarding an incident that took place in the meeting.]

The Pike County Board of Commissioners held its Regular Monthly Meeting on Wednesday, December 12, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. in the Courthouse, Main Courtroom, at 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon. Chairman Briar Johnson convened the meeting and Commissioners Tim Daniel, Tim Guy, Tommy Powers and James Jenkins attended. County Manager Bobby Bickley, County Attorney Rob Morton and County Clerk Jo Ann Wrye were also present. (O.C.G.A. § 50-14-1(e) (2))

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

2. INVOCATION………………………………………………………………………….…Ben Maxedon

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

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

Motion/second by Commissioners Powers/Guy to approve, motion carried 5-0.

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

a. Minutes of the November 27, 2018 Regular Monthly Meeting.

Motion/second by Commissioners Daniel/Powers to approve, motion carried 5-0.


a. Employee recognition for years of service to Pike County.

Cindy Foster was recognized for twenty years of service to Pike County by County Attorney Rob Morton and Chief Tax Assessor Greg Hobbs. Mr. Morton stated Cindy has served as the Chief Tax Assessor for a time period, Cindy has seen a lot changes in the office. Mr. Morton said one thing he can say about Cindy is she has kept doing her job; he has seen her and the Chief Appraiser go out on inspections together and work very well with each other. Mr. Morton congratulated Cindy for her 20 years of service.

Chief Tax Assessor Greg Hobbs stated he has only been here for five years and over the five years he has come to know Cindy; he said Cindy is the one responsible for him standing here and he is forever thankful for that. Mr. Hobbs said Cindy has endured a lot in her physical being and her personal life but like Mr. Morton said she still comes to work every day. Mr. Hobbs stated Cindy holds the highest designation in the state of Georgia from the Department of Revenue which is an Appraiser 4 designation. He noted this is not an easy designation to acquire. Mr. Hobbs said he thinks the world of Cindy even though they may not agree on all things at the end of the day she is someone he trusts. Mr. Hobbs said Cindy was a good friend.

Cindy received her 20-year Employee Certificate along with her 20-year Employee Service Pin.

Emily Morris was recognized by County Attorney Rob Morton and Tax Commissioner Donna Chapman for five years of service to Pike County. Mr. Morton stated he has not had much interface with Emily, which is usually a good thing because he only gets a call from Donna when there is an issue. Mr. Morton congratulated Emily on behalf of the Board of Commissioners for 5-years of service and stated a job well done.

Tax Commissioner Donna Chapman stated she could say a lot of things about Emily, noting she is part time; Emily gets a lot of grief on her job and is the baby of the group. Mrs. Chapman said Emily opens the office Tuesday through Fridays and is always there, she said Emily is very dependable, very knowledgeable, and very helpful and they appreciate her beyond measure.

Emily received her 5-year Employee Certificate along with her 5-year Employee Service Pin.

Janis Allen was recognized by County Attorney Rob Morton for five years of service to Pike County. Mr. Morton stated Janis is currently serving as the Finance Administrative Supervisor, he noted he cannot say enough about Janis. He said it has been a good opportunity over the last four months to do transitional work while waiting for Mr. Bickley and Janis has been a huge part of the transition. Mr. Morton stated when Kay Landers resigned there was some thought process that went into who would be the best to fill the position and the instant answer was Janis. He said Janis works hard, knows the system but more importantly if she does not know something she researches and studies. He noted if you come by the office on a Saturday every now and then you will find Janis there at work trying to get caught up and educated on things she is not familiar with. Mr. Morton stated Janis is willing to do what it takes to get the job done. He said he knows Mr. Bickley has experienced that himself this past week. Mr. Morton told Janis he appreciates her, she is great in the office and a joy to work with. Mr. Morton congratulated Janis for her 5-years of service to the Pike County.

Tax Commissioner Donna Chapman spoke saying that Janis has been nothing but a help to her over the last couple of years in every area noting she takes on everything without argument and thinks she is awesome.

Mr. Morton stated one of the other jobs that Janis is continuing to do is Human Resources and interfacing with all the different employees as well as Constitutional Officers. He said they had rather come and talk with Janis than anyone else in the office, which speaks highly of Janis.

County Manager Bobby Bickley stated even though he has not been here very long, he has had the opportunity to work with Janis closely, especially his first week on the job. He said it did not take him long to figure out that Janis is the “go to” person, knows exactly what is going on and is good at what she does. Mr. Bickley notes she will be a life saver in getting started in learning this job. Mr. Bickley thanked Janis.

Chairman Johnson noted Janis always does things with a smile and thanked her.

Janis received her 5-year Employee Certificate along with her 5-year Employee Service Pin.


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

Motion/second by Commissioners Guy/Powers to accept the reports, motion carried 5-0.

b. County Manager Report

Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ........................................................................................ …$1,079,589.28
Fire Dept. Donations ........................................................................................ $5,742.94
BOC – Jury Account………………………………………………………………$0.00
Cash Reserve Account ........................................................................ ….....$107,226.80
Pike County CD Special Revenue funds………………………………………….$0.00
Jail Fund ........................................................................................................ $27,160.89
E-911 Fund .................................................................................................... $57,563.60
DATE Fund ................................................................................................... $47,357.98
Juvenile Court Fund ....................................................................................... $13,071.33
Residential Impact Fee ................................................................................ $537,380.27
Commercial Impact Fees ............................................................................... $43,971.76
C.A.I.P FUND ............................................................................................. $261,498.29
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2016 .................... ..$360,309.27
L.M.IG. Grant (DOT)……………………………………………………...$212,634.82

c. County Manager Comment

County Manager Bobby Bickley told the Board he appreciated the opportunity to be here and to start his new job, noting he is excited to be here. He said the Board has the Balance Sheet in their packet and has had the opportunity go over this with Janis and will be glad to answer any questions the Board may have now or after the meeting. Mr. Bickley stated this being his first meeting he has spent most of the week with Janis getting familiar with the paperwork and the financials. He said he has also had the opportunity to get out in the community some with Economic Development Director, Ginny Blakeney visiting the Industrial Park and the Business Park. Mr. Bickley also visited the Library and spoke with Manager Rosemary Bunn. He said he is scheduled to be at the Leadership Luncheon at the Chamber and hopefully visit with the folks at K & K this afternoon along with Chairman Johnson this afternoon. Mr. Bicklley stated he will also be meeting with Brent Huckaby of BB&T this Friday.

d. Commissioner Reports

District 1 – Commissioner Daniel

Commissioner Daniel stated the only thing he has is getting calls regarding the conditions of the roads. He spoke with Todd Goolsby, Director of Public Works and they are scraping the roads however, when the rain comes back the roads need scraping again. Commissioner Daniels said one of the roads he received a call on was Old Zebulon Road and he went to go look at Old Zebulon Road and said the road was really bad. He said the road was scraped but does not know the condition since the last rain after they scraped the road but knows Public Works is doing all they can to stay ahead of it, however it is tough when there is so much rain.

District 2 – Commissioner Guy

Commissioner Guy said he has had the same thing, calls regarding the roads.

District 3 – Commissioner Powers

Commissioner Powers stated he has also received call regarding the roads, but knows they will do the best they can until the rain is over.

District 4- Commissioner Jenkins – No report

At-large - Chairman Johnson recognized a couple of people attending the meeting, Ken Pullin, our new State Representative and Ginny Blakeny, Economic Development Director. Chairman Johnson also welcomed new County Manager Bobby Bickley to his first official meeting.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners.

County Attorney Rob Morton addressed the Board stating most of them have received a report over the weekend that he sent as Interim County Manager, spending most of the time dealing with that as well as taking care of legal matters on behalf of the county over the last four months. He said that includes reviewing some documentation for their consideration today. He noted there is a lot of activity now with the sighting of the VA; he stated there was a pre-bid meeting related to the request for a lease proposal that has been advertised. He said developers that were interested in working on those sites met; there were representatives from different municipalities as well as the county attending the meeting. Mr. Morton said they were advised the deadline for the proposals had been extended to January 18, 2019. They are starting to receive a lot of contact, Pike County Water & Sewer Authority as well as Brad Vaughan, Director of Planning and Development from Engineers and so forth interested in submitting a proposal seeking information. They are asking for services that can be provided as well as zoning and Mr. Vaughan has drafted a letter to one of the engineers involving a recent rezoning.


a. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding Capital Improvements Element (CIE) Annual Update, pursuant to the Georgia Development Impact Fee Act and the Development Impact Fee Compliance Requirements of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Brad Vaughan, Director of Planning and Development addressed the Board stating no changes have been made since the draft was presented to them previously. Mr. Vaughan recommends approval.

In Favor - No one came forth
Oppose - No one came forth

Action: Discuss/Approve/Deny
Motion/second by Commissioners Daniel/Guy to approve, motion carried 5-0.

b. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding REZ-18-06 – Colwell, proposed site for the VA Clinic and plat, this is the final rezoning hearing and vote for this property as it has satisfied the 6 month waiting period after the first public hearing.

County Attorney Rob Morton addressed the Board stating this is a potential site for the VA and was on the agenda six months ago. The six months period is over and is now before the Board for a final approval of the rezoning.

Brad Vaughan addressed the Board stating there was a slight difference to the rezoning to what was presented to them six months ago that involves the plat. Mr. Vaughan stated the rezoning will apply to lots 1 and 2 and not to the property as a whole. Mr. Vaughan stated GDOT is looking at a traffic light but will conduct a traffic study first to see if one is required. Mr. Vaughan recommends rezoning the property to P.I.

In Favor - Steve Reeves, Ginny Blakeney
Oppose - No one came forth

Action: Discuss/Approve/Deny

Commissioner Daniel asked if the total property was in unincorporated Pike County and Mr. Vaughan stated it was.

Chairman Johnson’s concern was Old Zebulon Road being an entrance for this facility if picked and asked if site one was picked will there be a future road to Old Zebulon. Mr. Vaughan stated there would be and explained why that would be.

County Attorney Rob Morton reminded the Board this is a concept and not being approved today, the only thing the Board will approve today is the rezoning. Motion/second by Commissioners Guy/Daniel to approve the rezoning and plat, motion carried 5-0.

c. Approve/deny Resolution for Joint Board of Elections and Registrations. [Note from the Editor: The original agenda was amended to include this item on 12.10.18.]

Motion/second by Commissioners Guy/Daniel to approve, motion carried 5-0.


a. Consider three appointments for the Environmental Review Board to fill a three-year term set to expire December 31, 2021. Applicants have met criteria.

Motion/second by Commissioners Daniel/Powers to reappoint Charles Way, Ken Gran and Patricia Beckham, motion carried 5-0.

b. Consider one appointment for the Water and Sewer Authority to fill a five-year term set to expire December 31, 2023. Applicant has met criteria.

Motion/second by Commissioners Powers/Daniel to reappoint John Spraggins, motion carried 5-0.

c. Consider two appointments for the Two Rivers R C and D Council to fill a one-year term set to expire December 31, 2019. Applicants have met criteria.

Motion/second by Commissioners Guy/Daniel to reappoint Todd Goolsby and Rodney Hilley, motion carried 5-0.

d. Consider paying for detention pond design and hydrology report for lots 1 & 2 located at the Pike County Industrial Park out of Contingency Funds in the amount of $3,975.00. This will be in regard to K & K expansion.

Motion/second by Commissioners Powers/Guy to approve to pay $3,975.00 out of Contingency for detention pond and hydrology report for lots 1 & 2 located at the Pike County Industrial Park, motion carried 5-0.

e. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding SE-18-08 4 Guys Automotive special exception to continue to allow auto repair and add used car sales to the list of business items for the property in question as it is now under new ownership. This was recommended for approval by the Board of Appeals on 11/15/2018.

Brad Vaughan, Director of Planning and Development addressed the Board stating the property already existed as a repair shop but the new property owners wanted to add a used car lot to sell classic cars. Mr. Vaughan recommends approval.

In Favor - Steve Godwin
Oppose - No one came forth

Action: Discuss/Approve/Deny

Commissioner Jenkins asked if parking will be on the grass area. Mr. Vaughan replied to his knowledge parking will not be on the grass area. Mr. Godwin confirmed that parking will be limited to the asphalt area.

Chairman Johnson wanted to put a number of the amount of cars they could have for sale on their lot and asked Mr. Godwin what would be a good number. Mr. Godwin stated 12 would be a good number.

Motion/second by Commissioners Jenkins/Daniel to approve with the condition of only 12 cars can be for sale on the lot, motion carried 5-0.

[Note from the Editor: I came into the meeting about 9:45 a.m. The 4 Guys Automotive section contained a secondary discussion about the car lot across the road that was approved in a previous meeting. The number of cars for sale was an item of importance to our commissioners and I applaud them for being thorough.

There was also a terse discussion between Commissioner James Jenkins and Planning and Development Director Brad Vaughn that took me back to the days of when I first began attending county commission meetings. (Trust me when I tell you that it wasn't a good recollection because of the constant fighting that sometimes spilled out into the audience with those who were being watchdogs and trying to work with the County Commission to get rules established that would be followed. And lawsuits... But more on that in a minute.)

A couple items of note: Planning and Development Director Brad Vaughn has only been on the job about five months. He was hired with no experience and is still learning the job. Second, this is Brad's first Special Exception presentation to the Board, and I expect that he will be providing detailed information to commissioners in the future--ahead of time and not on the day of the meeting--so they can be properly prepared. And third, the county has adopted a County Manager form of government with clear rules about who gives instructions to employees and who does not. Prepare yourselves for a history lesson...

Commissioner Jenkins was concerned first of all that he walked into the meeting and was given a sheet of paper laying out further information about 4 Guys Automotive from Planning and Development instead of receiving this information on the preceding Friday with the rest of the meeting packet. I looked at the info in the packet and there wasn't much there; however, I expect that Director Vaughn will be thorough and lay out the case in bullet points like his predecessor David Allen did because this is what I saw when I examined what had been given to commissioners after the meeting. Chairman Briar Johnson praised him for this report and said that would be something that would be good to see from here on out. Being proactive from here on out would do well for Director Vaughn too.

Commissioner Jenkins then told Director Vaughn that he could have asked the new applicants about bringing the fence at this location up to code. Director Vaughn asked for and was given the opportunity to respond in which he said that the location isn't governed by the Overlay District rules because it was operating prior to the Overlay District being put into place. The new rules don't apply to this property unless it is sold and that is not the case here. Commissioner Jenkins was adamant that Director Vaughn should have asked and repeated this several times before the discussion was ended. I get his point but have said that the delivery on this point was not what it should have been. Commissioner Jenkins' tone of voice told me that there was some frustration there, but I did not know the source of that frustration and honestly, a public beratement like this is something that I don't ever want to see again. A commissioner directly telling an employee what to do instead of that direction coming from the county manager is another issue that is a problem that I will address at length in our "history lesson." I was embarrassed for everyone involved and thought that everyone looked bad even though voices were not raised.

ADDED ON 12.15.18: Commissioner Jenkins contacted me this morning about my comments here today and made a good point that I will add in a moment. I need it to be abundantly clear that these comments in blue are my opinion only, and this is the same thing that I've been doing with county commission meetings since 2006 when I began Pike County Times as a watchdog for the county commission. Feel free to agree or disagree with me and call me about what I write because sometimes I miss things and I like to see a situation from all points of view even if we have to agree to disagree. With that being said, I do need to add a point that I didn't add in my earlier comments because he pointed out that I missed something when I wrote this up and I agree. Commissioner Jenkins was very concerned about multi-million dollar businesses going in behind there (the McLeroy property with the old racetrack adjoins this property) and possibly within a mile of this location (the VA outpatient clinic). I understand why Commissioner Jenkins was concerned on this, and he said specifically that an opportunity was missed to upgrade the fence on this property. His point wasn't that the property was grandfathered and the upgrade wasn't required. He was concerned that Director Vaughn didn't ask for the upgrade even though the property owner was within their rights to say no because the property owner might have said yes. End of added comment.

A couple of questions came to mind that I don't have public answers for. Was something said beforehand that was an attempt to fix this situation through the Interim County Manager? There was a Special Called Meeting in the November night meeting pertaining to Planning and Development, but I'm not privy to those discussions so I don't know. My way of doing things is to work behind the scenes until I've done all that I can before bringing things out into the public like this so I am not condemning things being public. But the delivery of our words says a lot about us and our cause even when we are right on something. My personal thoughts on this were that this meeting looked ugly and unprofessional in a lot of ways, and I hope that I never see anything like it again.

Here is our history lesson. Our county manager form of government was approved by the Georgia Legislature in 1998. (I started attending meetings in Pike County in mid 2000 and I have seen a WHOLE LOT over the years.) The Coalition for Responsible Government sued the county in 2004 alleging violations in posting accurate agendas for the public and violations of the county manager for of government. As a result of this lawsuit, our county manager form of government was amended in 2004 to lay out the duties of the county manager including number 9 which states a duty to supervise and direct the official conduct of all county officers and employees except those who have been elected to office. That means that commissioners don't instruct employees--everything goes through the county manager according to the Consent Interlocutory Order filed in Pike County Superior Court. There was another lawsuit as well, but it doesn't pertain to this particular matter of the county manager being the only one to give direct instruction to county employees. (Fun Fact: Commissioners cannot be appointed county manager during their term of office on either a permanent or interim basis or for a period of one year after terminating their office as commissioner.)

Then there was an incident between a county commissioner, an employee of Planning and Zoning, and the Director of Planning and Zoning that resulted in a hearing in the main courtroom on the evening of Valentine's Day in 2008. This is dated 2.21.08 and can be found in my old BOC write ups. The allegations that were heard and upheld by a Citizen Committee were that (this is quoted from my old notes) "a commissioner has no authority to enter into the Planning and Zoning (P&Z) Department to discuss job performance issues with an employee and no authority to speak to any individual employee about their work performance and duties because both would constitute interference in the performance of duties of the County Manager (CM) as defined by the 2007 CM Contract and the 2004 Consent Interlocutory Order which is Exhibit B of the 2007 CM's Contract." There were underlying issues that led to a commissioner going into Planning and Zoning (now Planning and Development), but the fact of the matter is still that commissioners are required to bring issues to the County Manager so that the County Manager can handle employee issues per our rules and regulations here in the county.

Rather than going on about what I didn't like, I would rather look for ways to make sure that we don't see anything like this again. A simple way to fix this problem from here on out would be going by a suggestion that I was told after the meeting. In a situation like this, those involved in a terse discussion should address the Chairman so things don't get as personal as this did. I've seen Chairman Johnson give instruction to those speaking to the Board to address him and not the audience. That keeps things from getting personal. Some who were there were not upset about what they saw, but I saw a break in decorum that was unnerving. I do not want to go back to "the old days" in Pike County government and a slip like this could become a habit unless we actively address it and make an effort to change it. I'm hopeful that discussions after the meeting will be productive.]




Motion/second by Commissioners Powers/Guy to adjourn at 10:06 a.m., motion carried 5-0.

Agenda subject to revision.

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