Pike County Times

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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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This online news website is owned and operated by Becky Watts. The Editor can be reached at 770-468-7583 or at editor(at)PikeCountyTimes(dot)com. Pike County Times is a website for citizens to keep up with local events and stay informed about Pike County government. It began on November 13, 2006 as a watchdog on county government and has turned into an online newspaper.

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Thursday, May 26, 2022 – 6:30 p.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Second Reading of FY 2022-2023 Budget

Click here to see the

All five commissioners were present (Jenkins, Proctor, Guy, Daniel, Johnson) along with County Clerk Angela Blount, County Manager Brandon Rogers, and County Attorney Rob Morton.

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

2. INVOCATION ...... Silent Invocation

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

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


a. Approve/Deny Second Reading of the FY 2022-2023 Budget.

Quite a few changes.

Insurance. Went back and added that back into the budget. That changed every single department.

Did not account for the fire station construction for next year. This is added. CAIP fund went up much.

CM Rogers had a meeting with Library Manager Rosemary Bunn and Library Board Member Anthony Vinson. Rogers made a change to the library budget after saying that Vinson added some information that Brandon wasn’t aware of. All of the way up until 2021, she had cut back on hours though not the operating hours. When he pulled information before, that did not account for that. [Note from the Editor: CM Rogers says that he was given information that Vinson that he didn't know before, but the reason that Rogers came up with incorrect information--and refused to change it until this meeting--is that he wasn't listening and refused to look further into the matter until he was forced to. (This is much like the struggle with Superior Court last year when he cut funds for a Constitutional office and did not make the change until six months later when the Superior Court Clerk came to a meeting and made commissioners aware of all that she had been dealing with. Click here and scroll down to 10b.) I discussed his problem in the first budget hearing (click here to read this), and Commissioner Proctor pointed out that CM Rogers had budgeted employees at 20 and 25 hours per week--instead of the 29 hours that the county actually hired them at. Open records showed that CM Rogers pulled pay periods from 2020, 2021, and early 2022 and made a decision on how much to put in the library's budget without pulling the actual shift schedules for these time periods which would have showed the Library Manager working the extra hours to make up the 160 hours per week that is currently scheduled for open hours at the library. The pay periods in 2020 and 2021 were also during Covid when the number of hours scheduled was less than the 160 hours per week that are scheduled currently. The 2022 pay period also had one person sick and another person who was not scheduled to full capacity. According to open records obtained by Pike County Times, the library manager worked most of the Saturdays in March to bring that number of hours up from 150 to 160 hours a week, and her hours are not recorded because she is salaried. Library standards say that a library our size should be scheduling 200 hours a week, but the county has been working with the library to bring those hours up over the past several years prior to Covid rather than all at once. A series of emails in late April show where the Library Manager tried to talk to the CM and explain that the current budgeted amount would not cover her current budgeted salaries, but the CM insisted that these were the hours that she gave him in the budget hearing even when she gave him numbers to show that was not correct. $129,192.96 would be the needed amount for the year with the three part-time employees at 29 hours, one full-time employee, and Rosemary's salary and yet he budgeted $125,926 which is a cut from the $127,536 from last year and refused to change it until after the recent meeting between Bunn and Vinson. The $10,000 increase will cover the needs of the library for next year. It should not have been this difficult to take care of what was a simple problem in the beginning. The questions written in the notes from the library budget meeting show me that CM Rogers is more interested in trying to make this a county regulated department when the district library and the Library Board are the regulating entities for the library. The county does the payroll for the library after a change a couple of years ago. It was supposed to make things easier for the library...]

During the 1st Reading, he said that the Griffin Judicial Circuit was supposed to go down and then they contacted him and let him know that it went up from $109,000 to $112,000.

As of late last night, the first reading was not a completely balanced budget. This is balanced. If there are no changes after tonight, you could adopt this for your final reading.


Concerns/complaints about the insurance. Commissioner Tim Daniel advised that he is still getting complaints from employees about the new insurance policy with numerous employees have requested a traditional plan. CM Rogers advised that an email went out about an hour ago after Matt Bidwell and Brandon spoke with regard to a traditional versus an HRA comparison. What the county will be looking at is a traditional plan with Aetna or the HRA with Aetna. Matt Bidwell will be at the meeting on May 31st to answer questions. Open enrollment has been postponed until after the 31st. The change can be made after that meeting. Traditional is more than $100 per pay period. HRA is $40. Employees want an option to spend extra money to have that plan rather than just an HRA. Briar Johnson said that he wants what is best for our employees. He asked about the overall cost. The first option would not affect the budget. Has all of the costs for the employee. The second option has the Board paying half of the cost and the rest from the employee. More discussion: We are probably going to have a majority to go with HRA because it is more affordable. But the $84,000 that would have been put in place for the HRA may go down and be able to go against the cost of the traditional plan. Aetna offered a better plan for the employees with both traditional and HRA even though it is a little higher than United plans. Matt Bidwell will be here on the 31st as an invited guest.

Briar Johnson said that the Senior Citizen Center went up $60,000 from last year. A big part is that the new director has insurance through the county. There are also more home delivery meals because of Covid so a second route has been added. CARES Act covered the vehicle, etc. from last year, but the county is covering the cost this year.

Fire Department. Discussion about the Blackmon Road Fire Station. Didn’t we have $120,000 set to the side for this? Brandon Rogers said that he doesn’t remember that, but he’ll check. CAIP fund is where the fire department is coming from? Computer upgrades, the fire station, vehicle… all capital improvements are coming from there.

Commissioner James Jenkins asked if CM Rogers sent a copy of the budget out before the meeting? CM Rogers said that it was missing insurance when he sent it out last night, another immediately after, and then it went out again around 10 a.m. Jenkins checked his email and said that he got it.

124 pages in the first copy of the budget. 84 pages in this one. CM Rogers said that if there are any changes, it prints them in a different order unless you tell it to do it a particular way.

Commissioner James Jenkins said that he needs more time to go through this before he is willing to put his name on this. CM Rogers said that aside from insurance, this should be the budget that you take and adopt.

Chairman Briar Johnson said that the final adoption meeting has been changed from May 31 to the morning meeting on June 8. The newspaper did not have it posted due to an issue with the classifieds so it’s been changed.

Motion to accept the second reading. Approved 5-0.

[Note from the Editor: The county manager's $5,000 raise is still in the budget. Some, including at least one commissioner who tried to justify this raise in a previous meeting, will say that he should get this because he has not had a raise in two years. I still have an issue with a raise going to a county manager who treats employees, constitutional officers, and members of the public with disrespect and speaks to them in a manner that he would not appreciate being spoken to himself.]


a. County Attorney Rob Morton requests Executive Session for discussion or deliberation on the appointment, employment, compensation, hiring, disciplinary action or dismissal, or periodic evaluation or rating of a public officer or employee or interviewing applicants for the position of the executive head of an agency, as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-3(b)(2), germane to personnel.

Executive Session. 6:51 p.m.

Back in Session. 8:44 p.m.

[Note from the Editor: Almost two hours later, my guess is that the county manager's evaluations are being discussed at this time. I asked the county attorney whether there were open records available to me after the meeting, and he said no. The commissioner's evaluations of the county manager will be public at some point. Pike County Times will bring that open records information to readers when that occurs. If the $5,000 raise is given, I sincerely hope that the information in the evaluations backs up the reasons for the raise. I also hope that if commissioners decide to continue this relationship between CM Rogers and Pike County that the commissioners order CM Rogers to get proper training on how to interact with our employees, our constitutional officers, and the public.]


Agenda subject to revision.

Motion to adjourn. 8:44 p.m.

[Note from the Editor: If you appreciate being able to read information from county meetings for free on Pike County Times, please make a donation to Pike County Times through the PayPal link at the bottom of the page or by check to Pike County Times at PO Box 843, Zebulon so I can justify the amount of time that I am spending away from family. It may not seem like much but sitting in a meeting and then typing it up takes a lot more time than you might imagine! Thanks for reading Pike County's only FREE newspaper.]