Pike County Times

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PO Box 843, Zebulon, Georgia 30295.
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Editor Becky Watts: Phone # 770-468-7583 editor(@)pikecountytimes.com
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Tuesday, May 28, 2024 – 6:30 p.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Courthouse Doors on East/South Sides open at 6:00 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting at 6:15 p.m.

ZEBULON - The Pike County Board of Commissioners will meet in the upper courtroom of the courthouse on Tuesday, May 28, 3024 at 6:30 p.m. for a regularly scheduled meeting. There will be a Town Hall Meeting at 6:15 p.m. for anyone who would like to speak to the commissioners about any issues that you may have.

The meeting is open to the public will be broadcast live on Pike County Times' Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/pikecountytimes.

Click here to see the documents that have been uploaded with the agenda on the Pike County government page.

This meeting was attended by Commissioners James Jenkins, Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, and Tim Daniel along with Chairman Briar Johnson, County Clerk Angela Blount, and County Manager Brandon Rogers. County Attorney Rob Morton was a part of the Executive Session by phone and was heard at the end of the meeting by phone when he made a recommendation.

Readers can watch this meeting on the Pike County Time FB page.
Click here to watch Part 1 (prior to the Executive Session): https://www.facebook.com/pikecountytimes/videos/373174815767003
Click here to watch Part 2 (after to the Executive Session): https://www.facebook.com/pikecountytimes/videos/1008577720784477

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

2. INVOCATION ...... Kyle Garner

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

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

Motion to approve the agenda. Approved 5-0.

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

a. Minutes of the May 15, 2024, Regular Monthly Meeting.

b. Minutes of the May 15, 2024, Executive Session.

Motion to approve the minutes. Approved 5-0.



a. Monthly Reports submitted from County Departments and County Authorities, including a Revenue/Expenditure Statement for all departments and a summary check register. There are no Department reports as they will be provided during the first Board meeting of June. Revenue/Expenditure Statement and Detail Check Register is included.

b. County Manager Report
Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ...... $1,263,302.59
Fire Dept. Donations ...... $9,847.17
Cash Reserve Account ...... $104,252.63
Jail Fund ...... $29,834.11
E-911 Fund ...... $72,813.24
DATE Fund ...... $34,989.26
Juvenile Court Fund ...... $13,744.51
Residential Impact Fee ...... $337,914.42
Commercial Impact Fees ...... $35,333.46
C.A.I.P FUND ...... $217,849.65
General Obligation SPLOST 2022-2028 ...... $1,685,134.00
L.M.I.G. Grant (DOT) ...... $4,421.46

c. County Manager Comment

None, but County Manager Brandon Rogers offered to answer any questions that they had for him.

Commissioner James Jenkins had some questions. At the last meeting, there was a question about improper shredding of documents from Becky Watts (Pike County Times). Do you tell someone to shred that? Rogers. I did tell Building and Grounds to dispose of it. Jenkins. By law, the County Clerk is in charge of the records. Did she know about it? Rogers. The Clerk is the one who pulled out the records and set them aside for destruction so she did know about it. Jenkins. The records were out (pulled for destruction) but was she standing there (when they were destroyed)? Rogers. He explained how each year old documents are boxed up to go into storage and the new stuff from the current year are put in their place. He said that everything out there had a destruction date on it. Jenkins. So our Custodian did not know. Rogers. “Your Custodian pulled the documents. Yes, she knew.” Jenkins. That’s all for now.

[Note from the Editor: The Carl Vinson Institute of Georgia defines the goal of records management to be ensuring “that records are properly retained for legal, compliance, and business purposes, and properly disposed of when no longer needed.” By state law, the Records Custodian pulls the records, makes the order for destruction, and is to be present for every step of the chain of custody on these records to ensure that the records are secure and destroyed according to state law. The chain of custody was broken here in Pike County, and public records – including confidential records -- were moved from a secure location to at least one unsecured location (and possibly two unsecured locations) without the knowledge of the County Clerk. The first location was at Animal Control where some of the documents were burned but left in an unsecured dog kennel at the back of the building. Our employees at Building and Grounds and at Animal Control were ordered to handle confidential documents by County Manager Brandon Rogers against state law. After I asked about these records, the County Manager ordered the remaining records to be moved and eventually taken up to Shred-X where they were shredded without the knowledge of the County Clerk. Our county can be sued for the improper/illegal handling of documents, and a majority of our commissioners seem to be missing the point that following the rules is important for our county. They wouldn’t want their personal or business confidential information placed in an insecure location, and they certainly wouldn’t allow an employee at their business to treat confidential information for their customers so recklessly. Why is it not important for the county to treat confidential information as carefully as they would want their own customers to be treated? The County Manager has enough work to do without trying to handle something that he knew he wasn’t supposed to be doing in the first place. Plus, if he had any questions whatsoever, HE SHOULD HAVE ASKED THE COUNTY ATTORNEY to be sure about it. That is why we have a county attorney in the first place… to keep us from doing reckless things and getting sued. It isn’t and shouldn’t be personal to ask the Board of Commissioners to tell their employee to do his job well without breaking state law… AGAIN. Please note that Library Manager Rosemary Bunn was written up not once but twice on MUCH LESS than this, and a majority of the Board of Commissioners won’t write up their County Manager for breaking state law TWICE. Commissioners Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, and Tim Daniel are responsible for the actions of this county manager because they refuse to ensure that the county manager is following state law and communicating with them, others in his office, and the county attorney. What will it take to get our county manager to follow state law and county rules? Your guess is as good as mine today. Click here to read the article from my investigation complete with document and picture evidence: pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BREAKINGNEWSinvestigation5.20.24.html.
P.S. Telling half of the truth (“Your Custodian pulled the documents. Yes, she knew.”) and not telling the whole truth is a lie as I told the County Manager after this meeting about the County Clerk not being involved in the destruction of these records. I told him the same thing after the meeting back in July of 2022 where he acted like he didn't know how the check for the fireworks got written (when he broke state law the first time) by saying, "I wasn't here at that time. So I'll look at it, and we can fix it. That's not a problem." pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC7.26.22.html. The County Manager wasn't punished for lying or for breaking state law then either. Sadly, I don't expect anything to change as long as there is a block of three commissioners who give their employee an evaluation behind closed doors and refuse to hold him accountable for his actions. If he worked for any one of these three commissioners at their personal businesses, I would guess that there would be an entirely different outcome for these actions. Click here to read where a motion was made by Commissioner James Jenkins to put a note in the County Manager's file to show that the Commissioners did not authorize or approve the fireworks expenditure in December of 2022, and he could not get a second from Commissioners Jason Proctor, Tim Guy, and Tim Daniel (Chairman Briar Johnson cannot vote unless the motion gets a second and goes to a vote) so it died for lack of a second: http://pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BOC12.14.22.html.]

d. Commissioner Reports

Chairman Johnson thanked Commissioner Daniel for conducting the last meeting when he wasn’t able to attend.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners: None



a. Approve/Deny use of Impact Fees from Sheriff, Jail, Fire, E-911 and Administration to pay for Property Master Plan, not to exceed $40,000.00.

Jeremy spoke with Impact Fee administrator. This was included in the CIE in 2006. I feel confident that this is a part of your planned projects. Tim Guy. As long as the I’s and T’s have been crossed, I make a motion to approve this expenditure not to go over $40,000. Approved 4-0.

b. PUBLIC HEARING: To receive public input regarding REZ-24-01 Beau Rowland, Jonathan Rowland and Laci Brown owners and applicant request a rezoning from A-R (Agricultural-Residential) to RR (Rural Residential) for property located at 1386 GA Highway 18, Molena, GA 30258 in Land Lot 256 of the 9th Land District, further identified as Parcel ID 020 029. The property consists of 12.48 +/- acres and the request for a 3-lot minor subdivision. Commission District 2, Commissioner Tim Guy.

Jeremy Gilbert. Changed to RR for a minor subdivision. Siblings would like to be able to subdivide the property so the other two can build in the future. Heard by Planning and Zoning on May 9. They recommended approval with a condition that a building had been constructed without a permit. Applicant can apply before a permit before this can be heard. Applicant wasn’t aware that they needed a permit for the storage building. This has been fixed. There isn’t enough acreage for a 5 acre minimum for Agricultural Residential so this had to be changed to Rural Residential for smaller lots.


The applicants spoke and said that the siblings grew up here and want to raise their kids here.


Motion to approve. Discussion. First approval under the new code? Yes. Approved 5-0.

c. Approve/Deny the Final Adoption of the FY 2024-2025 Budget.

CM Rogers. Not a lot of change since the last budget.

$8600 decrease in the Sheriff’s budget. This was already budgeted in Parks & Rec.

Public Works. Dept 42. Changes in staff so redid the entire organization chart. Possibility of contracting out mowing on paved and dirt roads. Only one person on paved roads right now. One person short on dirt road crew. Maybe move the one to dirt roads and contract out paved road mowing. Save on payroll and benefits. We could skim by this year and possibility of next year, but we need new tractors and mowers. 4 mowers are about $130,000 each. We’re at 8-9 years in their 10 years life expectancy. The numbers are close for contracting out for 10 years versus mowers, maintenance, and personnel.

Recreation Dept. Slight decrease. They were able to cut some of their funding. They wanted additional personnel for field maintenance and increases in salary for everyone, but I did not include those. If the rest of the county is going to wait on that salary study, they should wait too.

Fire Department increased. Chief showed that CM forgot to add in overtime for festivals, etc.

Everything else is the same as last time.

Chairman Johnson. Thinks that we ought to discuss another public hearing. Fire personnel 2nd shift. Paving crew, I don’t know about this. Not for or against, but doesn’t have enough information right now. Maybe a workshop to discuss this? Would really like to put the fire department back on with the 2nd twelve hour shift. It’s not in the budget right now.

Tim Daniel. Went from $2.5 million to a completely balanced budget. Rogers. We used ARPA funds to address part of this. Water Authority is another because we are looking at wiping out all of their debts. Rec Department will be the same way. Also trying to use ARPA funds to correct the assessments in the county. I know this year, we won’t see an increase. Maybe even do the same next year.

Discussion about the asphalt equipment. We can sell the equipment next year if we need to.

ARPA funds. Johnson. If we do this, we won’t have it for projects next year. We will do this for the next two years. If this is spent from ARPA, their debt will be eliminated. The Water Authority may not need funding in the future. The Rec Department won’t be like this, but it will be reduced from paying off one of the loans. The plan is to use the money wisely as a long-term investment.

Johnson. I don’t want this to look good now and be upside down in 3 years.

Rogers. We are talking about a rollback on taxes if the assessment is done correctly.

Tim Daniel. Wants to see the fire department added back in.

Jenkins. We’ve been asked to add a night public hearing.

Rogers. Do you want to do it at the next meeting or at a special called meeting? June 25 is the next night meeting. We would have to stay and finish the budget that night. That would give us the opportunity to put the fire department back in.

Jenkins. We need more detail on the revised budget. There was an email about 10 a.m. Budget highlight book. Click here to read the 54 page budget highlight: http://www.pikecountytimes.com/secondary/BudgetHighlightsFY24-25.pdf Also shows the past 3 years. [Note from the Editor: This is a great starting point for this and future budgets!]

Motion to postpone the final adoption of the budget to the night meeting in June and add a public comment prior to the adoption of the budget. Discussion: Jenkins. When does the 2 1/2% start? Rogers. Thinks that it should not start until after the salary study because everyone might not get it. Approved 5-0.

If you would like to look at the revised 2024 - 2025 REVISED budget, you can see the Budget Summary and the Proposed Budget at: https://pike.novusagenda.com/AgendaPublic/CoverSheet.aspx?ItemID=7998&MeetingID=763

10. PUBLIC COMMENT (Limited to 5 minutes per person)

a. David Penland to address the Board regarding county roads.

Speaking on behalf of a Scott Road resident who shows the location of his house near Scott and Ward Roads. Wants to raise his family in peace. His driveway is a turnaround at all hours of the day and night. Has had problems with vehicles pulling in and turning off ignition. The county installed a private drive there, but then it was changed into a dead end sign. The portion was abandoned in 1986. In 2001, there was an attempt to clarify this. Couldn’t tell one way or another. It hasn’t been maintained in years north of his property. He has had to put down two loads of gravel to maintain what is essentially his driveway. Asking the county to abandon this section of the road. No driveway cut past it. Parcels have other access on other roads and has pretty much been abandoned.

b. Marvin Killingsworth to address the Board regarding taxes.

Not in attendance.

c. Ray Grizzard to address the Board regarding property on Highway 19.

Back in April submitted some questions to the county manager and Planning and Zoning. Regulatory taking on his property. With this overlay, it leaves me with less than 35% of my property to be used. Sent emails with no response. Went by the county office to confirm that he had been trying to call the county manager and still got no answer. Requested that these questions be part of the minutes from the April meeting, but there have been no answers. Thanked Commissioner Jenkins for contacting him. Businesses have been bought and the buffer is required. Why wasn’t he grandfathered? This is imminent domain. I can’t build on it, and I can’t sell it. Has everyone been forced to abide by this? Chairman Johnson. Give us until Tuesday. Grizzard also gave a packet to the county clerk and Planning and Zoning Director Gilbert. Asked for answers and haven’t gotten them yet.

d. David Allen to address the Board regarding government transparency.

Very glad that y’all are doing a night public hearing. That’s the right thing to do. Need to be transparent and clear with what is in there. There are still some questions from the public. If we use ARPA too much, it will be gone. What was that money for originally? Issues that need to be addressed. What happened to the state penalty with the Tax Assessor’s Office? Will the same office do this or will we hire this out? We can’t afford both. How are we going to pay for the Industrial Park? Is that factored in the budget? What about the one discussed on May 15th? We don’t know and hope you’ll tell us.

You have to ask the people for SPLOST but not for real estate acquisition. We need to be involved in this rather than being done behind closed doors.


a. County Attorney Rob Morton request Executive Session for consultation with the county attorney, or other legal counsel, to discuss pending or potential litigation, settlement, claims, administrative proceedings, or other judicial actions brought or to be brought by or against the county or any officer or employee or in which the county or any officer or employee may be directly involved as provided in O.C.G.A. § 50-14-2(1), germane to pending litigation.

Executive Session. 7:22 p.m.

Back in Session. 8:07

County Attorney Rob Morton by phone: As a result of the discussion in executive session, I ask you to entertain a motion to settle the Tom Morgan lawsuit for $6400 which will result in the removal of the "no longer valid driveway" at the Flat Shoals access at the river. Discussion: An erosion control plan will be put in place. Approved 5-0.


Motion to adjourn. 8:09 p.m. Approved 5-0.

Agenda subject to change.