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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Wednesday, June 8, 2022 – 9:00 a.m.
Courthouse, Main Courtroom, 16001 Barnesville Street, Zebulon, Georgia
Town Hall Meeting at 8:45 a.m.

Click here to see the documents included with this meeting.

All 5 commissioners, Chairman Briar Johnson, County Clerk Angela Blount, and County Attorney Rob Morton. County Manager (CM) Brandon Rogers was not able to attend the meeting. The courtroom had a large number of people in attendance.

Town Hall Meeting

Ben Maxedon spoke in the Town Hall. These are his words verbatim from the email.

"Over the last year, my interactions with the County Manager have been adversarial because of what I see as the blatant disrespect for the employees and citizens of Pike County by the County Manager. I have confronted the County Manager regarding some of these issues. I have informed the Commissioners of various situations, which I believe to be acts on the part of the County Manager that was an abuse of authority and unacceptable behavior.

As of late, I have prayerfully considered my actions to ensure that what I have been doing is more to serve the county and not a vindictive attempt to get even for the County Manager's attack on my wife and Donna Chapman, the Tax Commissioner. I am positive that I am called to help the employees and citizens of Pike County. I have received confirmation of my calling twice in the last few days from county employees thanking me for standing up for them. One even remarked, "you don't know the abuse we have to put up with." The employees told me they feel they have no voice and are concerned about losing their jobs. It sounds like a hostile work environment to me.

I pray that this board takes direct and immediate actions to correct this situation.

Thank you."

After Maxedon spoke, Superior Court Clerk Pam Thompson asked about the cost of living raises saying that the cost of living raise usually goes up to cover the cost of insurance but was worried that the cost of living raise that the employees are going to go up may not cover the cost of insurance. She was advised that the COLA is supposed to be in each individual budget. Chairman Johnson said that they are hoping to postpone the final reading of the budget today. Do they anticipate insurance going up? The answer is basically yes depending on which option employees choose. There are two options to choose from. Commissioners have until midnight of June 30 to pass the budget. They still need some questions answered.

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 to approve with an addition to the Executive Session germane to potential litigation. Approved 5-0.

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

a. Minutes of the May 31, 2022, Regular Monthly Meeting.

Motion to approve. 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.

Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

b. County Manager Report
Update on County finances for the following funds/accounts:
General Fund ...... $5,104,671.61
Fire Dept. Donations ...... $7,520.60
Cash Reserve Account ...... $295,337.99
Jail Fund ...... $32,437.74
E-911 Fund ...... $366,514.80
DATE Fund ...... $39,425.05
Juvenile Court Fund ...... $12,634.16
Residential Impact Fee ...... $1,191,455.38
Commercial Impact Fees ...... $169,877.92
C.A.I.P FUND ...... $37,869.82
General Obligation SPLOST Tax Bond Sinking Fund, 2016 ...... $1,529,485.37
L.M.IG. Grant (DOT) ...... $69,753.87

c. County Manager Comment: None

d. Commissioner Reports

Tim Daniel – Several weeks ago, Joe Parks asked if he would write a letter of welcome to Reverend Lamar Dewberry to New Mt. Calvary Baptist Church. Attorney Morton suggested getting approval from the group. Motion to appove. Approved 5-0.

Commissioner Jason Proctor thanked Ken Lulamiere and Building and Grounds for their work over the past month. they've been busy and done an excellent job. He also thanked Rosemary Bunn from the J. Joel Edwards Library for including the calendar for the summer reading program with her minutes to the commissioners. He then said that he has not been sitting on his hands when it comes to the county manager. He said that he has spoken to at least 10 department heads and not one has complained about the county manager. He also said that about 15 citizens called to support Brandon over the past two weeks with no complaints. He’d like people to understand that he has gotten more compliments than negative phone calls.

Commissioner James Jenkins said that due to a FB post and other things in the county, he needed to address a concern. He read a section of Pike County's Code of Ordinance aloud to commissioners: § 36.17 MILITARY LEAVE OF ABSENCE (MLOA)
(A ) Any full-time employee of Pike County who is a member of any branch of the United States armed forces reserve or National Guard shall be granted Military Leave of Absence (MLOA) to attend required monthly drills, annual training deployments, and other required training functions associated with their participation in their respective agency up to eighteen (18) days per calendar year without incurring loss of their seniority or job security as an employee of Pike County. There will be no pay compensation from Pike County during any time an employee is on military leave of absence (MLOA). The employee’s medical benefits will continue to remain in effect during their time on MLOA. The employee’s sick leave and vacation balances will continue to accumulate as if they were in continuous full-time employment status.
(B) In the event of unit or individual activation for military duty, the employee’s job position will remain available for their return after the required active duty period is complete up to a maximum of three years duration. The employees medical benefits may be allowed to continue as allowed by the health care coverage provider if arrangements are agreed upon for payment of insurance premiums. The employee’s vacation and sick leave time will not continue to accrue but any existing balances will be maintained during their time on military duty.
(Ord. Passed 10-30-07) [Note from the Editor: I have included the entire ordinance even though the section in bold is the part of the ordinance that Jenkins is concerned with.] He said it was posted on FB about the CM getting full pay from the county during military training and it didn’t come before commissioners for approval. He said that he appreciate CM Rogers serving our country but can’t find anywhere that employees are paid their salary when they are gone on military leave. He asked that if they call up a draft in our political climate, are we going to pay them their full salary? He finished by saying that CM Rogers is getting out of the National Guard, but this needs to be addressed and our ordinance needs to be enforced or changed.

Chairman Briar Johnson said that he wasn't going to talk about this in the meeting but that he needed to say this since Commissioner Proctor brought it up. Johnson said that he hasn’t called any department heads. He said that they have called me. Could be the same ones. Could be different. I don’t know why I’m hearing differently. Some of what I’m hearing has been documented. He’s heard complaints. He said that this is about running the county in a fair manner. When I have complaints, he said, I present it to the Board. Not gossip. It’s what I’m dealing with and continue to deal with. This is what I’ve experienced and heard myself unsolicited. If the Board as a whole decides not to deal with this, that is what we decide. But I’m doing my job reporting to the commission.

[Note from the Editor: If department heads -- including constitutional officers -- are talking to these two commissioners and telling them two different things, there is a problem. All of the commissioners need to hear the truth without sugarcoating it if department heads want to be heard. (Click here to read about how the Tax Commissioner, her employee, and the Superior Court Clerk were treated last year with the retirement issue stretching many months into this year. Click here to read about how the Library Department head was treated during this year's budget process.) Two commissioners have expressed concerns in meetings with regard to actions being taken without a vote from the commission and how county funds are being spent. The remaining three commissioners seem to be pretty nonchalant. But... if department heads and constitutional officers are not being blunt enough to make all of the commissioners hear that there is a problem, these three commissioners are going to continue to be nonchalant. If you have a problem, please speak out or understand that your silence implies consent.]

Chairman Johnson then recognized a Boy Scout from Troup 37 out of Meansville who was attending the meeting with his Mom. Michael is 15 years old and working on his final badge for Eagle Scout that requires coming to a government meeting to see how things run. Mom and son were welcomed with a round of applause.

e. County Attorney Report to Commissioners

County Attorney Rob Morton advised that outside counsel that assisted with the SPLOST gave him a document for the county. The referendum passed. Here is a copy of the proposed resolution that needs to be on the night meeting agenda. Also lets the public know that the county is looking for up front funding on this. Counsel could be here at the night meeting to present options. We have issued bonds in the past and received up front financing. Since we’ve had a delay in the extension of the SPLOST, it might be good to look at in order to keep the projects rolling. Consensus for them to come to the night meeting.


a. Discussion of Ambulance Contract.

County Attorney Rob Morton asked if commissioners were ok with changes to the ambulance contract? They received an email yesterday afternoon showing that the CM had made a change suggested by a commissioner. They could motion to approve the contract according to the signing of the contract with agreed upon changes from both sides. This contract corresponds with the fiscal year and has an annual automatic renewal. Suggestion to change for 90 day versus 120 day provision for ending the contract. Morton also said that they cannot do a 5 year contract according to state law. It has to be an annual renewal only. Motion to approve with modifications. Approved 5-0.

[Note from the Editor: Here are the details on the Ameripro contract. $68,500 per month. The agreement begins on June 10, 2022 and automatically renews annually for 5 years with a 3% increase each year unless there is a notice given to terminate the contract. Pike will have 2 ambulances 24 hours a day 365 days a year for 911 calls in the Pike County Emergency Services zone. All calls will begin with 911 and then requests will be transferred to the provider for EMD dispatching. 8 minute 59 second response for all life-threatening emergencies 3 miles or less from 7818 US Hwy 19 in Zebulon. All calls over 3 miles and non-life-threatening will have a standard response of 12 minutes with the exception of when calls are made during a disaster, during inclement weather, or when the two Pike ambulances are on other emergency calls. Failure to meet these time requirements for 90% of all 911 responses will result in monetary deductions and less than 75% may result in immediate review for possible termination of this agreement. There will also be a monetary deduction to the monthly invoice for each non-compliant response when there is a failure to provide a least one Paramedic level provider per ambulance per shift. 90 day exemption from performance fines since they are stepping in such short notice. Each ambulance will be staffed with a minimum of one Paramedic level EMS provider and one other EMS provider licensed to respond to 911 calls as well as all personnel for 911 response being certified BLS and ACLS. Shift schedules shall allow personnel to work no more than 48 hours with 12 hours off duty. Random drug screening. The provider shall provide one Paramedic level supervisor to operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in the coverage area of Pike who will neither be assigned to any one ambulance nor float to supervise other coverage areas unless requested under a mutual aid agreement. There will be mutual aid given when requested, and the county is responsible for generating mutual aid agreements. There will be monthly, semi-annual, and annual reports with incident reports required within 24 hours if necessary. Prisoners will be transported for free for the first instance each month. $400 per transport after that. Free transports for county employees injured in the line of duty including commissioners, constitutional officers and staff, and volunteer firefighters. Click here to read the contract.]

Chairman Johnson stepped out for a few minutes and asked Vice-Chairman Tim Daniel to read the next item. He was back before the vote.

b. Approve/deny SUB-22-05 - W. Gregory Daniel and Michele P. Daniel owners and applicant are requesting a major 5-lot subdivision (Daniel Estates). The applicant is requesting concurrent preliminary and final plat approval. Property Location: Westside of Fossett Road, South of Highway 18, Zebulon, GA. 30295. Land Lots: 50 & 51 of the 9th Land District. Parcel ID: 054 023D. Acreage: 24.90 acres. Commission District: 1st, Commissioner Tim Daniel. FEMA Data: Does not lie within a flood zone.

No relation to Commissioner Daniel. Prelim and final plat approval for major subdivision. Heard by the Planning Commission and recommended for approval. But afterward, they decided to change from 5 to 3, but based on the way that this was subdivided in the past 5 years, it is still classified as a major subdivision. Planning Staff recommends approval of the 3 just like the Planning Commission did. 1500 square feet houses. Daniel Estates. It still requires the action of the Board because of how it has been divided in past years. Chairman Johnson back in the meeting. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.


a. Consider three appointments to the Pike County Parks & Recreation Board to fill a three-year term, set to expire June 30, 2025. Applicants have met criteria.

CM recommends reappoint David Reeves and Chris Childress, appoint Jason Leatherman with a back up option of Joshua Follett. Rec Board recommendation reappoint David Reeves and Chris Childress, appoint Joshua Askew with a back up option of Jason Leatherman then Matt Kelly.

Chairman goes with CM on this one. Motion to go with Childress, Leatherman, and Follett. Commissioner Proctor said that he appreciates Reeves and the service he’s given, but he doesn’t have kids out there now. He thinks that it’s better to have someone out there who has kids out there now. Approved 5-0.

b. Consider one appointment for Pike County Position 1 on the Georgia Region 4 EMS Council to fill a three-year term, set to expire June 30, 2025. Applicant has met criteria.

Chairman Johnson read the CM's notes. Jim Totten has requested to step down. Brittany Hammond was recommended by Totten, and he said that he would help train her. Daniel asked if she was going to the current ambulance provider because we like to have someone from the current ambulance provider on there. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

c. Approve/deny extending term for Pike County Position 2 on the Georgia Region 4 EMS Council to expire June 30, 2024.

CM recommends extending this term. Motion to extend the term. Approved 5-0.

d. Authorize Chairman Johnson to sign the service agreement between Three Rivers Regional Commission and Pike County Board of Commissioners to provide public transportation.

Annual contract that includes a fuel increase. This will put the final amount into the budget. Motion to approve. Approved 5-0.

e. Open sealed bids for review regarding the design and engineering services for the road construction, drainage improvements, and paving for 11.6 miles of unimproved roads in Pike County.

There were no bids received. This will be extended for 2 more weeks. Morton asked for a motion on this. Motion to extend for 2 more weeks. Approved 5-0.

f. Approve/deny the 3rd Reading and Final Adoption of the FY 2022-2023 Budget.

Chairman Johnson said that there are still a lot of questions on this budget. Question on policies and possible violation of policies and other questions that need to be answered. Hopefully the county manager will get back and we can get our questions answered. Motion to postpone final adoption. Clarification: The CM did provide a document with a note about a change since the last update. Morton included that documentation was received from the CM. Addition of insurance to the budget. Motion to approve postponement. Approved 5-0. [Note from the Editor: Yes, the county manager's $5,000 is still in the budget. No, his evaluations are not completed and public yet, but I'll put them out to readers when they are.]

1. Authorize Chairman Briar Johnson and County Manager Brandon Rogers to execute the FY 2022- 2023 Budget documentation, to include, but not limited to, advertising, pertinent dates, and all incorporated motions made as this date, June 8, 2022.

Motion to approve postponement. Approved 5-0.



Motion to go into Executive Session. 9:38 a.m.

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.

b. Chairman Briar Johnson requests 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.

[Note from the Editor: One person went back into Executive Session for a short while and then came back out and left. No, I don't know exactly what was covered in the back, but I am assuming that the evaluation of the county manager is still on the agenda and not complete because the evaluations are not public yet. I'm waiting patiently. Well, patiently for me anyway.]

Back in session. 11:23 a.m.


County Attorney Morton introduced Jessie Smith is a first year law student who is interning in Public Sector Law with his office. He wanted to introduce her to commissioners since she may be attending some meetings with him to learn how they conduct business.

Motion to adjourn. 11:23 a.m.

Agenda subject to revision.

[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.]