MINUTES

SPECIAL CALLED MEETING

GLYNN COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

W. HAROLD PATE BUILDING

1725 REYNOLDS STREET, 2ND FLOOR CONFERENCE ROOM

TUESDAY, JULY 19, 2011 AT 9:30 AM

 

PRESENT:                     Tom Sublett, Chairman, District 2

                                    Amy Callaway, Vice Chairman, District 1

Richard Strickland, Commissioner, District 3

Mary Hunt, Commissioner, District 4

Jerome Clark, Commissioner, District 5

Clyde Taylor, Commissioner, At Large Post 1

                                    Bob Coleman, Commissioner, At Large Post 2

                                   

ALSO PRESENT:           Alan Ours, County Administrator

Aaron Mumford, County Attorney

Cindee Overstreet, County Clerk

 

Discussion and consideration of the following:

 

1.         Strategic Planning Committee report (C. Taylor)

 

Commissioner Clyde Taylor provided an update on the Strategic Planning Committee’s accomplishments to date.

The Strategic Planning Committee consists of the following members:

Clyde Taylor, At Large Commissioners, Chairman of Committee

Dr. Valerie Hepburn, College of Coastal Georgia

Mr. Nathan Sparks, Economic Development Authority

Mr. Steve Brian, Airport Commission

Mr. Wayne Johnson, Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce

Mr. Howard Mann, Glynn County School System

                        Ms. Mary Beth Chew, UGA Archway Partnership

Mayor Brian Thompson, City of Brunswick

Mr. Richard Strickland, District 3 Commissioner

Mr. Jones Hooks, Jekyll Island Authority

Mr. Scott McQuade, Golden Isles Visitors Bureau

Mr. David Hainley, Community Development Director

Ms. Mary Hunt, District 4 Commissioner

Mr. Alan Ours, County Administrator

Mr. Mike Maloy, McGinty-Gordon & Associates Insurance

 

During the Glynn County Board of Commissioners’ Retreat in February 2011, a Vision Statement was created as follows:

Glynn County will be the nation’s premier, uniquely diverse, most desirable ecofriendly coastal community.  We, with our partners, will focus on developing, enhancing, protecting, and promoting:

Economic development and international trade

21st Century Education

Heritage and history

Attractive gateways and corridors

Leading edge government

Recreation and active lifestyles

Integrated transportation network

Natural resources and eco-tourism

           

            The Strategic Planning Committee was charged with planning specific goals for these eight objectives and developing specific action plans in five (5) and ten (10) year increments. They were presented as follows:

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND INTERNATIONAL TRADE

Glynn County strives for a diversified, balanced economy.  The area’s pro-business attitude, multi-modal transportation assets, enviable educational amenities and pristine natural environment are widely renowned and serve to attract and accommodate a diverse array of businesses.   Glynn County offers an impressive selection of available buildings and shovel ready industrial parcels – all planned, permitted and adjacent to utility systems with ample service delivery capacity.  The Port of Brunswick and the Brunswick Foreign Trade Zone are magnets for foreign direct investment and international trade, while the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) has provided a ready platform for attracting advanced security businesses.   The community’s educational partners and small business resource providers have successfully incubated a number of start-up businesses, thanks in part to a growing angel investor network.

 

Glynn County recognized for its “pro-business” attitude and permitting processes

5 Year:             For projects of a certain size, implement fast track permitting procedures with 45 day “guaranteed” turnaround from date of permit package filing

10 Year:           Fast track permitting timeframe decreased to 30 day turnaround and available for all projects regardless of size

Glynn County features a balanced and diversified array of industrial and commercial businesses

5 Year:             Continue targeting businesses operating in the Aviation/Aerospace, Distribution/Logistics, Manufacturing and Homeland Security sectors.

Conduct research of business sectors that may be ideal candidates for employing graduates of the College of Coastal Georgia’s Health Informatics program, among others.  Work to attract businesses in these sectors to the community.

Glynn County attracts and accommodates sustainable industries that take full advantage of the area’s natural amenities

5 Year:             Target and promote Glynn County to companies operating in the bio-energy sector

Glynn County offers an impressive array of available industrial buildings and shovel-ready parcels.

5 Year:             Evaluate possibility of creating an economic development utility fund for system improvements that may be required in order to win certain projects

10 year:           Continue to spec building program as market dictates

Glynn County is a destination for international investment and a hub of trade activity

5 Year:             Identify Georgia Ports Authority’s priorities for Brunswick port terminals. Assist with efforts to target/promote Brunswick port assets to international businesses and advocate for continued improvements to Brunswick port terminals.

Glynn County leads the region in start-up business cultivation and small business

Development

5 Year:             Conduct feasibility study to determine if a virtual small business incubator is a reasonable approach to providing hands-on assistance from the College of Coastal Georgia business facility and students, and the Small Business Development Center, etc.

10 Year:           Establish angel investor network in Glynn County, comprised of wealthy individuals with civic/entrepreneurial interests

With its diverse and inspiring scenery, Glynn County has emerged as one of Georgia’s most desired locations for film production

5 Year:             Create a marketing/promotion package to share with film location scouts as well as the Georgia Department of Economic Development’s Film Office.

Evaluate the possibility of hiring a film office/commissioner in Glynn County for the purposes of promoting the community to the film industry

 

The Committee identified the following as part of its Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) Analysis of economic development and international trade.

Strengths/Opportunities:

Port, Airport, Rail, Interstate

FLETC

Diverse Array of Industrial Land

Committed Leadership

College of Coastal Georgia, Altamaha Technical College, and Golden Isles Career Academy are a “perfect storm” of Educational Amenities

Improving Workforce

 

Weaknesses/Threats:

State Incentives Structure (Discourages Investment)

Undersized Utility Systems

Competing Interests (Port of Savannah vs. Brunswick)

Loss of Graduates

Sense that Glynn, as a wealthy community doesn’t need economic development

 

21ST CENTURY EDUCATION

Glynn County values a strong, performance driven P – 16 education system anchored in 21st Century knowledge, sophisticated technology and advanced leadership and problem-solving skills.  Preschool programming will be high quality and universal. The K-12 system will offer outstanding value, learning experiences and secondary education focused on college and career readiness.  Through innovative career and technical education combined with exceptional academic offerings, Glynn County will offer the full array of post-secondary education options which serve as a gateway for workforce development, strategic human capital deployment, and advanced graduate and professional education.  Glynn County recognizes and nurtures a full array of educational offerings to promote economic opportunity and quality of life.

 

An educated citizenry and an engaged populace as evidenced by:

90% high school graduation rate by 2020 (83% by 2015)

50% of residents with two or four year degrees by 2020 (40% by 2015)

100% access to early childhood education by 2015 and beyond

 

HERITAGE AND HISTORY

We provide access to our rich history and diverse culture with self-guided tours throughout the mainland and islands. Historical markers and information kiosks are located throughout our community to educate and expose citizens and visitors to our area’s historical significance.  Guided tours of our parks are also offered.

 

Provide access to our rich history and diverse culture by providing tours throughout the mainland and islands.

5 Year:             Create a marketing plan to increase heritage tourism to Glynn County

10 Year:           Use economic stimulus resources to restore and protect historic resources

 

Historical markers and information kiosks located throughout our community.

5 year:             Develop program for self-guided tours that includes way finding and education

                        Identify ways to operate existing assets to their highest potential

 

ATTRACTIVE GATEWAYS & CORRIDORS

The major corridors will have corridors with attractive, uniform informational/directional signage, lighting and fixtures.  The signs are easy to read, understand and follow by domestic and international visitors.  They are user-friendly. The well maintained roadways and landscaping emphasize the natural resources of the Golden Isles allowing for marsh views and showcasing drought-resistant native plants.  Photo opportunities and information are provided in welcome centers while smart tags throughout the County offer historical facts and offers from local merchants.  The absence of litter is remarkable to all who regularly use these roadways.

 

Corridors with attractive, uniform informational/directional signage, lighting and fixtures

5 Year:             Create a corridor plan that included guidelines and standards.

Well maintained roadways and landscaping emphasize the natural resources of the Golden Isles.

5 Year:             Governmental bodies to review ordinances and design guidelines for cohesion.

Develop a landscape plan for the major corridors.

10 Year:           Create an atmosphere of uniform and attractive landscaping on major and secondary corridor.

The absence of litter is remarkable.

5 Year:             Create a campaign for litter control.

10 Year:           Continue to monitor impact of litter enforcement programs

                        Improve existence of signage on major corridors

 

LEADING EDGE GOVERNMENT

We as a government have integrated the latest technology into the daily operations of the county.  This includes telecommuting for staff for administrative functions, electronic payments of most bills, electronic submission of paper forms and plans, remote presentations by consultants and citizens at meetings utilizing electronic images.  All records and reports are available through the web portal. Delivery of services continues to be transparent and predicable.  The County is repeatedly visited by other communities to learn how to do it right. Citizens of the county are so proud of the level governmental services that there is a waiting list to serve on boards.

 

Integrate the latest technology into daily operations

5 Year:             Continue to share technological platforms and analyze opportunities to develop a common platform between governmental agencies, where feasible.

10 Year:           Create integrated Information Technology committee of all entities (City, County, BoE) to develop and implement a master plan for technology services.

Telecommuting for administrative staff

5 Year:             Develop procedures for telecommunicating for staff.

10 Year:           Implement telecommunicating positions as identified.

Electronic submission of forms and plans

5 Year:             Evaluate and implement, where feasible, electronic submission of forms/plans

Remote electronic presentations are made by consultants and citizens at meetings

1 Year:             Analyze the feasibility of and issues associated with using remote presentations

3 Year:             Implement plan for remote presentations as determined by analysis.

All records and reports are available through web portal

5 Year:             Analyze legality and prudence of providing all records and reports through web portal as opposed to through traditional methods.

Delivery of services is predictable and two-way communication with stakeholders is transparent.

5 Year:             Adopt standards for stakeholder communication and delivery of services.

The County is relatedly visited by other communities to learn how to do it right

5 Year:             Apply and win a Malcolm Baldridge Senate Productivity Award

                        Regularly achieve ACCG recognition as an excellence in government community

10 Year:           Promote the community as a community that does it right.

Citizens of county are so proud of the level of governmental services that there is a waiting list to serve on boards.

1 Year:             Promote the purpose and achievements of City and County boards.

3 Year:             Develop and implement a recognition program for board members.

Electronic Payments of most bills

1 Year:             Require all departments and agencies to develop a plan to accept electronic payments including modification of any ordinances

3 Year:             Implement electronic payments by all departments and agencies

 

RECREATION AND ACTIVE LIFESTYLES

We provide a complete range of integrated recreation opportunities for people of all ages and physical abilities.  The recreation venues are developed to integrate the natural environment into the site in an environmentally sensitive manner.  Programs are designed to encourage people to participate to their physical limits in a variety of land and water leisure based activities planned to extend the active lifetime opportunities.  The programs and venues are dispersed throughout the county so as to allow and promote the county as a community for a lifetime.

 

We provide a complete range of integrated recreation opportunities for people of all ages and physical abilities.

5 Year:             Identify existing recreation assets in use and market them better.

Further establish the Golden Isles as premier golf destination

10 Year:           There is a uniform and well planned event and recreation authority for the Golden Isles

The recreation venues are developed to integrate the natural environment into the site in an environmentally sensitive manner.

5 Year:             Inventory existing sites and identify how they can be improved.

10 Year:           Connect and promote sidewalks and walking throughout the Golden Isles

Programs are designed to encourage people to participate to their physical limits in a variety of land and water leisure based activities planned to extend the active lifetime opportunities.

5 Year:             Uniform programs that allow for many diverse activities around the county are created.

The programs and venues are dispersed throughout the county so as to allow and promote the county as a community for a lifetime.

5 Year:             New sites and programs are identified and explored through private/public partnerships

10 Year:           Events and programs that encourage recreation such as marathons, walks, sailing, kayaking, are supported and expanded

 

INTEGRATED TRANSPORTATION NETWORK

In addition to well-designed, well-maintained roadways, Glynn County provides a comprehensive bicycle and /or pedestrian friendly sidewalk network around the County to various destinations.  The traffic signs and markings are consistent and tie to Georgia statewide bicycle routes, particularly the Coastal Greenway.  Traffic management will be enhanced by calming devices to slow vehicular traffic and centrally controlled traffic signals to facilitate the flow of traffic. The area is served by several airlines at local airports and high-speed rail is available in Jesup and Savannah. Dockage for transient boaters is improved and ferries offer alternative means of transportation among the barrier islands.  Alternative energy mass transit vehicles provide transportation among the islands and mainland.  Parking meters have been replaced with charging stations that provide sufficient revenue to fund the mass transit system.  Parking is concentrated in garages and commercial areas are designed as attractive pedestrian malls.

 

Road Development to support population growth.

5 Year:             Develop a comprehensive way funding signage program

Develop and implement a program of attractive community road entrance gateways/corridors

10 year:           Update long range transportation plan

            Bicycle Trail and Pedestrian Sidewalk Development to support population growth

            5 Year:             Develop a comprehensive bicycle/pedestrian plan countywide

                                    Support Altamaha Canal multipurpose trail

            10 Year:           Continue to improve the accessibility and maintenance of trails

            Airport Development to support airline service and general aviation needs

5 Year:             Develop a plan in conjunction with Chamber & Visitors Bureau to attract year round tourism

10 Year:           Develop local incentive programs to maintain and attract future airline service

            Improve Rail Services

5 Year:             Facilitate growth of freight throughput; work with rail lines to develop rail infrastructure improvements to Brunswick port facilities

10 Year:           Monitor efforts to improve passenger rail service to the region, if deemed feasibility, implement a rail passenger connection plan

Support Port development and encourage job growth

5 Year:             Promote efforts of the Georgia Ports Authority to expand freight throughput of Brunswick port terminals

                        Identify needs for infrastructure ecotourism outfitters/tours

10 Year:           Evaluate reuse of Andrews Island for port expansion

Improve transient dockage for boaters

5 Year:             Evaluate the need for improved public boat launch access points

Explore potential for ferries between barrier islands

5 Year:             Study the potential for supplying ferry service between barrier islands

Develop energy efficient mass transit system

5 Year:             Continue to evaluate funding mechanisms to support service

10 Year:           Promote the construction of the Coastal Regional Commission intra/inter mass transit facility

Development of parking garages and walk-able commercial areas

5 Year:             Determine the economic feasibility of parking facilities on St. Simons Island

                        Support Archway’s ACT District Walkability Plan

10 Year:           Evaluate incentives to encourage private developers to construct walk-able village concept as part of development

 

NATURAL RESOURCES AND ECO-TOURISM

The strategic plan will emphasize our natural resources and eco-tourism.  Glynn County has an abundance of wildlife and natural scenery from the rivers to the beaches.  We strive to keep our rivers, marshes, and beaches clean and pollution free.  The environmental educators in our nature-based parks provide our citizens and visitors with a glimpse into the lives of our coastal creatures in their natural surroundings.  Our parks offer camping, hiking, biking, wildlife watching, boat tours, horseback riding and canoe trails through the salt marsh and historic canal system.

 

The Strategic Plan will emphasize our natural resources and ecotourism

5 Year:             Identify and inventory a list of natural resources and ecotourism assets that are unique to the Golden Isles

                        Create a comprehensive marketing plan that highlights existing assets in crease ecotourism to the Golden Isles

10 Year:           The Golden Isles is known nationally as an ecotourism haven with the help of the entire community’s efforts.

We strive to keep our rivers, marshes, and beaches clean and pollution free

5 Year:             Improve education and awareness of our natural resources to locals and visitors and the importance of keeping them clean and litter free

10 Year:           Residents and businesses alike embrace eco-practices to support our ecotourism assets and identity.

The environmental educators in our nature-based parks provide our citizens and visitors with a glimpse into the lives of our coastal creatures in their natural surroundings.

5 Year:             Develop programs to highlight our eco-assets and the vast amount of wildlife present in the Golden Isles with mapping and marketing.

                        Create an atmosphere where private enterprise can thrive by building ecotourism businesses to fulfill new demand

10 Year:           Identify ways to operate existing assets to their highest potential and more efficiently

Our parks offer camping, hiking, biking, wildlife watching, boat tours, horseback riding, and canoe trails through the salt marsh and historic canal system

5 Year:             Improve waterway access in Brunswick to support a vibrant economy downtown.

                        Improve access to the inter-coastal waterways to ensure that access is restored for inter-coastal journeys and tourism.

                        Restore canal system to provide further recreational opportunities

10 Year:           Create an atmosphere where ecotourism and adventure is a vital part of the Golden Isles economy

 

The Committee identified the following as part of its SWOT Analysis of natural resources and ecotourism.

Strengths/Opportunities:

Increased tourism and bolstered economy

Higher spending by guests

Expansion and preservation of existing and new assets

More educated local public and visitors

Increased collaboration among existing entities (DNR, Nature Conservancy, Land Trust, Sierra club, Colleges)

National & regional awareness of natural resources

Less pollution and litter

Higher quality of life, attracting more residents

 

Weaknesses/Threats:

Future funding to market eco-tourism

Land cost is a premium

Many fragmented efforts

Lack of leadership to guide a comprehensive program

Diminishing and unprotected eco-assets

Water/air pollution and litter

Superfund sites stigma

Beach erosion

Maintenance of new and existing parks

Unclean/unsightly gateways

 

2.         Police Department’s purchase and use of motorcycles (M. Doering)

 

            Assistant Police Chief Scott Trautz reported that the motorcycles would serve similarly to the way the department’s boats, 4-wheelers, and bicycles do. The motorcycles would not be for traffic enforcement on high speed roadways. They would assist in responding to traffic offenses in subdivisions where narrow roads and residential lawns often prevent a police car from parking and turning around quickly. He said they would also aid in responding to accidents within congested traffic areas.    

            The Commissioners agreed to the purchase of two motorcycles and all necessary equipment and training. The motorcycles will be purchased using seized funds.

 

3.         Detention Center Architectural and Engineering (A&E) bid update (A. Ours)   LINK

 

            County Administrator Alan Ours presented the following timeline for selection of an architect:

July 26, 2011- Request for Proposals sent to prospective architects

August 11, 2011-Pre-Proposal Conference

August 30, 2011-Proposals are opened

August 31, 2011 to September 14, 2011-County staff review of proposals and rank

September 16, 2011-Short list of architects selected based on staff ranking

September 26, 2011 to September 30, 2011-Architects on short list make verbal presentations to county staff

October 3, 2011 to October 17, 2011-county staff makes site visits to jails that architects on short list have designed

November 3, 2011-Staff recommendation is submitted to Board of Commissioners for selection of architectural firm to design new detention facility

 

4.         Update from the Board of Assessors Office (B. Gerhardt)

 

            Chief Appraiser Bobby Gerhardt provided an update on the list of action items he presented to the Board at its June 21, 2011, special called meeting. The list consisted of action items his office and the Board of Assessors planned to accomplish in response to the Department of Revenue’s investigation of the office.

1.         Glynn County Property Appraiser Policy and Procedures Field Manual

Mr. Gerhardt provided a copy of the draft manual. He said it would be presented to the Board of Tax Assessors at its meeting the next week.

2.         Improved record of Board of Assessors meetings.

            He said this has been instituted.

3.         Progressive training and minimum training standards policy.

Mr. Gerhardt reported this item has also been initiated and the first session will be conducted by himself in August. A progressive and minimum training standards policy has been approved by the Board of Assessors and forwarded to the County Attorney and Human Resources.

4.         Dispute resolution policy involving the Board of Assessors

A technical dispute resolution policy has been approved by the Board of Assessors and forwarded to the County Attorney and Human Resources.

5.         Cost schedules calibration project

Mr. Gerhardt reported that senior staff and some members of the Board of Assessors met with former Department of Revenue employee, Ron Kicklighter. Mr. Kicklighter could assist in formulating and implementing updated cost and land schedules over a projected two-year period, provided that WinGap is utilized. Projected cost: $15,000-$37,500 depending upon workdays required.

6.         Review of cost and availability of computer-assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) software).  

Mr. Gerhardt met with Tyler Technologies and obtained a preliminary estimate of a Total Revaluation of Glynn County’s 47,075 real property parcels at $40 to $50 per parcel, which equates to $1,883,000 to $2,353,750. He said if Tyler Technologies acquires Yada Corporation, with its advanced technological photography, the price may be as low as $35 per parcel or $1,647,625.  He said this was an option; not a recommendation.

           

5.         Update on the Joint Water and Sewer Commission’s (JWSC) proposal to manage and maintain water and sewer on St. Simons Island (B. Coleman)

 

                        Commissioner Coleman advised the Board that the JWSC had extended the United Water Contract 60-days before taking action to either extend the contract or not renew it.  United Water operates the water and sewer system on St. Simons Island.

                        JWSC Director Keith Morgan said if the JWSC does not renew the contract with United Water, it would hire 19 additional employees to operate the system, but would save $1.4 million. The JWSC currently has 106 employees. United Water has 26 employees.

Commissioner Strickland asked Mr. Morgan if he would be able to guarantee that the JWSC would deliver the same service United Water has been delivering. Mr. Morgan said he would guarantee a higher level of service than United Water had provided.

Tony Sammons, Chairman of the JWSC, provided photographs of aerators on St. Simons that were covered in algae and had screens opened allowing for wildlife and birds to enter and contaminate the water.

 

6.         Brief update regarding the concept of an Eco-tourism Center (Tony Sammons)

 

Tony Sammons asked the Board to support the concept of an ecotourism center in Brunswick. He said the City had adopted a similar resolution of support.

The Chairman placed the resolution on the August 4, 2011, agenda for consideration.

 

7.         Staggering the terms of the Board of Assessors and adjusting a few technical items (M. Hunt) 

 

Commissioner Hunt said staggering the terms of the Board of Assessors would keep a quorum of Assessors from potentially leaving office at the same time. County Attorney Aaron Mumford drafted a resolution to stagger the terms and make all the expirations dates the same.  Commissioner Hunt said the Chairman of the Board of Assessors agreed with this proposal.

The Resolution staggering the terms was adopted by the Board at its July 21, 2011, meeting.

 

 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

 

The Board did not meet in Executive Session during this meeting.

 

There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

 

 

 

                                                                                    ____________________________

Tom Sublett, Chairman

                                                                                    Board of Commissioners

                                                                                    Glynn County , Georgia

Attest:

 

 

_____________________________

Cindee S. Overstreet, Clerk