MINUTES

CALLED MEETING

BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 29, 1991 AT 5:15 PM

 

PRESENT:                      Chairman Joe Smith

                                    Vice Chairman Karen Moore

                                    Commissioner Robert H. “Bob” Boyne

                                    Commissioner William E. Dismer

                                    Commissioner Jack Hardman

                                    Commissioner W. Harold Pate

Commissioner E. C. Tillman

 

ALSO PRESENT:             Administrator Charles T. Stewart

                                    County Attorney Gary Moore

 

 

Opening Ceremony.

 

Chairman Smith opened the Called Meeting by asking Commissioner Tillman to give the invocation, followed by pledge of allegiance to the flag.

 

                                                ___________

 

Coastal Alliance for the Arts – Use of County Facility.

 

Chairman Smith related that Coastal Alliance for the Arts had announced plans to move their operation from the location they had occupied for many years on Demere Road across from Demere Annex, and were seeking space in County facilities at the Casino Bowling Alley and/or the old cafeteria space in Demere Annex.

A motion was made by Chairman Smith and seconded by Commissioner Boyne that this request be referred to the Recreation Board for review and recommendation back to the Commission at the next regular meeting on November 7, 1991.

The motion was adopted by majority vote with Commissioner Tillman abstaining.

 

                                    *    *    *

 

Commissioner Boyne request that Staff, including County Attorney Gary Moore, attend the Recreation Board/Coastal Alliance for the Arts meeting, and that a written



record of the proceedings be made available.  Commissioner Tillman opposed the hasty manner in which items, including this one, were presented to the Commission on a critical time frame without proper review and recommendation.

                                    _____________

Re-Issuance of Beach Nourishment Bonds.

            Chairman Smith opened the floor for comments on re-issuance of the Beach Nourishment Bonds.  Although the Commission had previously authorized him to sign the bond documents, Chairman Smith said he wanted the public to have another opportunity to express opinions on this subject.

            County Administrator Stewart explained that in May of this year $2.4 million worth of bank-qualified revenue bonds were issued through the Brunswick and Glynn County Development Authority to raise the County’s share of the proposed Section 933 beach nourishment project, however, because the Hospital Authority decided to issue $15 million worth of bank-qualified revenue bonds of its own, the County’s bonds lost their bank-qualified status.  He said the County’s agreement with Trust Company Bank gave the County 60 days from the date of the Hospital Authority’s bond issue to reissue its bonds or pay higher interest penalties, and after November 11 the County’s interest rate on the bonds would increase from 75 percent to 93 percent of the prime lending rate.  He noted that proceeds from a parking fee on the St. Simons Causeway was the proposed funding source to pay off these bonds.

County Attorney Gary Moore said unless Chairman Smith signed the documents this day the bonds could not be reissued by the November 11 deadline, which would cause the County to pay an additional $79,000 per year during the life of the bonds if the prime lending rate remained steady.  Additionally, he said the County would still have to pay $71,500 in reissuing and closing costs.

Commissioner Boyne said he had received a letter from an individual who claimed that use of toll money for the stated purpose would be a violation of Federal Code Title 23, Section 129 (a), and he wanted written confirmation from the State Attorney General that this was not the case.  Attorney Moore said he could find no conflict    w i t h   e i t h e r   S t a t e   o r   F e d e r a l    s t a t u t e s.

A motion was made by Commissioner Boyne and seconded by Commissioner

Tillman that an opinion be requested from Attorney General Michael Bowers regarding the legality of using parking or toll fees to finance the Beach Nourishment Project. 

Unanimously adopted.

                             *   *   *

Commissioner Dismer moved to adjourn the meeting, and the motion died for

lack of a second.

                                                *    *    *

            Chairman Smith opened the floor for discussion regarding reissuance of this bond, and a number of residents listed below expressed opposition.

Jim Robertson, Heidi Whitt, Betsy Ellzey, Virginia Gunn, Alice Hightower, Marilyn Parver, Bob Drury, Robert Randall, and Jonathan Chubb opposed reissuance of the bonds, and asked that a referendum be held to determine whether or not the public favored this method of financing beach nourishment.  Mr. Robertson noted that the project had a life expectancy of 5 years, and the public might accept it better if the Commission charged the Beach Management Committee with putting together a proposal that was cheaper and would permanently restore the beach.  Ms. Gunn presented petitions which she said contained 6,000 signatures opposing the entire project.  Alice Hightower said the Beach Management Committee was powerless because they had no budget to work with.  Marilyn Parver disputed Commissioner Moore’s comments that she had lobbied against the Commission’s proposal to finance beach nourishment with a parking fee, although she said David Burgess, Wayne Shackleford and Governor Zell Miller had assured her that it was unlikely this funding arrangement would be allowed.  Another resident suggested that the new bond not be issued, the people be allowed to vote on the whole project, and $3.5 million in sales tax money designated for traffic improvements on St. Simons Island be used to pay for the beach project.

Gary Wainwright, Attorney for Save the Beach, said it appeared that the Commission

            was circumventing their obligation to allow citizens to vote on general obligation

            bond issues by calling this one a revenue anticipation bond.

            Lee Knowles said news reports indicated that lower interest rates were ahead, and he suggested that the County approach the lender and ask for a grace period to retain the

conditions of the existing loan.  Sid Overall mentioned the impossibility of predicting interest rates, and said the concern of  President Bush and his advisors about the economy might result in lowering interest rates.  Doris Schylar suggested that a determination be made as to whether or not the Jekyll Island parking fee increase had brought in a greater percentage of money.  She also suggested that the County lower the annual toll sticker to $25.00 and increase toll to $1.00.  Mainland resident James Clinch urged Commissioners to listen to the public who had elected them.

            Robert Randall asked why the bonds were being issued by the Development Authority rather than by the County, and why the proposed funding source was called a parking fee rather than a toll.  Administrator Stewart explained that the Development Authority had been created for the purpose of promoting industry and jobs in the community, they had the ability to issue this type of revenue bond, and the Commission perceived them as being the best way to market the bonds.  Although this was a 20 year bond issue, he said the Commission could repay the entire debt service in five years from proceeds of the project.  Attorney Moore noted that the term parking fee came from state statute.

            Several citizens including Woodie Woodside and Hans Trupp stressed the importance of the local beaches in maintaining the $600 million a year tourism industry, 15,000 associated jobs, and the tourism portion of sales tax moneys.  They encouraged the Commissioner to view this as an economic issue and move quickly on reissuing the bonds.

            Commissioner Dismer said he was opposed to Glynn County taxpayers being called upon to pay the cost of maintaining the beaches because the state claimed ownership to this property.  Commissioner Tillman said he would not vote to reissue this bond until the County received an opinion from the Attorney General that the parking fee could be used to pay the bonds off because otherwise the cost would fall on an already overtaxed populace.  Commissioner Moore noted that 38 cents of every dollar spent on this project was generated by tourism.  Commissioner Hardman said it made good business sense to reissue the bonds before the interest rate went up.

Commissioner Boyne objected to a special meeting being called to deal with this matter when the Commission had already voted on it.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Moore and seconded by Commission Hardman authorizing Chairman Smith to execute the necessary documents for reissuance of the Beach Nourishment Bonds.

            Aye:     Commissioners Moore, Hardman, and Pate.

            Nay:     Commissioners Dismer and Tillman.

            Abstaining:        Commissioner Boyne and Chairman Smith.

            Motion failed.

                                                *    *    *

            Attorney Moore stated that the Commission had already adopted a motion authorizing Chairman Smith to sign the bond reissuance documents, and unless the motion was rescinded, that authorization was still in effect.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Dismer and seconded by Commissioner Tillman that the Commission rescind previous motion authorizing the Chairman to execute these bonds, pending assurance of the bonds being guaranteed by increased toll or parking fee or some method other than property taxes.

            Aye:     Commissioners Boyne, Dismer, Tillman, and Chairman Smith.

            Nay:     Commissioners Hardman, Moore, and Pate.

            Motion adopted.          

                                                   ____________

Merger of Magistrate Staff with Clerk of Superior Court.

            Pursuant to recommendation by Commissioner Hardman, Chairman Smith asked the Inter-Agency Criminal Justice Task Force to develop recommendation concerning the possibility of the Clerk of Superior Court assuming the duties of Clerk of Magistrate Court.                                       ____________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Resolution Adopted Honoring Walter McNeely and Dave Whitield.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Tillman and seconded by Commissioner Hardman adopting the two following resolutions which would be presented at the Brunswick Chapter NAACP Freedom Awards Banquet on November 2, 1991.

                                             

                                                  RESOLUTION

                          HONORING DAVE WHITFIELD, SR.

 

            WHEREAS, Dave Whitfield, Sr., has filled the role of responsible and caring citizen of the Golden Isles for many years and

 

            WHEREAS, Mr. Whitfield has contributed to the betterment of the community through active participation in the First African Baptist Church, sponsorship of several athletic teams, and annually hosting a Christmas Gala for 500 underprivileged children in Glynn and surrounding counties; and

 

            WHEREAS, as Founder and President of Dave and Sons, Inc., a family owned commercial and industrial cleaning service, Mr. Whitfield has provided jobs for many of his fellow citizens, and he has become an important part of the local business community; and

 

            WHEREAS, because of his efforts toward improving the quality of life for his fellow citizens, the Brunswick Chapter NAACP has bestowed the prestigious annual “FREEDOM AWARD” upon Dave Whitfield, Sr.

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners, Glynn County, Georgia, in Special Called Meeting this 29th day of October, 1991, that we express our respect and admiration to Dave Whitfield, Sr., for his service to the citizens of The Golden Isles, and his achievement in earning the 1991 annual “Freedom Award”.

 

                                                        *    *    *

 

                                                RESOLUTION

 

                             HONORING WALTER C. McNEELY

                       

            WHEREAS, Walter C. McNeely has provided invaluable service to the citizens of the Golden Isles for many years, particularly in the field of education; and

 

            WHEREAS, Mr. McNeely first became a part of Glynn County’s education program in 1949 upon assuming the position of Science Teacher and Coach at Risley High School, and his talents resulted in a series of promotions beginning with Principal, Assistant Superintendent of Schools and, until the date of his retirement in June of 1991, Associate Superintendent of Glynn County Schools.

 

            WHEREAS, Mr. McNeely provided guidance and inspiration to many young students who had the good fortune to attend local schools under his supervision, and he helped to provide the foundation to make these young people good citizens and good leaders; and

 

            WHEREAS, the Brunswick Chapter NAACP has seen fit to commend Walter C. McNeely for his contributions to this community by bestowing upon him the annual “FREEDOM AWARD.”

 

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT AND IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED by the Board of Commissioners, Glynn County, Georgia, in Special Called Meeting this 29th day of October, 1991, that we express our respect and admiration to Walter C. McNeely for dedicated service to the citizens of The Golden Isles, and for the honor he had earned in

receiving the 1991 annual “Freedom Award.”

 

                                                *    *    *

 

Unanimously adopted.

                                   

 

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Executive Meeting.

            A motion was made by Commissioner Hardman and seconded by Commissioner Moore to go into executive session for the purpose of discussing the following items:

                        Personnel Matters

                        Potential Litigation

            Unanimously adopted.

                                            

                                                            ____________

                                                            Meeting Adjourned.

 

 

 

                                                                        BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

                                                                        GLYNN COUNTY, GEORGIA

 

                                                                        _________________________

                                                                        Joe Smith, Chairman

ATTEST:

____________

Martha D. Tyre,

Deputy Clerk