Over the past decade Barrow County firefighters have stood on local street corners with boots in hand to ask the public to donate money for the state’s burn victims and for local charities. Local residents and businesses have responded by donating more than $200,000 during 14 boot drives since 2000.
However, the money has flowed in and out of Barrow County Emergency Services for an entire decade with no county oversight.
Long-unresolved questions about the handling of boot-drive collections resurfaced in October, after former fire chief Mitch Kitchens applied to rejoin Barrow County Emergency Services as an entry-level firefighter/emergency medical technician.
Commissioner Ben Hendrix, who served on the Barrow County Board of Commissioners at the time of Kitchens’ resignation in 2007, sent an email to the current board on Oct. 4 and asked that his job application be put on hold until the matter could be discussed in a closed board session.