Two nights before the Thanksgiving holiday, the Barrow County Board of Commissioners held a brief regular meeting to conduct county business.
The board approved four rezoning applications, the largest of which was for a seven-acre site off Hwy. 211. The land is being subdivided in connection with a Barrow County Water & Sewerage Authority purchase.
The other zoning changes were approved for smaller parcels on Brown Bridge Road, Rat Kinney Road, and McElhannon Road.
In a fifth planning item, the board denied a special use permit for the operation of an adult care home on Edgewater Lane because the applicant did not plan to reside in the home.
Also Tuesday night, the board approved two personnel requests.
First, the BOC voted to amend the Barrow County Employee Handbook to designate as “executive employees” all department directors, including the emergency services chief and the chief financial officer, and any supervisors to whom they might report in the future.
Previously, only the county administrator, deputy administrator and public works director were designated as executive employees. Those positions have not been filled since early 2009.
The change will enable the board to negotiate the starting salaries of all future department heads, rather than offering potential employees only the positions’ entry-level salaries.
Commissioner Larry Joe Wilburn said the board didn’t learn until recently that it could negotiate only with executive employees.
The action technically corrected the process used six months ago when CFO Rose Kisaalita was hired. She requested and received a salary above the minimum.
On the other personnel issue, the board voted to restore a full-time maintenance position at the parks and recreation department that has been held by a part-time employee.
Director Kurt Cooper said the employee recently obtained a General Educational Development diploma, making him eligible for a full-time job with the county. The board unanimously approved a motion by Commissioner Steve Worley to make the position full time and to advertise the opening.
The board’s final action Tuesday night was to approve a budget amendment request by Myron Garrett, the director of the water department.
Garrett said the amendment was needed because he had not included in his departmental budget for FY2011 an expenditure of $404,000 for engineering fees for multiple sewer improvements.
Apologizing to the board, Garrett said he simply forgot to include it in his budget request.
The commissioners approved the amendment on a 5-1 vote, with Wilburn voting no. He did not comment but has made it a practice not to vote in favor of budget amendments.
Following the 19-minute public meeting, the board met for about 20 minutes in a closed session to discuss personnel and litigation, but it took no action after reconvening and simply adjourned at 7:40 p.m.