FY 2012 Annual Report

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Butts County Georgia Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2012

J. Michael Brewer, Interim County Administrator Butts County Board of Commissioners Office
August 2012

Executive Summary

I am pleased to present the first annual report on the state of the Butts County Government for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2011 and ending on June 30, 2012. This fiscal year was a very active one for Butts County and many things were accomplished through the hard work and efforts of our County Commissioners, our Management Team, other elected holders of public office and of course, our hardworking staff, without whom we would not be in the position we are in.

What is impressive about this particular fiscal year is that we were able to accomplish all the things that we did despite the ongoing recession that has affected Butts County, our state and our nation for the past few years. This recession has severely impacted many local businesses, curtailed industrial output, caused the collapse of both of the local banking institutions and driven unemployment to record levels but thanks to prudent management practices and the foresight of our Commissioners and Executive Staff, Butts County is weathering this storm and currently finds itself in a stronger financial and operational position than most of the other counties in our region and in fact, in our state.

This is not to say that we have not made sacrifices along the way. We have, over the past 4 years, cut several million dollars out of the county budget, reduced a number of positions within the county government and scaled back growth in county services where practical. Despite these cuts, we have been able to maintain the standards expected of us by the public and without sacrificing the quality of our service delivery strategy. The key to our being able to do this lies with what I like to call the “4R Strategy”:

  • Rethink our methodology, such as how we do things, how we achieve desired results and whether those methods makes the best use of our available resources.
  • Revise our practices by recognizing that what has worked in the past doesn’t always translate to the current reality and local governments who can’t or won’t adopt to that reality will ultimately find themselves stuck in neutral.
  • Redefine our vision by determining what our purpose is and drive the organization toward fulfilling that purpose.
  • Reshape our future by becoming the Butts County we want to become.

This strategy is not a one-time thing, nor is it a cure-all but rather, an ongoing process of reviewing, revising and working towards achieving the desired results. This was recognized early as the housing crisis loomed and the resulting economic recession that followed in its wake appeared on the horizon. Many counties were slow to react to the economy but Butts County began adjusting in 2008 based on worst-case scenario and in retrospect that was the right thing to do.

That year and again in 2009 and 2010, the Board of Commissioners and Administration took drastic steps before the County felt the full effects of the crash to reduce spending and to save money. This resulted in three rounds of layoffs to reduce staff in every County department as well as two of the four Constitutional Offices. Furlough days were implemented in 2010 and 2011 to further reduce costs but services were maintained without sacrificing quality and even though two areas were scaled back somewhat, Butts County has not eliminated any of the services it has offered to the public. Prudent spending practices and vigilant monitoring of the budget by our Management Team made up for many of the financial cuts while we continued to build up our operating reserves to help us offset any crisis we might encounter. All of this has helped put Butts County in a strong position among its peers and helped to contribute to many of the accomplishments and successes we have seen in fiscal year 2012.

In my position with the County, I am able to keep my finger on the pulse of the Georgia Counties and the things my peers in other counties have shared with me only affirms my belief in the strength of our County, the wisdom of our current Commissioners, the abilities of our elected and appointed department managers and the commitment of our County Employees.

With that in mind, I present for your review, the Butts County Annual Report for FY 2012 and close by saying that I consider it an honor to work for the citizens of Butts County, the place I have been fortunate to call home my entire life.

Sincerely,

J. Michael Brewer, C.O.O.
Interim County Administrator
Chief of Staff to the Board

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Fiscal Year 2012: Accomplishments and Challenges

In July of 2011, the Board of Commissioners passed the annual operating budget of $19.6m, down from $20m the previous year and reduced the County millage rate by one half of a mil, going from 17.413 mils to 16.913 mils. Due to cuts made by the Board and the management strategy of the department heads who held the line on spending the previous year, the County was able to reduce the millage rate, maintain the previous year’s service delivery and eliminate the 11 furlough days that had been given in FY 2011. This would set the stage for a further reduction to come in the following year’s budget.

That month, the County also hosted for the first time the Association of County Commissioners of Georgia, who held a daylong series of committee meeting and welcomed over 75 County Commissioners, several state officials and key stakeholders in local governments. It was an opportunity to showcase our state-of-the-art Administration Building, which drew a lot of interest from County officials on how derelict retail buildings could be retrofitted for public office buildings at a considerable savings.

The County also began discussions with the cities of Jackson, Jenkinsburg and Flovilla on how proceeds from the next Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax could be used to further reduce property taxes by transferring debt from property tax to sales tax. It was the general consensus that public support of SPLOST was at a low and that the public would have to be assured that if they passed it, debt reduction would be the first priority given.

The County hosted for the first time the Summer Reading Program of the Butts County Library in the C. Wayne King Auditorium on Tuesday through the summer. The program has been very successful and as a result, had outgrown the space at the library needed to put on such an event. Over two hundred kids and parents attended the programs each week and growth continued through the summer.

In August, the County was involved in a series of planning meetings held by the Three Rivers Regional Commission, charged with developing a plan for the use of natural resources throughout the ten-county region. The search process also began to secure a new Director of Community Development to fill that position which had been vacant since July 1st.

That month, County officials and members of the Butts County Board of Education met to redraw the election districts of Butts County as required every ten years following the conclusion of a census. All five Commission districts were redefined in accordance with the law and the School Board districts were designed to mirror the County districts. The timing of the meeting and the concerted efforts of all of the elected and appointed officials working on the reapportionment project resulted in Butts County being one of the first counties to complete the process and receive General Assembly approval during the special called session in August. This was the first of four critical initiatives that the County needed to complete in this fiscal year.

In September, we were honored to be visited by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, who spent several hours meeting with Elections Department staff and the Administrative staff. Kemp is, to date, the highest-ranking state official to visit the Butts County Administration building and he expressed his continued support of our Elections operation and other areas of support that his office provides.

The County hosted the annual Sylvan Grove Hospital Community Health Fair for the second year in a row in the C. Wayne King Auditorium, serving over 200 citizens who came for free health screenings and consultation with physicians. The health fair was deemed a huge success and the 2012 Health Fair has already been scheduled for October 4th, 2012.

Finally, U.S. Congressman Paul Broun, who will now be representing Butts County in the United States House of Representatives visited and held a town hall meeting at the County offices to get acquainted with the government officials and citizens of Butts County. He was joined by State Representative Andy Welch, who represents the northern half of Butts County in the Georgia General Assembly, as well as State Representative Susan Holmes, who picked up the southern half of Butts County in reapportionment. We have benefitted tremendously from the involvement and interest of both of our state representatives and that of Congressman Broun.

In October, the recently formed “Friends of SPLOST” committee began a campaign to promote the passage of SPLOST VI that would be voted on in the November general election. Polls and other information indicated that the committee would have a difficult time building support for the continuation of the penny sales tax because of past usages of SPLOST but the committee actively spoke in the community about the benefits of SPLOST, the effect it had on keeping property taxes lower and how the new SPLOST would be used to retire $7m in old debt that the County was having to service with property tax funds. Support came from local businesses and civic organizations such as Partners for Smart Growth and the Butts County Chamber to help fuel their efforts.

Meanwhile, applicants for the Community Development Director position were interviewed and screened, ultimately resulting in the selection of Douglas Manning to assume leadership of the department responsible for planning, zoning, animal control, permitting, inspections, code enforcement, building maintenance and licensing. Manning brought with him considerable experience and background in his field and has been working diligently since his appointment to update and upgrade our ordinances, zoning and intergovernmental agreements.

In November, Butts County voters passed the SPLOST VI measure, paving the way for the County to begin working on bonds that would allow the County to remove nearly $1.4m in annual debt service from the County budget and a total of $7m of debt overall. The complicated bonding process would be handled by professional bond counsel and the County, along with the cities of Jackson, Flovilla and Jenkinsburg would honor their commitment to the public that no SPLOST monies from the new issue would be used for other projects until sufficient funds were built up each year to make the note payments. This was the second of four critical initiatives the County needed to complete in FY 2012.

County Administrator Alan White announced to the Board his intention to retire in December from his position as Administrator and as Industrial Development Authority Director. The Board of Commissioners appointed a citizens committee to aid in the search process of securing a new County Administrator.

In December, Butts County welcomed new School Superintendent Robert “Buddy” Costley to Butts County, as well as new Development Authority Director Laura Hale. Dr. Alan White retired as County Administrator and Butts County Deputy Administrator Michael Brewer assumed the duties of Interim County Administrator while the search process continued.

In January, the County began 2012 working on SPLOST bonding. Our team worked with the bond counsel and bond underwriters to secure General Obligation bonds to pay off all debt associated with the County Jail, Superior Court, Recreation Department and obligations on property of the Industrial Development Authority. Numerous reports were submitted to Moody’s Rating Service to obtain an up-to-date bond rating on Butts County, which is a strong indicator of the County’s financial health.

The Board of Commissioners interviewed the finalist in the County Administrator search and a position was offered but ultimately, the candidate declined the position. The search process was put on hold for the time being.

We were honored to be the featured county in the January edition of Georgia Trend magazine, which included an excellent article about our county and our three cities. The magazine drew a great deal of interest from readers around the state and of course, they are also read by industrial entities, some of which might pay us a visit down the road. A tagline was needed for the advertisement promoting the county, cities and various entities and after much thought about our rich history and bright future, “Experience our past…be a part of our future” seemed appropriate to describe what we offer.

In February, County officials were invited to attend a dedication ceremony at the Scott’s plant near Jenkinsburg to celebrate a major expansion to their production facility. The expansion included Butts County’s first solar power generating array used in an industrial operation and was also the first Scott’s facility to incorporate such an enhancement.

In March, we were very pleased to receive our updated Moody’s Rating, which awarded Butts County an AA2 rating, which is one of the top four best ratings available. In a press release issued by Moody’s, they stated that Butts County’s AA2 rating “reflects the county’s ample reserves, low debt burden, and modest tax base anchored by significant institutional presence and slightly below average wealth levels”. Strengths included the County’s “Conservative financial management practices which have resulted in a history of ample reserve levels; average wealth levels and stable economy and a low debt burden”.

After receiving the new rating, we were then able to bond all existing debt into one package and pay off our notes using the bonded funds. These will be paid back using sales tax, which is already collected and will continue in January of 2013. All of this was taken into consideration as we began the fiscal year 2013 budget process in late March. This was the third of four critical initiatives for FY2012 undertaken by the Board and Staff.

In April we cut the ribbon on the new Commercial Drivers License Training Range at the Butts County campus of Southern Crescent Technical College. The range was built by our own Public Works department after being hired to do so under a contract awarded to us by the State of Georgia. The expanded course offerings that this brings by relocating this program from Griffin to our county speaks well of the excellent working relationship between Butts County and Southern Crescent. As we approach the 5th anniversary of the opening of Southern Crescent this fall, our local campus is completely full and mobile classroom buildings are being added to accommodate student demand. Usage has exceeded our highest expectations.

April also kicked off Opening Day at the Butts County Recreation Department with dozens of baseball teams participating in a “parade of champions”. The ceremonies drew the usual large crowd of Butts County citizens to witness the start of another great season at the park.

Budget meetings began this month with all department heads and Constitutional officers. These agency heads submitted conservative budgets, which reflect their commitment to running their departments in an efficient manner and holding the line on expenditures. We worked hand-in-hand with our Tax Commissioner and our Board of Assessors to conservatively estimate the revenues that would be available to fund our fiscal year 2013 budget, even in the face of declining revenues due to diminished property values in the county. While Butts County faced a drop in property values, it became obvious during the process that other counties had raised values during the good years much higher than Butts County had and as a result, our values did not have as far to decline when the housing market collapsed as did counties with overly inflated values.

The month of May opened the qualifying period for many elected offices in Butts County. We were informed by longtime Probate Judge Vicki Johnston that she intended to retire at the end of the year and would not be seeing re-election; subsequently, Chief Magistrate Gigi Leverette Hoard also announced that she would not seek re-election. Since both races were nonpartisan, they would be decided in July. Two county employees ran for and ultimately won election in the primary two months later; Elizabeth Hearn Biles prevailed as Probate Judge and Rebecca Johnston Pitts was elected as Chief Magistrate. District 1 Commissioner G.S. “Gator” Hodges and District 5 Commissioner Roger McDaniel qualified without opposition and were therefore declared as re-elected for a second four-year term. District 2 Commissioner Robert Henderson drew opposition within the same party, which meant that his election would be decided in the primary and not in November. Ultimately, he was successful in his re-election bid in July. Butts County Tax Commissioner Nancy Washington, Clerk of Court Rhonda Smith and Coroner Ralph Wilson were re-elected without opposition. Other races that will be decided in November include the race for Sheriff with Sheriff Gene Pope running as a Democrat against Republican challenger Gary Long.

A ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony was celebrated as the Commissioners dedicated the new Worthville District 3 Fire Station in late May. The new station replaces an older one that had served for nearly three decades but which had become unstable, with the costs being carried by a US Homeland Security grant. Due to some construction issues, the County delayed placing personnel in the station until August but as of the writing, the new station is fully manned and able to serve the fire needs of the Worthville community.

Butts County was proud to receive certification by the National Weather Service and the State of Georgia as a “Georgia Storm Ready Community”. This prestigious designation was due to the efforts of our Emergency Management Director and his staff who worked for many months putting together the documentation ensuring that the requirements were met.

Public Works completed a major accomplishment with paving of Bibb Station Road. This road services several business and industrial concerns but more importantly, it will now provide a cut through for tractor trailers needing to go from Highway 42 to Highway 16 and vice versa, which will save many of them from having to come all the way into Jackson to make the crossover. The road has been paved to the standards required for heavy commercial vehicle traffic and included upgrading the railroad crossing as well.

In June, elected leaders of the County and the cities of Jackson, Flovilla and Jenkinsburg met in a series of meetings to renegotiate the splits of Local Option Sales Tax which is required every ten years following the publication of the Census. Due to the economy, many of these negotiations in other counties have resulted in cities and counties having to engage in costly arbitration measures to reconcile differences of opinion in determining fair splits but in Butts County’s case, this was avoided and the LOST negotiations were concluded within a few days and submitted to the state. This was the fourth of four major initiatives that had to be completed during this fiscal year.

Interim County Administrator Michael Brewer presented a balanced budget to the Board of Commissioners for consideration and approval. The proposed budget targeted a reduction of costs in the amount of $1,471,674.00 and a corresponding reduction of revenue to achieve a balanced budget as required under law. It also anticipated a millage rate decrease of 2.5 mils for the County General Government. A public hearing was held on Thursday, July 5th and the preliminary budget was approved. Final adoption of the FY 2013 budget took place in July. The decrease in the millage rate reflected the single largest decrease in the County millage rate in nearly a decade, returning to a level not seen since 2000. With the County’s millage rate dropped now to 14.413 mils, the County Commissioners have delivered on the promise they made to the taxpayers to lower their property taxes and, coupled with last year’s decrease, have reduced a total of 3 mils of tax. This can be attributed to many tough decisions made by the Board, the savings achieved by Department Heads who conserved $1.5m during the budget year and decision of the public to pass SPLOST VI.

SUMMARY

As the fiscal year closed and a new one begins, we are already hard at work to make FY 2013 a good year for Butts County as well, though it will be hard to top FY 2012. Currently, we are working on retrofitting an existing county building that will become a new Butts County Senior Citizens Center, which we hope to open in September or October. Our Community Development Department is busy revising and revamping our Zoning Ordinance as well as many processes designed to make public use of the department easier to access and user-friendlier. They are also working on revising the overlay District, which is a special zoning district encompassing the interchange of Georgia Highway 16 and Interstate 75, all for the purpose of making that interchange the best it can possibly be so that it will draw the type of commercial and business entities that are vital to our future growth and economy stability.

Our Public Safety Department is also working to make services better for our citizens. The E 911 Communications Department is busy implementing the county’s first computer aided dispatch system, which hopefully will go online before the end of the calendar year and which will make the dispatch of calls quicker and more efficient. This is critically important when you take into consideration that call volume from our Sheriffs Office, Fire Department, and Emergency Medical Services are growing each year. While initial SPLOST VI funds will be set aside each year to service bond payment, we intend to use part of the unappropriated balance to replace aging ambulances and fire engines in the years ahead, as well as make sure that the basic needs of our law enforcement agencies continue to be met.

Our Parks and Recreation Department, as well as our County Library, continue to draw more and more users each year. The Recreation Department continues to maintain and upgrade their fields and facilities as funds allow and will soon include a new home for the Senior Citizens Center. The Library draws new users each year and with new computers now in place for the public to use, they offer state of the art technology as well. The services that both provide serve to enhance the quality of life in Butts County.

Our Public Works Department continues to make the most use out of every single dollar of state funding they are able to obtain. Although state funds for roads have become more and more scarce, they continue to live up to the expectations of our county commissioners and our citizens by doing what is necessary to maintain existing roads and keep them open during severe weather and other situations that may occur.

We would be remiss if we did not mention the cooperation and excellent service that we received from our elected and constitutional officers this past fiscal year. Although each operates with complete autonomy from the Board of Commissioners, many of them put forth considerable effort to work with our Commissioners and accommodate the needs of the County in the overall management and execution of service delivery and budgetary constraint.

We would also be remiss if we did not mention our gratitude to our partner governments within Butts County. These include the cities of Jackson, Flovilla and Jenkinsburg, as well as the Water Authority, Hospital Authority, Development Authority, and the Butts County Board of Education.

Finally, we must also mention our citizens, who are the reason that we exist and who give us our purpose in serving them. Our Board of Commissioners and staff is committed towards making Butts County the kind of place our citizens will be proud to call home and they have been the impetus for the tremendous progress we have made over the past few years.

Going Forward: Fiscal Year 2013 Budget

The fiscal year 2013 budget planning process took place during the months of March-June of this year and was adopted in July for implementation. The budget represents a 2.5 mil decrease over the previous fiscal year and reflects a leaner, more efficient county government in all of the areas which the Board of Commissioners have direct control over.

Department

Designation

FY 2012 Appropriation

FY 2013 Request

FY 2013 Appropriation

Requested Difference

Realized Difference

1100

Commissioners

$118,307.00

$121,921.51

$121,921.51

$3,614.51

$3,614.51

1120

Board of Equalization

$11,350.00

$19,753.00

$19,753.00

$8,403.00

$8,403.00

1300

Executive

$99,792.00

$99,792.00

$99,792.00

$0.00

$0.00

1400

Board of Elections

$146,325.00

$198,544.95

$161,182.86

$52,219.95

$14,857.86

1500

Administration

$252,314.00

$243,967.84

$243,967.84

-$8,346.16

-$8,346.16

1545

Tax Commissioner

$224,208.00

$259,365.76

$231,958.27

$35,157.76

$7,750.27

1550

Tax Assessors

$322,507.00

$338,936.06

$324,915.72

$16,429.06

$2,408.72

1565

Centralized Services

$3,914,555.00

$3,550,965.51

$3,475,965.51

-$363,589.49

-$438,589.49

2100

Towaliga Judicial Circuit

$449,529.00

$505,073.35

$505,073.35

$55,544.35

$55,544.35

2180

Clerk of Superior Court

$350,578.00

$386,845.91

$355,399.19

$36,267.91

$4,821.19

2400

Magistrate Court

$179,135.00

$167,024.58

$158,757.00

-$12,110.42

-$20,378.00

2450

Probate Court

$222,011.00

$222,010.65

$212,937.00

-$0.35

-$9,074.00

3300

Sheriff’s Office

$2,450,917.00

$2,500,507.77

$2,447,340.00

$49,590.77

-$3,577.00

3326

Sheriff’s Office-Jail

$2,420,775.00

$2,292,620.38

$2,348,894.38

-$128,154.62

-$71,880.62

3500

Emergency Services

$2,084,645.00

$2,215,880.09

$2,119,523.51

$131,235.09

$34,878.51

3700

Coroner

$40,077.00

$38,297.46

$38,297.46

-$1,779.54

-$1,779.54

3800

E-911 Communications

$431,846.00

$482,399.86

$445,884.00

$50,553.86

$14,038.00

3920

Homeland Security

$1,175.00

$3,100.00

$3,100.00

$1,925.00

$1,925.00

4200

Public Works

$1,830,263.00

$1,885,414.14

$1,815,247.00

$55,151.14

-$15,016.00

6100

Parks & Recreation

$497,135.00

$470,405.99

$426,095.00

-$26,729.01

-$71,040.00

6200

Historic Properties

$12,000.00

$15,000.00

$15,000.00

$3,000.00

$3,000.00

6300

Senior Citizens Services

$109,024.00

$111,842.53

$111,842.53

$2,818.52

$2,818.52

6500

Library

$217,041.00

$185,940.92

$185,940.92

-$31,100.08

-$31,100.08

7400

Community Development

$572,873.00

$1,296,491.37

$1,268,851.00

$723,618.37

$695,978.00

7500

Development Authority

$275,000.00

$100,000.00

$100,000.00

-$175,000.00

-$175,000.00

7600

Extension Service

$67,914.00

$58,813.57

$58,813.57

-$9,100.43

-$9,100.43

8000

Debt Service

$1,457,816.00

$0.00

$0.00

-$1,457,816.00

-$1,457,816.00

Total

TOTAL M & O

$18,759,112

$17,770,915

$17,296,453

-$988,197

-$1,462,659.38

Health and Welfare Area

5110

Hospital Authority

$540,000.00

$540,000.00

$540,000.00

$0.00

5170

Health Department

$145,775.00

$145,775.00

$145,775.00

$0.00

5410

Dept of Family & Children Ser

$25,415.00

$25,415.00

$25,415.00

$0.00

5420

Mental Health/Retardation/SA

$54,980.00

$54,980.00

$54,980.00

$0.00

5430

MR Services

$4,500.00

$4,500.00

$4,500.00

$0.00

5431

Community Action Agency

$3,775.00

$0.00

$0.00

-$3,775.00

5442

Butts County LET

$0.00

$5,000.00

$2,500.00

$5,000.00

Total

$774,445

$775,670

$773,170

$1,225

Conservation

7120

Water & Sewer Authority

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

$0.00

7130

Agricultural Resources

$6,240.00

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

$3,760.00

7140

Forrest Resources

$6,694.00

$6,694.00

$6,694.00

$0.00

7160

Ga Dept of Natural Resources

$18,500.00

$18,500.00

$18,500.00

$0.00

$61,434

$65,194

$65,194

$3,760

Child Development

7631

McIntosh Trail ECDC

$9,775.00

$9,775.00

$9,775.00

$0.00

7633

Jackson-Butts County CDC

$11,500.00

$0.00

$0.00

-$11,500.00

$21,275

$9,775

$9,775

-$11,500

TOTAL FY 12 APPROVED BUDGET

$19,616,266

TOTAL FY 13 PROPOSED BUDGET

$18,621,554

TOTAL ADDITIONAL REDUCTIONS

$476,963

TOTAL FY 2013 FINAL BUDGET

$18,144,592

Reductions FY 2012 v FY 2013

$1,471,674

TOTAL FY 12 BUDGETED REVENUE

$19,616,266

FY 12 ACTUAL REVENUE

$21,140,933

CARRYOVER REVENUE

$1,524,667

TOTAL FY 2013 ANTICIPATED

$18,144,592

TOTAL REVENUE V EXPENDITURES

$0

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Future Plans

We intend to continue the momentum that has been generated over the past few years by completing work on the Overlay District, completion of updated Zoning Ordinances and County Code and continuing the transition to a digital government wherever possible. We are in the process of implementing new business management strategies in our permitting, licensing and inspections that will provide equity of services, efficiency and cost recovery where possible. We are also preparing to increase our code enforcement efforts to help clean up the environment of Butts County and get rid of derelict and dangerous structures as well as implementing stronger codes that can be enforced and adjudicated.

We have made concerted efforts over the past year to introduce digital and social media into local government, allowing us to avail ourselves of these services as a way to keep the public better informed of timely information. We currently have a Facebook presence used for sharing news and information to augment our County website, as well as a County Newsline website located at www.buttscountyga.com. Here we are able to post news items, meeting notices, agendas for meetings, minutes for meetings and job announcements in a timely manner and the public can receive these postings by going to the website or subscribing for email updates. We also utilize Twitter to send short, fast announcements at the Twitter ID @ButtsCountyGov and this service was widely accessed during the recent election to tweet voting results the instant they were announced. These services will continue to be utilized and will be further refined and enhanced in FY 2013.

Our Board of Commissioners will also achieve a first this fiscal year as all five commissioners will have attained their Advanced Commissioner Certification. We have never had a sitting board where all commissioners had achieved this level of training and the county benefits tremendously from commissioners who are certified because this education helps them to be more effective in their duties and more knowledgeable of how to get things done.

We continue to welcome industry and economic development to Butts County and have worked closely with our Industrial Development Authority and Water Authority wherever possible to help them succeed in drawing new development to the County as well as retain existing industry and commercial enterprises. Several of our Commissioners and Management Team have attended and graduated from the Georgia Academy of Economic Development and as of this writing, one Zoning Commissioner and the Development Authority Director are engaged in this process. We have also furthered and strengthened our ties with key individuals in the Georgia Department of Economic Development, Department of Labor, Department of Community Affairs, Department of Tourism and the Georgia Film Commission and will continue to do so in the future.

Remembering Those We Have Lost

Sadly, FY 2012 was not without losses of people very important to us. We were shocked by the unexpected death of Billy Singley, who had retired on July 1st from Butts County as Community Development Director. Singley had served the County with honor for many years and his untimely passing only weeks after his retirement left a deep wound in the hearts of his friends and coworkers from all over Butts County.

Tragedy struck the County on December 17th when one of our Deputy Sheriffs, Ronnie Smith, was killed in the line of duty while responding to call. He was memorialized several days later in services attended by all County employees as well as public safety personnel from all over the state.

In February, Deputy Zane Perry, also an employee of the Sheriff’s Office passed away while working his other job in Monticello due to natural causes. His loss was mourned by his co-workers and county staff as well.

Contact Information

Butts County Commissioner’s Office
625 West Third Street
Jackson, Georgia 30233
Office (770) 775-8200
Fax (770) 775-8211

www.buttscounty.org (website) and www.buttscountyga.com (newsline)

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Commissioners & Executive Staff

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Chairman-Roger D. McDaniel, District 5, elected 2008; took office 2009; first term. Commissioner McDaniel represents the west, northwest and northern portions of Butts County including Worthville; Fincherville and North Jenkinsburg. He is an employee of the Georgia Power Company and holds certification as both a Basic and Advanced Certified Commissioner. He has served as Chair in 2011 and 2012.

E-Mail: rmcdaniel@buttscounty.org

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Vice Chairman-Keith Douglas, District 4, elected 2009; took office 2009; re-elected 2010; completed previous commissioner term and is currently in first term of office in his own right. Commissioner Douglas represents the central district which includes portions of Jackson, southern Jenkinsburg; Shiloh and surrounding areas. He is employed by the Georgia Department of Corrections and holds both Basic and Advanced Commissioner Certification.

E-Mail: kdouglas@buttscounty.org

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Commissioner-G.S. “Gator” Hodges, District 1, elected 2008; took office 2009; first term. Commissioner Hodges represents the north, northeast and eastern portions of Butts County including Worthville, Jackson Lake and Stark. He is an employee of the CSX Railroad where he works as a yardmaster and holds certification as both a Basic and Advanced Certified Commissioner. He was elected as Vice Chairman in 2011. Hodges has been appointed by the Governor of Georgia to both the Board of Directors of the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority and the Georgia Public Defenders Standards and Training Council. He also serves on the Middle Ocmulgee Water Council, Chairs the ACCG Subcommittee on Economic Development and is a graduate of Leadership Butts County, the Georgia Academy for Economic Development and Leadership Georgia. In 2010, Hodges was selected by Georgia Trend Magazine for membership in their “Top 40 under 40″ influential leaders in Georgia. Hodges lives in the Stark-Jackson Lake community with his wife, Keri, and their son, Noah. They are active members of the Rock Springs Congregational Methodist Church in Milner. On Twitter: @GatorHodges Facebook Page: G.S. “Gator” Hodges

E-Mail: ghodges@buttscounty.org

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Commissioner-Robert L. Henderson, Sr., District 2, elected 2008; took office 2009; first term. Commissioner Henderson represents the southeast and southern portions of Butts County including Flovilla, Cork, Mt. Vernon and portions of Jackson. He is the owner of R.L. Henderson and Sons Tree Removal Service and also serves as the Pastor of Rock Creek Baptist Church in Indian Springs. He holds certification as both a Basic and Advanced County Commissioner.

E-Mail: rhenderson@buttscounty.org

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Commissioner-Mike Patterson, District 3, elected 2010; took office 2011. Commissioner Patterson represents the southern, southwestern and western portions of Butts County including south Jackson, Towaliga and portions of McKibben. He is the owner of Patterson Mortgage and Patterson Storage and also works as a commercial and residential realtor. He is an active supporter of and current President of the Butts County Chapter of the Georgia Right To Life, an organization that works to promote the value of and protection of human life. He has completed his Basic Commissioner Certification and will complete his Advanced Certification this year.

E-Mail: mpatterson@buttscounty.org

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Interim County Administrator-J. Michael Brewer, employed 1986; appointed as Deputy County Administrator in 2007. Mr. Brewer serves as the Chief Operating Officer of the County, in charge of human resources, policy development, county operations, public affairs, network administration and public safety. Over the past 26 years, he has held the positions of Personnel Administrator, County Clerk, Emergency Management Director, Communications Director, Assistant Communications Director and Emergency Medical Technician. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors for both Southern Crescent Technical College and Sylvan Grove Hospital. In 1998, he became the first and currently, the only Butts County citizen to be awarded the Governor’s Public Safety Award Medal, Georgia’s highest honor for public safety officials and has received numerous commendations and citations during his public safety career. He most recently was named Butts County Citizen of the Year, the second time he has received this honor. On Twitter: @JMichaelBrewer Facebook Page: J. Michael Brewer

E-Mail: jmbrewer@buttscounty.org

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County Clerk-Jessica E. Reynolds, employed 2007; appointed 2009. Ms. Reynolds serves as the County Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, in charge of agendas, minutes, meetings, board initiatives, special projects and is the Chief Records Officers for the County government. Prior to her service, she worked briefly as an accounting technician and for two years as a Zoning Clerk.

E-Mail: jreynolds@buttscounty.org

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