FY 2013 Annual Report

Administrative Summary

I am pleased to present the second annual report on the state of the Butts County Government for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2012 and ending on June 30, 2013. This fiscal year was another productive one for Butts County as we achieved new milestones and accomplishments 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.

FY 2013 was also a year of transition as well as change in many different areas as we began to see gradual improvement in the persistent recession that has shadowed us since 2008, as well as saying goodbye to several long-time elected officials. We also welcomed three new ones to the office of Sheriff, Probate Judge and Magistrate Judge and we gained a new State Senator from Butts County in the person of Burt Jones who has already finished his first session in the Georgia Legislature. We continue to maintain close ties with our two hardworking State Representatives, Susan Holmes of Monticello and Andy Welch of Locust Grove, who together with Senator Jones, give a lot of attention to Butts County.

This year we were able to fill some key openings and have begun to shift our focus towards being proactive again rather than reactive. We continued to manage our resources conservatively with a watchful eye on both the economy and opportunities to advance the County. This allowed us to finish our fiscal year with a surplus, which helps us to maintain a healthy reserve fund for the still-uncertain times we find ourselves in.

Over the past five years, we have 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. Because we undertook these steps before necessity forced us to do so, we have remained ahead of the curve and, as of July 1st of this year, was able reduce our County millage rate to the lowest level it has been since 1996.

Last year, I spoke of utilizing the “4-R Strategy” as a tool to maintain the standards expected of us by the public without sacrificing the quality of our service delivery strategy. This strategy guides us to:

  • 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.

As I have said before, 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.

We want to be a high-quality county. This is not something that is achieved overnight but rather is an ongoing process of refinement guided by our interaction with the public, improving service delivery strategy and strengthening the ties with other local governments, authorities and boards that are all interdependent on one another to serve the needs of the public.

Since last year, we have worked to focus on quality in specific areas, starting in the area of building permitting and inspection and this year, we have looked more closely at our “Quality of Life” Services such as Senior Services and Public Safety. Using the slowdown that occurred from the recession, we have reviewed our building processes and are now ensuring that they are followed and that builders are required to follow established codes. This ensures safer buildings for our citizens and reduces our exposure to risk.

We opened a new Senior Citizens Center, giving our seniors a home of their own with significantly more room to develop their interests and encourage their engagement with the community and we named it after long time community advocate Ida Ruth Taylor. Since opening, the new center has attracted a number of new citizens in the form of those who use the services and volunteers who give time to it.

Public Safety is the largest service we deliver and thanks to our new Sheriff as well as our Fire Chief, Communications Department and Homeland Security Director, we are seeing positive results. We were very proud when our new Worthville Fire Station went fully operational in August of last year and the response from the community has been very positive.

We have also seen considerable improvements in our County Jail, with inmate labor providing needed renovations and improvements at a fraction of the cost that would be required from the private sector. We also went completely live with Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) in our E-911 center, allowing us to go paperless with much greater efficiency.

We have focused on greater quality and accountability in our financial practices, employment processes and procurement measures. The addition of Chiquita Barkley in March to our Management Team as Finance Director and CFO has already helped us to accomplish much in that direction and we see many positive things on the horizon in the Administration arena. As of this writing, we have also promoted Douglas Manning to Director of Operations for his hard work over the year covered by this report. These two individuals will be of enormous help as we move our administrative efforts forward.

We also began to receive disbursements on the new SPLOST VI, which was implemented last year after a positive voter referendum. The first funds received this year will go toward the purchase of at least two new ambulances which are sorely needed and which will improve the reliability of our fleet. We will also focus on procuring new fire engines to replace the ones purchased nearly 18 years ago as more funds become available, as well as upgrading our recreation facilities, improving roads and replacing old patrol cars. Sales tax funds save every citizen who owns property from paying more in property taxes and gives us additional flexibility in seeing that our service providers have the right equipment to get the job done.

In my dealings with other County Administrators and Managers, I hear a lot of issues that other counties are currently facing because of past management practices or failure to respond to changing economies quickly enough and this only makes me proud of Butts County for exercising good judgment and remaining vigilant with our spending and budget practices. All of this has put Butts us in a strong position among other counties and has positioned us well to become more of a participant on the state and regional stage.

Despite all of our accomplishments, we still have much work ahead of us as we begin to focus our vision on what direction we want our county to go in. We are at a critical point in our evolution and the decisions we make over the next few years will set the stage for the Butts County of the future. Continual improvement is not enough if we are to be positioned strongly to take advantage of opportunities when they arise.

Our commissioners continue to exhibit and demonstrate leadership qualities that this county needs to take us to the next level but this would not be possible without the participation and feedback we receive from our customers, who are the citizens of this county. We want to continue to build a county that our citizens will be proud to call home, a place where jobs will grow, quality-of-life will continue to improve and services will reflect the maximum value of every dollar we receive.

We are not alone in this. All around us, improvement is taking place. Our school system is making tremendous strides towards improving facilities and the quality of education in Butts County, turning out better students in the process. Our cities are planning and working towards improving what they offer to make the commercial centers within our county more sustainable and attractive. Our Water Authority continues to grow its footprint, bringing vital water to all parts of the county while our Development Authority is positioning us to be truly competitive in one of the most competitive regions of Georgia. Our Hospital Authority is strong and viable and Sylvan Grove Hospital continues to fill a much-needed role in our healthcare delivery, with the quality of Tenet to back it up. These are all our partners in making Butts County an exciting place to be.

With that in mind, I present for your review, the Butts County Annual Report for FY 2013, covering the period of July 1, 2012-June 30, 2013 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.A.O.

County Administrator

Chief of Staff to the Board

 

Fiscal Year 2013: Accomplishments and Challenges

 

In July of 2011, the Board of Commissioners passed the annual operating budget of $19.6m and reduced the County millage rate by one half of a mil, going from 17.413 mils to 16.913 mils. In July of 2012, the budget was reduced again to $18.1m and a significant millage decrease was accomplished to the tune of another 2.5 mils of tax cut. The passage of SPLOST VI and the reallocation of a significant amount of debt that required us to budget $1.4m annually to service that debt largely accomplished this. We began the new fiscal year at a millage rate of 14.413 mils, the lowest it had been in well over a decade.

The County hosted for the second 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.

Sylvan Grove Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary of operation with special events held to commemorate its first half-century of accomplishments. A partner with us for five decades, Sylvan Grove has defied the trends that severely impacted most other small hospitals of its type and continues to do well. This has been accomplished through the hard work and efforts of the Butts County Hospital Authority, the management of Tenet Healthcare who operates the hospital and its staff, as well as the hospital’s rehabilitation services that draws patients from other facilities after surgery to recuperate.

In August, the County took a large step towards standardizing our codes and ordinances as well as publishing them in an online format by contracting with MuniCode. In the future, all ordinances changes and revisions will be submitted to MuniCode upon approval. They will codify the ordinances, publish updates to the hard copies of the ordinances and publish them online. This is a tremendous technological step for Butts County.

In September, we were again blessed with beautiful weather for the opening of the annual Ernest Biles Memorial Golf Tournament, held at Hickory Hills Golf Club near Jackson. This particular tournament raised over $30k, all of which go toward helping the youth of Butts County to participate in organized sporting events through scholarships, sports clinics and other organized activities.

The County Commissioner’s Office presented a special proclamation to one of the county’s veterans, US Army Sergeant Kendra Pieper Coleman (photo on previous page, courtesy of Jackson Progress-Argus). Coleman came to the attention of County staff after an article ran in the local paper detailing her war service in Afghanistan, in which she lost her left leg. After being fitted with a prosthetic and many months of rehabilitation learning to walk again, Sergeant Coleman today stands proudly as an American hero and gives of her time to help others who have suffered similar injuries learn to do the same. The County was proud to recognize a veteran who has given so much for her country, declaring September 17th as “Sergeant Kendra Pieper Coleman Day” in Butts County.

We also recognized the “Rec Force Tumbling Team” on their accomplishments as our 2012 AAU Junior Olympic Tumbling Medalists as well as the All-Star Baseball Team who went undefeated in the state tournament.  This made them the Georgia AABC 14 and Under Division II Baseball State Champions for 2012

In October, the Butts County Development Authority announced that InterGroup International planned to locate a plant in Butts County and with it a $5 million investment and up to 50 jobs.

The company has steadily grown in the southeast region and Butts County’s proximity to Atlanta and to InterGroup’s customers in surrounding states made this location an advantage to the company. The company secured the former Williams Brothers plant just north of Jackson for their new operation. The same month, Scotts Miracle Gro in Jenkinsburg began a major expansion project that would add additional space and workers to the plant, which has been in business for many years.

Finally, Michael Brewer, who had been serving as Interim County Administrator since December of 2011 was appointed as County Administrator. Prior to his appointment, he had served as Deputy County Administrator since 2007 and had also served in several positions with the county prior to 2007.

In November, Butts County voters went to the polls to vote on many local government positions. Butts County Commissioners Gator Hodges (District 1) and Roger McDaniel (District 5) were re-elected to a new four-year term without opposition. Commissioner Robert Henderson (District 2) was also re-elected with opposition, garnering over 90% of the vote in his district.

Butts County Sheriff Gene Pope was defeated in his reelection bid by Gary Long. Probate Judge Vicki Johnston and Magistrate Judge Gigi Leverette Hoard retired from office and were replaced by Elizabeth (Betsy) Biles and Rebecca Pitts respectively, both of whom were elected from a pool of candidates that ran for the offices.

Other elected officials returning to office unopposed included District Attorney Richard Milam, Tax Commissioner Nancy Washington, Clerk of Superior Court Rhonda Smith, Coroner Ralph Wilson and Surveyor Andy Williams. On the state level, local citizen Burt Jones was elected over incumbent Johnny Grant for State Senator and State Representatives Susan Holmes and Andy Welch were unopposed and reelected to their seats for a second term.

On November 12, the county officially opened the new Butts County Senior Citizens Center on Ernest Biles Drive. The large, spacious facility had previously served for many years as a child development center but due to economic issues, the center had elected to close earlier in the calendar year. Since the county already owned the building the decision was made to repurpose the facility as a new home for the county’s senior citizens. Numerous community members, along with a number of senior citizens came out to officially open the new center, which now gives them a home of their own. Plans were also made to officially name the center later in the fiscal year.

In December, Butts County agreed to fund an additional public defender to help with growing caseload in Butts County. The County also held a retirement reception for Sheriff Gene Pope, Chief Magistrate Gigi Hoard and Probate Judge Vicki Johnston. County Administrator Michael Brewer stated “I have been honored to work closely with all three of them for many years now on a variety of different projects, multiple budgets and community initiatives. Each of them have left their mark on the history of this county and they will be missed”.

In January, the County unveiled a bronze plaque, dedicating and naming the recently opened Senior Citizens Center in honor of community leader Ida Ruth Taylor. This event marked the first County building to be named in honor of an African American woman. Taylor, who was intimately involved with the Childcare Development Center for many years, has been a strong community advocate and the ceremony was widely attended by many members of the local community.

For the new calendar year, the Board of Commissioners elected Commissioner Gator Hodges as chairman for the year and Commissioner Robert Henderson as vice chairman. SPLOST VI also began this month, marking Butts County’s sixth Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax to be voted in by the public.

In February, County Officials and Employees were sad to note the passing of former Butts County Coroner John Sherrell, who had served for 14 years in this capacity. Sherrell was also noted for playing a key role in the formation of the modern EMS that Butts County enjoys today. He had been twice honored by the Board of Commissioners in the years since his retirement as Coroner by special resolutions and was also an inductee into the Butts County Hall of Fame.

Tax Commissioner Nancy Washington’s office prepared for the implementation of a new motor vehicle tax and title system known as TAVT or Title Ad Valorem Tax, the first major restructuring of the motor vehicle tax in decades. The office met all requirements and was ready to go by the starting date of March 1st.

In March, Butts County welcomed Chiquita R. Barkley as the new Finance Director. A native of High Falls, Ms. Barkley came to the County after having worked for eight years for the City of Atlanta as Business Manager for the Department of Law. Ms. Barkley holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Mercer University in Macon and a Master’s Degree from Keller Graduate School, DeVry University in Atlanta.

In April, Butts County hosted the first joint meeting of the year between the Board of Commissioners, Cities of Jackson, Flovilla and Jenkinsburg, the Water and Development Authorities and the Butts County Board of Education, as well as our state elected officials. Issues concerning ways that the local governments could all work together to provide more efficient services and a greater savings in costs were discussed. It was agreed that the organizations represented would have these meetings three times per year starting in calendar year 2014.

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 were also pleased at the communication and assistance from our newly elected officers who brought with them a commitment to save money. 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 2014 budget and we were glad to observe that even though there was another drop in property values, the drop was small compared to last year. The estimations of our Chief Tax Appraiser are that these are flattening out now and hopefully will begin to recover next year.

We honored a number of employees in April for longevity with the county. Four of them were of particular note for achieving 20, 25 and 30-year pins. 911 Director Virginia Holton and Appraiser Jim Wallace received 20 year gold pins; Public Works Director Marty Long received a 25 year pin and Sheriff’s Lieutenant Robert Smith received a 30 year pin, making him the longest serving employee of the Sheriff’s Office.

The month of May saw continued work on the FY2014 budget as well as overtures from the Film Industry with the filming of scenes from the movie “Need for Speed” taking place at Atlanta South 75 Travel Plaza. The major motion picture, based on the popular driving game by Electronic Arts, is about a street racer’s cross-country journey from New York to race on the California coast. County Commission Chairman Gator Hodges said in a published statement “I want people to know we are here and that we welcome them to see what we have to offer. Movie and television productions filmed here can only enhance our efforts to promote tourism, stimulate development and enhance the quality of life for Butts County citizens”. Other movies being filmed in Butts County include a remake of the movie “Endless Love” that has recently wrapped up filming on Jackson Lake and there have been other calls placed to the County Film Liaison, as Butts County’s location becomes a draw for movie production companies.

In June, 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  $176,036.00 and a corresponding reduction of revenue to achieve a balanced budget as required under law. It also anticipated a millage rate decrease of 0.250 mils for the County General Government. This marks the third straight year the County has reduced the millage rate for a total decrease of 3.250 mils.

The new budget, which was passed unanimously by the Board of commissioners on June 27th, was set at $17,968,557.00, marking the first time the budget had been under $18,000,000 in several years and the lowest millage rate since 1996. The hard work that went into the budget by everyone involved was equaled by the efforts of our Tax Commissioner and Chief Appraiser in preparing the FY2014 Tax Digest. This was validated a few days later when the Georgia Department of Revenue accepted and approved the tax digest with no errors noted. Butts County was the first county in Georgia to have an approved digest for the new fiscal year.

This could not have been accomplished without the sacrifices and hard work of our department heads and our elected officials, especially our new Constitutional officers.

We were sad to learn of the decision by 911 Director Virginia Holton to retire as head of that agency. In a statement to the County, Holton said “I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Butts County for 20 years and to work in a department that has been a rewarding experience. The first love of my life is my husband and family, the second is the caring for the 9-1-1 center”. Holton had served in the County’s E-911 Department since the formation of the department in 1993, when she was selected to be one of the first supervisors to work there. At the time of her retirement, she was the last remaining County employee who had worked in the department its entire existence.

SUMMARY

As the fiscal year ends and a new one begins, we are already hard at work making changes that will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the county government. New technological updates in both our payroll system as well as our accounting software will allow all of our departments to submit payroll documentation and invoicing electronically to the administrative offices, which will keep all of the processes contained within the accounting software system. This will enhance efficiency and cut down on the use of paper, which in the long run will provide savings to our citizens.

We have implemented technology updates for managing our building maintenance program as well as our code enforcement activities. We were also pleased to see our new computer aided dispatch system take the E911 department from a paper-driven organization into a totally electronic information center. The changeover to the new E-911 system was a massive undertaking that took many months of hard work and preparation by our director, operators, and our mapping department. All of these new technologies will continue to improve Butts County and make us truly become a 21st-century operation.

We would 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. Our partnership with them continues to grow stronger and is already improving the quality of local government services that are received by the citizens. Communication among all of these entities through joint meetings, electronic communications, and intergovernmental agreements are already bearing dividends and tangible results.

Finally, as always, 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.

In looking back over fiscal year 2013, we realize that we have seen many challenges and have overcome many obstacles. Working together, we feel certain that we will continue to improve and to overcome the challenges that fiscal year 2014 will bring.

Going Forward: Fiscal Year 2014 Budget

The fiscal year 2014 budget planning process took place during the months of March-June of this year and was adopted on June 27th for implementation. The budget represents an 0.250 mil decrease over the previous fiscal year and reflects a leaner, more efficient county government

Department

Designation

FY 2013 Appropriation

FY 2014 Request

FY 2014 Appropriation

Requested Difference

Realized Difference

1100

Commissioners

$121,922.00

$121,627.16

$121,627.00

-$294.84

-$295.00

1120

Board of Equalization

$19,753.00

$19,753.00

$19,753.00

$0.00

$0.00

1300

Executive

$99,792.00

$96,346.75

$96,347.00

-$3,445.25

-$3,445.00

1400

Board of Elections

$161,183.00

$167,549.44

$167,549.00

$6,366.44

$6,366.00

1500

Administration

$243,968.00

$233,785.29

$233,785.00

-$10,182.71

-$10,183.00

1545

Tax Commissioner

$231,958.00

$246,281.98

$246,282.00

$14,323.98

$14,324.00

1550

Tax Assessors

$324,916.00

$368,639.90

$368,640.00

$43,723.90

$43,724.00

1565

Centralized Services

$3,475,966.00

$3,354,577.00

$3,354,577.00

-$121,389.00

-$121,389.00

2100

Towaliga Judicial Circuit

$505,073.00

$566,837.00

$566,837.00

$61,764.00

$61,764.00

2180

Clerk of Superior Court

$355,399.00

$356,397.34

$356,397.00

$998.34

$998.00

2400

Magistrate Court

$158,757.00

$172,106.08

$172,106.00

$13,349.08

$13,349.00

2450

Probate Court

$212,937.00

$210,929.78

$210,930.00

-$2,007.22

-$2,007.00

3300

Sheriff’s Office

$2,447,340.00

$3,739,029.39

$3,739,029.00

$1,291,689.39

$1,291,689.00

3326

Sheriff’s Office-Jail

$2,348,894.00

$523,700.00

$523,700.00

-$1,825,194.00

-$1,825,194.00

3500

Emergency Services

$2,119,524.00

$2,208,592.42

$2,208,592.00

$89,068.42

$89,068.00

3700

Coroner

$38,297.00

$41,465.75

$41,466.00

$3,168.75

$3,169.00

3800

E-911 Communications

$445,884.00

$482,691.52

$482,692.00

$36,807.52

$36,808.00

3920

Homeland Security

$3,100.00

$47,567.00

$47,567.00

$44,467.00

$44,467.00

4200

Public Works

$1,815,247.00

$1,871,588.04

$1,871,588.00

$56,341.04

$56,341.00

6100

Parks & Recreation

$426,095.00

$473,892.00

$473,892.00

$47,797.00

$47,797.00

6200

Historic Properties

$15,000.00

$12,000.00

$12,000.00

-$3,000.00

-$3,000.00

6300

Senior Citizens Services

$111,843.00

$126,976.60

$126,977.00

$15,133.60

$15,134.00

6500

Library

$185,941.00

$187,371.81

$187,372.00

$1,430.81

$1,431.00

7400

Community Development

$1,268,851.00

$1,306,338.12

$1,306,338.00

$37,487.11

$37,487.00

7500

Development Authority

$100,000.00

$100,000.00

$100,000.00

$0.00

$0.00

7600

Extension Service

$58,814.00

$72,855.07

$72,855.00

$14,041.07

$14,041.00

8000

Major Debt Service

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

$0.00

Total

TOTAL M & O

$17,296,454

$17,108,898

$17,108,898

-$187,556

-$187,556.00

Health and Welfare Area

5110

Hospital Authority

$540,000.00

$540,000.00

$540,000.00

$0.00

$0.00

5170

Health Department

$145,775.00

$145,775.00

$145,775.00

$0.00

$0.00

5410

Dept of Family & Children Serv

$25,415.00

$25,415.00

$25,415.00

$0.00

$0.00

5420

Mental Health

$54,980.00

$60,000.00

$60,000.00

$5,020.00

$5,020.00

5430

MR Services

$4,500.00

$6,500.00

$6,500.00

$2,000.00

$2,000.00

5442

Butts County LET

$2,500.00

$5,000.00

$5,000.00

$2,500.00

$2,500.00

Total

$773,170

$782,690

$782,690

$9,520

$9,520.00

Conservation

7120

Water & Sewer Authority

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

$30,000.00

$0.00

$0.00

7130

Agricultural Resources

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

$10,000.00

$0.00

$0.00

7140

Forrest Resources

$6,694.00

$6,694.00

$6,694.00

$0.00

$0.00

7160

Ga Dept of Natural Resources

$18,500.00

$18,500.00

$18,500.00

$0.00

$0.00

$65,194

$65,194

$65,194

$0

$0.00

Child Development

7631

McIntosh Trail ECDC

$9,775.00

$11,775.00

$11,775.00

$2,000.00

$2,000.00

$9,775

$11,775

$11,775

$2,000

$2,000.00

TOTAL FY 13 BUDGET

$18,144,593

 
TOTAL FY 14 PROPOSED

$17,968,557

 
TOTAL DIFFERENCE

-$176,036

 
TOTAL FY 2014 FINAL BUDGET

$17,968,557

 
 
CHANGE FY 2014 VS FY 2013

-$176,036

 

 

 

Future Plans

We intend to advance the momentum that has been generated by continuing the transition to a digital government wherever possible.

We have continued our efforts 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, 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 has proven valuable in elections 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 2014.

We will continue to welcome industry and economic development to Butts County and to work 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 Leadership Butts County and the Georgia Academy of Economic Development and as of this writing, a newly reformlated Leadership Butts County class has been started and is in the process of training future leaders who will be a part of our future. 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.

One of our biggest goals for the upcoming fiscal year is to better define the vision of what we, as a community, want Butts County to be. What do we want to be? Do we want to gear ourselves towards attracting as much industry as possible? Do we want to focus on promoting our natural resources and tourism potential? Do we want to become the next hot spot for film companies? It is not only important for us to know what we want to be but to have a clearly defined roadmap that will guide us towards achieving what we want to be. That takes time and planning and because we represent the government that the people elected to do it, we will work harder to make this a focus in the new fiscal year and beyond.

One common goal that we all share is that we want more than anything else for this county to succeed and to become a better individual county as well as a strong regional player in the state. By working on both the internal and external issues that we as the county government face, we will be in a far better position to lead this county forward.

Contact Information

Butts County Commissioner’s Office

625 West Third Street

Jackson, Georgia 30233

Office (770) 775-8200

Fax (770) 775-8211

www.buttscountyga.com (website)

 

Commissioners & County Administrator

 

 

Chairman-G.S. “Gator” Hodges, District 1, elected 2008; took office 2009; second 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 an instructor and he holds certification as both a Basic and Advanced Certified Commissioner. He was elected as Vice Chairman in 2011 and Chairman in 2013. 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 Facebook Page: G.S. “Gator” Hodges

E-Mail: ghodges@buttscounty.org

 

Vice Chairman-Robert L. Henderson, Sr., District 2, elected 2008; took office 2009; second 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

 

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

 

Commissioner-Keith Douglas, District 4, elected 2009; took office 2009; elected to full term 2010; completed previous commissioner’s term and is currently in his 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

 

 

Chairman-Roger D. McDaniel, District 5, elected 2008, re-elected 2012; took office 2009; second 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 Department 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

 

County Administrator-J. Michael Brewer, employed 1986; appointed as Deputy County Administrator in 2007 and County Administrator in 2012. Mr. Brewer serves as the Chief Administrative Officer of the County, in charge of administration, human resources, policy development, public affairs and constituent services. Over the past 27 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 served 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 career. He was most recently 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

Management Team

Douglas Manning                                Director of Operations                                         770-775-8210

Chiquita Barkley                                  County Controller                                                  770-775-8200

Jessica Reynolds                                 County Clerk                                                            770-775-8200

Constitutional & Elected Officers

Elizabeth Biles                                      Probate Judge                                                         770-775-8204

Bill Fears                                                Superior Court Judge                                            770-775-8205

Gary Long                                              Sheriff                                                                     770-775-8216

Rebecca Pitts                                        Chief Magistrate Judge                                         770-775-8220

Rhonda T. Smith                                   Clerk of Superior Court                                        770-775-8215

Nancy J. Washington                           Tax Commissioner                                                 770-775-8206

Andy Williams                                       County Surveyor                                                    770-775-0566

Ralph Wilson                                         County Coroner                                                     770-775-7657

 

Appointed Officers

 

Jenny Brown                                           Extension Service                                                 770-775-8209

Glen Goens                                             Homeland Security Director                               770-775-8212

Jim Herbert                                             Leisure Services Director                                     770-775-8228

Marty Long                                             Public Works Director                                           770-775-8213

Douglas Manning                                  Community Development Director                    770-775-8210

Charles McKeehan                                Chief Tax Appraiser                                               770-775-8207

Sonia Sands                                            Interim 911 Director                                             770-775-8232

Avery Smith                                             Elections & Registration Director                       770-775-8202

Donn V. Taylor                                         Library Branch Manager                                     770-775-7524

Mike Wilson                                             Fire Chief/EMS Director                                       770-775-8212