Dade County Board of Commissioners voted to approve Dade County as a Second Amendment Sanctuary during their Thursday, March 5 meeting.
All of the Commissioners voted yes, aside from County Executive Ted Rumley, who was absent due to illness. Commissioner Robert Goff lead the workshop and regular session.
The end of Resolution R-13-20 says “Be it further resolved that all federal acts, laws orders, rules, regulations that violate the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States or Article I, Section I, Paragraph VIII of the Constitution of the State of Georgia, violate the true meaning and intent of those constitutions and are hereby declared to be invalid and are specifically rejected in Dade County, Georgia, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in Dade County, Georgia.
“This has been getting momentum all over the state,” Goff said.
Commissioners also had the final reading of and approved Ordinance 03-05-20, the special use permit for the use of land for industrial purposes.
Commissioners also approved multiple proclamations, designating March as Save Your Vision Month with the Dade County Lions Club, Social Workers Month with the Department of Family Children Services and Intellectual Development Disabilities Awareness Month with Lookout Community Services.
The Board also addressed citizen Susie Talbott’s concerns that she brought before the Commission during the February meeting. Talbot asked about the possibility of moving citizen’s participation further up the regular meeting agenda. Talbott also wanted there to be a standard procedure for when governmental documents are released to the public prior to a meeting.
Commissioner Lamar Lowery noted that he was at the capital recently, and asked others how they handled their citizen’s participation.
"It was all over the board. Some do it like we do, where it is at the end of the meeting. Some make you have a 48 hour notice and fill out a form. Some make you fill out a form before the beginning of the meeting,” Lowery said.
Lowery noted that the procedure he liked the best was where public input is at the beginning of the workshop session, but citizens are only allowed to discuss what is on the agenda. Citizens would be given three minutes each, for no more than 20 minutes. There would still be citizens participation at the end of the regular meeting, where anything could be addressed for five minutes.
Goff noted that not much could be done to change when documents are made available to the public. Documents go through many drafts, and he did not want the public to have an outdated version.
“The worst thing that can happen, and it has happened, is the public can circulate the document, and that document gets changed by a Commissioner. And now there is two documents,” Goff said. “I’m not going to sit there and take a beating for it.”
Commissioner Hartline suggested that if documents could not be ready seven days before the meeting, then (so long as it is not a pressing issue) the issue be tabled to the next month’s meeting.
Commissioners also approved the purchase of a 15 passenger van for the Agriculture Extension Agency and 4-H for $38,013.85, and approved to authorize volunteers and elected officials’ workers’ compensation coverage, and to include Mountain Rescue in that.
There was a reminder that the Joint Governmental Work Session will be held on Thursday, March 26 at 6 p.m.
Clerk and Finance Officer Don Townsend also gave the tentative dates for adopting the annual budget. Daily budget hearings will begin on March 30.
Lowery reported that there were 3,622 9-1-1 calls in February, which included 185 EMS, 237 for fire and rescue, three forestry, one public works and 3,196 for law enforcement.
Lowery noted that he attended a meeting on Public Safety and Public Health with County Executive Ted Rumley and shared information.
“I found some disturbing information for the state of Georgia,” Lowery said.
Georgia ranks 42nd for health status. The top reason is obesity. Georgia is in the top ten for sexually transmitted diseases. Georgia is number one for infant mortality.
“We’re in one of the better areas. It gets worse as you go south,” Lowery said.
Deputy County Clerk Carey Anderson spoke about preparing for emergencies. Anderson noted that citizens can go to Ready.gov. A check list for an emergency supply kit can be found on the website. A link to the website can also be found on the Dade County website.
“We had a meeting earlier this week with the Department of Health and right now it is all about prevention in the state of Georgia,” Anderson said about the Coronavirus.
Hartline reported that February has seen roughly 17 inches of rain, which cancelled some baseball games. Hartline said that he would be meeting with Senator Jeff Mullis next week to find grant money for the reservoir project.
Commissioner Allan Bradford reported that there are still traffic concerns about the bridge on Highway 136 being closed down for 18 to 20 days.
“We have written letters and talked to people in Georgia to try to get even one lane across,” Bradford said.
Bradford also noted that there were 285 work orders in February, most of which was cleaning out tiles clogged with leaves from the rain.
Goff asked citizens to please come out and vote. Goff noted that citizens can vote for or against SPLOST in the May General Primary.
Marshana Sharp with the Dade County Public Library told the Commissioners that the library has free passes that can be checked out to places such as state parks, the Chattanooga Zoo and Atlanta Zoo.
Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent Sarah Dyer reported on the UGA Extension and 4-H program. Dyer noted that the 4-H S.A.F.E Shooting sports teams are holding the first annual Bulls-Eye Challenge fundraiser on March 21. A Livestock Showing interest meeting will be held on April 13. 4-H Summer Camp registration is now open.
Next month’s meeting will be held on Thursday, April 2.