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County commission evaluating its boards
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The Liberty County Board of Commissioners formed a committee to review and evaluate the county’s locally created boards to ensure they are responsive to the commission and the public.
Commissioners Gary Gilliard, Eddie Walden, Justin Frasier and Marion Stevens Sr. agreed to serve on the committee, which will meet for the first time at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 30 in the commission conference room.
The commission had directed county attorney Kelly Davis to look at the BOC’s board policies and help determine which locally created boards might need more oversight.
Davis stressed that independent boards, such as the hospital authority or the Liberty County Development Authority, would not be evaluated by the committee. Only boards that serve as “direct extensions of the county” would be included in the committee’s appraisal, he said.
Davis said the recreation board and Keep Liberty Beautiful were two such locally created boards the committee could examine.
“Right now, most of your local bodies were created many years ago,” he said.
Gilliard noted the county adopted an attendance policy four years ago applicable to locally created boards to ensure the members are committed to serving the county and regularly attend their particular board’s meetings. The policy allows for excused absences like illness, Davis said.
Gilliard said when a commissioner appoints an individual to serve on one of the locally created boards, that person represents the commissioner who appointed them and is responsible for serving the county to the best of their ability.
Board members also discussed drafting a minority/woman business-enterprise policy similar to one the Liberty County Development Authority adopted last April.
Kelly briefed commissioners on the LCDA’s policy, explaining that it requires 10 percent participation for minority-owned businesses and 3 percent for women-owned businesses.
The policy focuses on construction contracts of $100,000 or more and vendor contracts with an annual or per-contract amount of $75,000 or more, Davis said.
The county attorney explained that the policy’s purpose is to ensure a good-faith effort is made to offer minority and woman-owned companies contract opportunities.
In other county business:
• David Morris from the Diversity Clinic briefed the commission on clinic staffers’ role to act as health-care navigators. Morris and one of his co-workers, Cecile McKnight, have been certified to help residents choose a health-care plan that best suits their needs, now that the Affordable Care Act has gone into effect. Morris said open registration began Oct. 1, but the online system has experienced “glitches.” He said these problems should be ironed out within three to four weeks. For now, people can apply using paper applications, Morris said. He said a town-hall meeting sponsored by state Rep. Al Williams, D-Midway, on the government’s new health-care law will be held at 6 p.m. Monday in the commissioners’ meeting room at the county courthouse. Those seeking to apply or wanting to learn more about the process may attend, he said.
• Commissioners approved an agreement for the Liberty County Board of Elections and Registration to conduct the Nov. 5 referendum election for the city of Hinesville on the city’s behalf. The city, in turn, must reimburse the county any administrative costs associated with the election. City clerks from Liberty County’s municipalities also now are responsible for qualifying municipal candidates, rather than the Board of Elections and Registration, Davis said.
• Architect Craig Buckley updated commissioners on plans for building the new Hinesville branch of the Live Oak Public Library. Buckley estimated bids for the project would be opened in mid-January.

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