March 14-- The Montgomery County Commission is considering adding a Code of Conduct for county commissioners to the county code.
According to the local press, the Commission's meetings have been contentious of late and Commissioner Chad Kenny is proposing a Code of Conduct which would impose fines on those who violate the code.
At the March meeting of the Board of Commissioners, he said, "My intent here is to try to get us in a direction that we can proceed as a county. The way our meetings are being carried out are not living up to the way our citizens should expect from us. We need to have some decorum and what I'm proposing is only basic decorum. I think the citizens of Montgomery County deserve that. If we want this county to grow, we've got to get our act together, plain and simple. Our tax revenues are basically flat, sales taxes are down, everything's down. If we can't come together as a county and be able to hold a commissioners' meeting with some civility, then I don't know where we're going to go to be honest with you."
The amendment would fine repeat violators from $100 to $500. The commission tabled the proposal due to the absence of Commissioner Tim Williamson and is expected to reconsider it at a future meeting.
The commission was informed about a freedom of information request from Doug and Gail Story of Mount Vernon. The couple asked for any county documents regarding a report that Fulton County was trying to buy the Montgomery County charter. The Storys said Commissioner Greg Palmer approached them at church and said as a county commissioner he needed to inform the public.
Palmer claimed at the meeting there have been "underyling conversations" regarding the merger of Montgomery and Toombs counties and that "the groundwork has been laid.'
County manager Brandon Braddy informed the Storys that the county has no records concerning the matter and county attorney Paul Cook told the meeting that Georgia counties do not have charters; therefore, they cannot be sold.
The commissioners were also briefed by Kendall Gross, the county attorney for Candler County, on a multi-jurisdictional lawsuit regarding the proliferation of opiod prescriptions. Gross said Candler County is joining the suit which is being compiled by an Athens law firm. The commission took no action, but may consider it at a later meeting, according to Braddy.