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November 1--  The county commission in Montgomery County has reprimanded one of its board members.

{mosimage}County Commissioner John Carpenter of Uvalda received a written reprimand at a called meeting Tuesday after he authorized a private contractor to dump debris from a demolished building on county right of way.

Commission Chairman Franklin Brantley said, "It's not part of his duties and he was given a written reprimand banning him from having anything to do with the road department or obtaining any kind of contracts, either written or verbal. We decided we had to make some kind of move to help Mr. Carpenter understand he cannot perform those sorts of duties without it coming from the board.  Each one of us as a commissioner has no authority and we work as a board.  We wanted to inform him of that and rekindle his understanding of that and hopefully this has done so."

Carpenter said he accepted full responsibility for his actions but noted that he discussed the dumping in advance with Commissioner Clarence Thomas and County Manager David Curry.

The commission also asked the county attorney to check into Carpenter's eligibility to take his oath of office in January since he has tax liens against him from both the Internal Revenue Service and the Georgia Department of Revenue.

"I understand he has been charged again for  personal tax evasion, I'm not sure what, and it's just a concern of this board if he's really eligible to be a commissioner in this county," Brantley stated.

Meanwhile, the county has a garnishment notice for Carpenter's back taxes and the commission voted to have the county attorney determine if the $400 a month Carpenter is paid as commissioner meets the legal threshold for garnishment of wages.

In other actions, the commission voted to seek local legislation in the next session of the Georgia General Assembly to place Montgomery County under a county manager form of government.  The legislation would replace an existing county ordinance which earlier authorized a county manager.

It also awarded a $14,000 contract to Johnny Smith Paving of Wrightsville to pave the new sheriff's office parking lot in Mount Vernon.