New information has come to light regarding the suspension of last night’s Board of Assessors’ meeting.
During the meeting, Board Member Mitchell Morgan and Tom Porter were nominated as board chairman. Morgan was nominated by Board Member BJ Reece and Porter, by Board Member Jeff Holloway. As such, only Morgan and Porter were available to second the motions and, no one was available to cast a majority vote, thus causing a stalemate.
The board was then forced to stop the meeting, voting to suspend the meeting until a later date.
However, FYN learned today that the reason for the lack of majority vote was due to the resignation of Board Member Fred Keener. On December 31st, Keener, was sworn in by Superior Court Clerk Glenda Sue Johnson to fulfill the unexpired term of Jeff Williams, who resigned as member of the Board of Assessors earlier this year. Keener, however, was forced to resign on Wednesday January 16th after he found out it was illegal for him to serve on the Board of Assessors since he is already a member of the East Ellijay City Council. Keener told FYN he wasn’t blaming the county.
“It was state law and I couldn’t serve in both capacities. Basically, nobody’s at fault; it was just an oversight of the county system. I wouldn’t have cared to serve if it had been legal,”
Although Keener doesn’t blame the county for the oversight, his absence did prevent the board from electing a chairman in last night’s first BOA meeting of the year.
"I expected him to resign as an East Ellijay City Council member,"
Gilmer County Chief Appraiser Richard Lamb told FYN today. Lamb suggested the board suspend its meeting last night until a chair could be elected.
After the board could not elect the chairman, it was then forced to suspend the meeting because it could not conduct any further business without the chair. The board then approved to suspend the meeting until February when the board should have another member to replace Keener.
Lamb says it will be the Board of Commissioners’ job to find a qualified applicant to join the assessors’ board. By law, the position must be filled for the board to conduct any further business.
To watch the Board of Assessors meeting in full, please view the video below.