Open Letter to JC Sanford-Gilmer County Chairman

Citizens Speak, Opinion

Open letter to JC Sanford-Gilmer County Chairman:

Dear Mr. Sanford, please answer my letter of May 14th. The citizens of Gilmer County deserve an answer of the recommendations from the Grand Jury’s to The Board of Commissioners dated January 18, 2012. You asked me publically to write you a letter. I sent you the following letter on May 14th and asked that you reply by June 14th. My letter provided you a month to reply. You never answered my letter . To date the BOC has had six months to reply to the citizens of Gilmer County. We want to know your answers.

May 14,2012
Greg Altman
EllijayChairman J.C. Sanford
Gilmer Board of Commissioners
1 Broad Street
Suite 106
Ellijay, Ga. 30540

Subject: Grand Jury’s Recommendations to The Board of Commissioners

Dear JC,

In January, The Superior Court of Gilmer County Grand Jury made recommendations to improve government and eliminate confused policies. Please make a decision whether to accept and vote resolutions and/or ask the state legislature to implement these recommendations. Should the Board of Commissioners refuse one of the recommendations, please write to the citizens your decision and why.

You asked me to prepare, in my words, each recommendation and actions for new policies:
1. Send recommendations to the State Legislature to make changes to the Gilmer County Charter to clarify and make clear to the subject of applying bidding limitations to one of the following: per-vendor, per-year or per-project.
2. Take a Oath of Office to follow all contents to The Gilmer County Charter.
3. Send recommendations to the State Legislature to make violations of the County’s Code of Ethics a criminal penalty.
4. Adopt strict policies to require that any construction projects be approved by resolution which includes budget limitations and that contracts for professional services on such projects be approved by resolution of the entire Board of Commissioners.
5. Pass a resolution to the following procedures when considering a self-performing construction project. When considering a self-performing project inclusive of any professional services a written cost analysis be prepared by a 3rd party and presented to the Board and the decision as to proceeding as a self-performing project be approved by a resolution of the entire Board.
6. Pass a resolution that every three months an itemized financial statement of construction and capital improvement projects be published on the Gilmer County website and available for the public to view. This action will create a “transparent” administration of capital projects.
7. Confirm to the public that today’s procedures include the process of distributing financial reports to each commissioner monthly. That a monthly Board of Commissioners Meeting Minutes reflects that each commissioner has received the monthly financial report.
8. Accept the recommendations that the Code of Ethics be amended to explicitly provide that abstention from voting of disclosure of a potential conflict of interest shall not permit a member of the Board or a related party as defined in the Code of Ethics to receive payments from the County for goods or services.
9. Accept the recommendations to remove the exceptions under Section 2-114(c) which permits interested transactions when approved by the Board and Board members and employees to engage in competitive bidding for county projects.
10. Send recommendations to the State Legislature to implement criminal penalties that would prohibit public officials from benefitting financially from contracts made by government activities.
11. To adopt the recommendation from the Audit Firm item 2) Prepare an addendum to be implemented in the next Golf Course Lease expected to be negotiated in 2014, to clearly define “Capital improvements” vs. “maintenance”. For example a capital improvement should be a cost of so much and have a life of over a certain length of time.
12. To improve the oversight of maintenance and capital improvement costs of the golf course as provided for in the lease.
13. To pass a resolution to include all approved capital improvements to the golf course to be included in the County’s annual budget and the Board’s approval of proposed capital expenditures should be communicated to the tenant prior to the tenant beginning any work for capital improvements.

As I have prepared these 13 items, please reply to my letter in writing, by June 14th. The citizens of Gilmer County need the Board of Commissioners decisions on the Grand Jury’s recommendations.


Greg Altman

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