The commissioner’s meeting on March 28 was like any other, but an important item came up for discussion that could affect how the Gilmer County is managed. All members of the board were in attendance, including Commission Chair J.C. Sanford, followed by Post One Commissioner Dallas Miller, and Post Two Commissioner Danny Hall, along with County Attorney David Clark. Members started with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance, then they delved straight to item one on the agenda, appointing members to the Gilmer County Building Authority. Since Gilmer is refinancing bonds, reenacting Building Authority members would allow the county to do so. However, there has been a bit of controversy surrounding the Building Authority, since they have autonomy when it comes to rendering decisions without commissioner approval. That’s why Clark proposed having a commissioner serve on the Building Authority board, in order to keep an eye on any activity within the organization.
Bone of Contention
According to Clark’s view, since the Building Authority is an independent body, having a commissioner serve on the Authority board would provide a check in case the Authority turned into a
“wild, renegade board.”
But Hall had a problem with commissioners serving on the Authority’s board, because of the possible “manipulation we could have on that board.” But Clark contended that having one commissioner on the board could be a way of retaining influence over the board. This discussion stemmed from Sanford’s recommendation that B.J. Reese, Hubert Parker, and Mark Hise serve in the Authority, but Clark believed that Reese would not be a wise choice, since he also serves on the Board of Tax Assessors. Miller offered an alternative, Bill Craig, a member of Chamber of Commerce, and someone who runs his own business. On the subject of Reese, Miller did not want a person serving on the Board of Tax Assessors and Building Authority, but he was in agreement about Mark Hise continuing to serve on the Building Authority. But Sanford still wanted Parker, since he represented
and he wanted someone who
“knows what took place.”
Parker was a member of the Building Authority when the revenue bonds were sold.
Who Made the Cut?
Toward the end of the discussion, the commissioners agreed on three names for the Building Authority: Joene DePlancke, Dallas Miller, and Mark Hise. Hall believed that DePlancke has the experience to navigate the troubled waters, and Miller would serve as a check on the board. Miller preferred new members as a whole; however, he made it quite clear that he knew Parker well, and had nothing against him personally, but would prefer a fresh start. When all was said and done, the board approved tenure for Mark Hise, Dallas Miller, and Joene DePlancke.
Since Miller is on the commissioner board, his term will run concurrent, as dictated by law, which stipulates that any commissioner board member shall serve an additional term outside of their office concurrently. DePlancke will pick up from Parker’s term. There will be staggered three-year term limits. Since Hise’s term expired in July 30, 2012, his three year term will end on July 30, 2015. Dallas’ term will be until December 31, 2016, and DePlancke’s limit will be July 30, 2016. DePlancke’s limit is not quite three years, but it would still keep the stagger in place, according to Clark. Residents who may have had a concern about Hubert Parker will be relieved to know that he did not make the cut. And taxpayers who have qualms about the Authority’s autonomous power will get some satisfaction in knowing that Hise was appointed to the board, since he was not part of borrowing revenue bonds without tax payer permission. It appears the Building Authority will get a fresh start, and residents will have to see if any change follows. Watch the video below for more information.