The Henry County Board of Commissioners held a Public Workshop at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 31, 2009, in the Community Room, County Administration Building, 140 Henry Parkway, McDonough, Georgia. Notice of this meeting was posted in the entrance foyer of the County Administration Building. The Daily Herald was notified of this meeting. Those present were:


                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman,

Reid A. Bowman, Vice-Chairman, District IV Commissioner

Warren E. Holder, District I Commissioner

Rick Jeffares, District II Commissioner

            Randy Stamey, District III Commissioner

Johnny B. Basler, District V Commissioner

Also attending were Shay Mathis, County Clerk; LaTonya Nix-Wiley, County Attorney; Phyllis Shrader, Interim County Manager; and others.

(NOTE: Audio of this meeting is available with the County Clerk in the Board of Commissioners’ Office and will be retained for a period no less than twelve (12) months from the date of this meeting.) 

            Chairman Mathis called the meeting to order and called for an acceptance of the agenda.  Commissioner Bowman made the motion to approve the agenda; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.



            Roque Romero updated the Board on the Eagle’s Landing Parkway Project. The bid award will be on the September 1st agenda.  A groundbreaking is planned for September 21st with the Governor and the Secretary of Transportation.

            On the Highway 81 and Bethany Road Project, the acquisition of right-of-way is almost complete.  When the permit is received from the Georgia Department of Transportation, the project can be bid out.

DUI Court

            The Honorable Judge Ernest Blount, State Court and Lynne Plosinski, Solicitor’s Office presented the agenda item to the Board.  DUI Court specializes in handling individuals who have committed DUI offenses and qualify for the program.  The program is designed for intensive, comprehensive and structured environment to modify DUI offenders’ decision making processes.  Ms. Plosinski made a power point presentation to the Board.

·         Defining the Problem – Traditional approaches to DUI sentencing (confinement, license suspension, DUI School, fines and community service) are not effective in combating the ongoing problem of substance abuse and criminal behavior.  Following the imposition of traditional punishment, the offender has the same addiction problems which lead to criminal behavior in the beginning.  It is only when we address the underlying substance abuse problem there is an ability to redirect the behavior of the offender.

·         DUI Court

§  DUI Courts provide for an enhanced level of supervision coupled with organized, specific, monitored substance abuse treatment.

§  Judicial oversight of probationary conditions coupled with regular meetings with participants reinforces the importance and consequences if failing to comply.

·         Qualifying Offenses for DUI Court

§  Second DUI in Five Years

§  Third DUI in lifetime

§  A combination of criminal acts and substance abuse indicates a need for an enhanced level of supervision to redirect behavior – high BAC, accident, age of offender, drug seeking behavior.

·         DUI/Drug Court Team

§  Judge

§  Prosecutor

§  Court Coordinator

§  Defense Counsel

§  Treatment Provider

§  Probation

§  Law Enforcement

·         Minimum Requirements of the Program

§  Weekly Group Meetings

§  Individual Counseling Sessions

§  AA/NA Meetings

§  Random and Frequent Drug and Alcohol Testing

§  Weekly check-ins – weekday or weekend

§  Home visits by Law Enforcement

§  Weekly status conference with the Judge and Court Team

§  Compliance with all other conditions of sentence

·         Benefits to the Community

§  Reduces DUI and Drug related criminal offenses

§  Reduces costs (jail and court time)

§  Provides for increased accountability

§  Increases public safety

§  Improves the likelihood of offender rehabilitation

§  Returns the offender to the community as a productive member of society.

·         Benefits to the Participant

§  Sobriety

§  Case management assistance in meeting probationary sentence requirements

§  Eligible for license reinstatement upon completion of all program requirements

§  Becomes a productive member of community and is removed from the revolving door of substance abuse and the criminal justice system

§  Reduces chance of reoffending

·         Probation Surveillance Officer – Post certified law enforcement officer able to make arrest

§  Home visits

§  Work visits

§  Bar sweeps

§  Curfew enforcement

§  Drug screens

·         DUI Courts can make a difference through:

§  Participant accountability

§  Enhanced supervision

§  Extended treatment

§  Frequent and random drug/alcohol testing

§  Home surveillance

§  Continuing judicial monitoring

Chairman Mathis asked if the DUI cases included DUI offenders that were involved in an accident.  Judge Blount stated there could be accidents involved.  The main criteria is second DUI in five years and third DUI in a lifetime.  Chairman Mathis stated for clarification, if someone is in a DUI accident where a person is injured instead of going to jail they could be placed in this program.  Judge Blount stated they could be if they otherwise qualify. 

Chairman Mathis asked where the funding would come from if grants are not available to fund this court.  Judge Blount stated there has never been a DUI Court that has failed.  A large majority (95%) of all the expenses involved is paid for by the offender.  The offender could possible pay as much as $50.00 per week and that would include probation, therapy, and everything else that needs to be done.  There could also be donations made to Connecting Henry, according to the Solicitor General, and then transferred to the DUI Court.  Judge Blount stated anything can be changed right now because we are in the fundamental stages of developing the program.  It can be limited to anybody that was in an accident that did not involve any serious injury to anybody and those that do can be eliminated as part of the qualifications.

            Chairman Mathis asked approximately how many DUI arrest are there in the county each year.  Judge Blount estimated about 250 per year between four courts.

            Commissioner Bowman stated a few months ago the Board was working with the Solicitor General Chuck Spahos and Connecting Henry on a certain amount of funds and $1 million was left in those funds; could those funds be used for this program should the grant run out and there is a need to continue with the program.  Judge Blount stated he didn’t know anything about the fund.  Commissioner Holder stated the funding is D.A.T.E. (Drug Abuse Training and Education) funds.  The County Attorney, LaTonya Wiley indicated those funds could be used.

            This item was moved to the September 1st agenda for action by the Board.


            Jim Lubbering, Building and Development Services Division Director updated the Board on the negotiations of getting a van for the new trustee crew.  The only thing that is available through Transit would not be available until December and there is no guaranty that Stormwater would get the van.  Also they are looking at used vans.  The used vans with high mileage are coming in at $8,000 to $12,000 dollars.  A new van, through state contract can be purchased at $20,000.  If nothing is found in-house, the department will probably go with the state contract.

Public Works

            Chairman Mathis asked about the grading of the potential track for the park on Jonesboro Road; do we know the cost to get the grading done.  Terry McMickle, Public Works Division Director stated there has been a meeting about it.  Chip Brown has given staff a preliminary grading plan and Michael Toney is running a cost estimate and it should be available the week of the meeting.  Chairman Mathis stated time is of the essence because the greenspace money has to be allocated by sometime in October.  If not allocated it has to be returned. 

Financial Services

            Mike Bush, Finance Director presented the agenda item to the Board.  Mr. Bush discussed the FY2009 End of the Year Budget Amendment with the Board.  A monthly report of revenue and expenditures for July, 2009 was discussed.  Also there were discussions regarding the FY2010 budget line item by line item for the legislative departments (Deputy County Manager, Board of Commissioners, County Clerk, Public Relations, County Manager, County Manager Support Service, County Attorney, Tax Commissioner, Finance, Technology Service, Human Resources, Risk Management, Budget, Procurement, Tax Assessors, Elections, Facilities Maintenance, Unallocated Cost).       There also was a handout for vacant positions as of 4/27/2009 presented to the Board.

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to adjourn the meeting; Commissioner Holder seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.


                                                                        Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman



            Shay Mathis, County Clerk