The Henry County Governmental Services Authority held a Called Public Meeting at 12:30 a.m. on Monday, December 14, 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; James C. “Butch” Sanders, County Manager; Phyllis Shrader, Assistant County Manager; Mike Bush, Finance Director; 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 Basler made the motion to approve the agenda; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

Discussion regarding the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP)

            Chairman Mathis stated one item that needed to be discussed is within the by-laws that were adopted, Michael Sabine was appointed as an authority to sign documentation of behalf of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).  Mr. Sabine needs to be removed from this position and another person appointed.

            Ms. Latonya Wiley, County Attorney stated that Mr. Sabine was appointed as the Executive Director of the Governmental Services Authority.  The Board has the option of appointing someone else or not appointing anyone at all.

            Chairman Mathis asked if Mike Bush, Finance Director has been operating in the Executive Director’s position since the resignation of Mr. Sabine.  Mr. Bush stated he has taken over his duties and his current position on the Authority is treasurer. 

            Ms. Wiley stated that the by-laws could be amended to reflect that the treasurer has the authority to sign documentation.  The Board may not need to have an Executive Director position. 

            Commissioner Bowman stated that signing documents would mean that someone would physically have to attend the closings and this would require a lot of time.  Mr. Bush stated there have been several closings and he has not been able to attend them and a representative can attend the closing.  HUD, however, has required someone to be there and the closing were rearranged until someone is granted the authority to sign.

            Commissioner Bowman stated that there needs to be someone appointed that can attend the closings.  Mr. Bush stated there is an effort to try and have a closing attorney that would use the administration building or a local office for all closings.  Some of the HUD closing will demand the closing will be out of town.  

            Mr. Bush stated forty-one (41) homes have been purchased to date.  An inventory of the homes will be complied and the purchase of homes will slow down. 

            Commissioner Basler suggested that Mr. Tommy Smith could be granted the authority to sign and attend the closing. 

            Commissioner Bowman stated the time frame for spending the funds was down to twelve (12) months and all money that is not spent would have to be returned.

            Chairman Mathis asked how much had been spent currently.  Mr. Bush stated approximately $2 million.  For every home that is purchased and then sold, that income will have to be used before anymore funds can be used.

            Chairman Mathis stated it was mentioned that there was someone already working that could possibly represent the county at the closings.  Mr. Bush stated Larry Ceminsky, a consultant could be someone that would be a good fit to represent the county at the closings.

            Commissioner Stamey stated it was his understanding that the program was designed to purchase abandoned/foreclosed property, make repairs and to get the home back on the market to be sold.  Currently forty-one properties has been removed from the tax digest; how many homes will the county carry an inventory on and at what point will the homes be liquidated aggressively.  Mr. Bush stated it was his understanding that the goal was to purchase homes in different price ranges in all areas of the county and begin to market the homes for sale.  The question remains how many properties is Henry County going to purchase and have as an asset.  Mr. Bush stated the purchase of homes has slowed down currently. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked how the homes will be marketed.  Mr. Bush stated Mr. Ceminsky is working on getting the pictures of homes in publications and different media outlets to get the realtors involved in the process. 

            Commissioner Stamey asked if six asset managers were needed.  Mr. Bush stated six asset managers may have been ok at the beginning of the program but at this point we do not need six asset managers. 

            Chairman Mathis stated there were a couple of issues that needed to be addressed: removal of Michael Sabine as the Executive Director; decided whether or not to authorize Mike Bush to give Larry Ceminsky power of attorney to sign in his absences; to maybe meet in January where the question is answered regarding the commission paid to outside real estate agents; talking with staff regarding a marketing plan for Channel 14; and is six asset managers needed.

            Commissioner Stamey asked the County Attorney if power of attorney could be given to Mr. Ceminsky since he is not a county employee.  Ms. Wiley stated Mr. Bush would need to have a very limited power of attorney very specific to that transaction.  Ms. Wiley also reminded the Board that the asset managers were approved by the Board of Commissioners and any changes would be made at a commission meeting.  Chairman Mathis stated the Governmental Services Authority would make a recommendation to the Board of Commissioners.

            Chairman Mathis asked if the Board would like for the purchase of homes to cease for 30 days. 

            Commissioner Basler made the motion to cease the purchase of homes for thirty (30) days; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

            Mr. Bush asked for clarification that no more offers will be made but if an offer has been made go ahead with the process.  The Board agreed.

            Chairman Mathis stated the other matter is removing Michael Sabine as the Executive Director and assigning those duties to the Treasurer and also to give Mike Bush the ability to give a limited power of attorney to Mr. Cemnisky for closing documents.

            Mr. Bush stated from the time that Mr. Sabine left the NSP need an officer of the Governmental Services Authority to sign documents and he signed those documents.  Those documents need to be ratified.

            Commissioner Stamey made the motion to ratify the purchases that were obtained from the date of Michael Sabine’s resignation to present; Commissioner Bowman seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

            Commissioner Bowman made the motion to assign the duties of the Executive Director to the Treasurer and authorizing the Treasurer to sign documents on behalf of the Governmental Services Authority and to give the Treasurer the ability to grant a Limited Power of Attorney to Larry Ceminsky to sign documents for closings of property acquired under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program; Commissioner Stamey seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

            Commissioner Stamey asked Mr. Bush to review the By-Laws of the NSP and the Asset Managers and their requirements.

            Chairman Mathis asked Mr. Bush to check into the possibility of turning the program over to an independent consultant to manage.  Mr. Bush stated staff will continue to review the current contract to look at the cost structure of the program and yes that option is being considered.

            Commissioner Stamey asked has there been any discussion regarding obtaining a local closing attorney.  Ms. Wiley stated yes she has contacted an attorney to talk about the program.

Approval of minutes

            Commissioner Bowman made the motion approve the October 6th meeting; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.


            Commissioner Bowman made the motion to adjourn; Commissioner Jeffares seconded.  The motion carried 5-0-0.

                                                                                    Elizabeth “BJ” Mathis, Chairman


Shay Mathis, Secretary