Politics & Government

POLITICAL NOTEBOOK: Commission has no time for minutes

The Bibb County Commission stopped recording its committee meeting minutes in January, a decision made shortly after Commission Chairman Sam Hart took office.

“It’s just not required, so we decided not to do that,” Hart said.

The format of the written minutes also has changed, he said, from relaying discussion verbatim to just denoting action items and the votes.

Hart said the commission is following the recommendations of the Association County Commissioners of Georgia and clerk’s school. State law only requires public agencies to keep written minutes of meetings.

The commission’s board meetings will continue to have audio recordings, Hart said.

The difference between the board meeting and the committee meetings, he said, is that the board takes action while committees discuss and make recommendations.

So what’s become of the devices staff members used to record the meetings?

“We haven’t done anything with them yet,” Hart said. “I don’t know if people are using them in-house.”

OLMSTEAD VOLUNTEERS TO BE BIBB LOBBYIST

Tommy Olmstead, a former Macon mayor and Bibb County Commission chairman, offered himself up as the county commission’s lobbyist this week.

Commissioners, disappointed and frustrated with the local delegation, first floated the idea that they hire a lobbyist for the state Legislature back in April, shortly after the session ended.

They said important changes taking place in Atlanta weren’t being relayed to the local level, putting the county in danger of being blindsided by some legislation.

The topic came up again Tuesday when Steve Layson, Bibb’s chief administrative officer, asked commissioners if they wanted to add the position to next year’s budget.

While they debated the costs of a lobbyist versus tight budget constraints, Olmstead, a registered lobbyist and former state senator, offered himself up for the job.

“I’ve got the time, and I know what needs to be done, and I’ll save you the cost of an expensive lobbyist. I’m not asking for any money except for expenses of travel back and forth,” he said. “If it don’t work out, fire me.”

Commissioners didn’t immediately turn down or take him up on his offer.

Commission Chairman Sam Hart suggested the commission hold a workshop to see what they could expect from a lobbyist.

POYTHRESS IN MACON COUNTY TODAY

David Poythress, an announced Democratic candidate in the 2010 gubernatorial race, will be in Marshallville this morning addressing the Macon County Democratic Women.

They’ll meet at Rosati’s Depot, located at 100 E. Main St., starting about 10 a.m.

Poythress, a Macon native, is a former commander of the Georgia National Guard, secretary of state and state labor commissioner.

State Rep. DuBose Porter, D-Dublin, and Attorney General Thurbert Baker also have announced their intentions to seek the Democratic Party’s nomination in the governor’s race.

Telegraph staff writers Jennifer Burk and Travis Fain contributed to this report.

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