Residents got extra assurance that the Antioch industrial park plan would not proceed when Commission Chairman Billy Croker read minutes of a recent meeting of the Development Authority of Polk County (DAPC).
Bobby Haney made a motion that the development authority not exercise their option on the Lester Property. Steve Smith seconded the motion and the motion passed unanimously, said Croker.
The commission also appointed members to the reconstituted development authority. Chairman Croker began by saying, I thought this was gone but Croker then read a short statement that began, The DAPC respectfully submits the following names for approval as directors of the newly reorganized and reconstituted DAPC. Croker listed the names of those to be approved. As directors of the DAPC, Croker listed Steven Smith and Charles Pinkard nominated by the City of Rockmart, Reed Freeman and George Mundy nominated by the City of Cedartown, and Lloyd Grey, Larry Dooley, and Bobby Haney nominated by Polk County. Croker also listed three individuals nominated by the respective bodies as ex-officio members of the DAPC. These were Bob Culver, Bobby Alexander, and Mark Sullins.
After this list was read, a motion for approval was made. Commissioner Sandra Galloway questioned, I know that a letter was sent with two names, Vickie Atkins and Denise Seiz, were those names considered? Atkins and Seiz are leaders in the group Citizens United to Preserve and Protect Polk County (CUPPPC). Commissioner Mark Sullins indicated that these names had been considered. After the question, commissioners approved the list read by Chairman Croker as directors and ex-officio members of the DAPC.
A number of people in the audience were upset by this move and voiced their dissent, causing Chairman Croker to call for order.
After approving directors and ex-officio members for the DAPC, commissioners then moved to limit the power of the new DAPC to spend money without the commissions approval.
A resolution was read that would allow the DAPC to carry out property deals up to $100,000 without approval by the commission, but requiring the DAPC to get prior approval before making any deal in excess of $100,000.
Commissioner Ray Barber responded to this proposal saying he was against it. I understand that, wholeheartedly a say so said Barber Thats whats wrong now, because too many folks know whats going on.
This comment brought laughter and jeering applause from the crowd in attendance.
Undeterred, Barber went on to explain, You cant talk about land acquisitions. You dont understand. You cannot talk about that. We talk about that in executive session, and that is supposed to stay in executive session. Thats what Im getting at.
The commission then approved the resolution requiring county approval of DAPC actions involving transactions of $100,000 or more, with Barber casting a dissenting vote.
In September, three commissioners, Sandra Galloway, Mark Sullins, and David Jarvis, signed a non-binding letter which read in part, There shall be no meeting or business activities conducted by the Polk County Development Authority until the October meeting held by the Polk County Board of Commissioners.
Both items concerning the DAPC that were acted on by the county commission in their October meeting had been previously approved at a DAPC meeting days earlier.