CONYERS -- Rockdale County's chief of staff may soon report to the entire Board of Commissioners rather than just the chairman.
Commissioner JaNice Van Ness introduced on Tuesday an amendment to the county's ordinance that establishes the chief of staff position to change the reporting structure.
The duties and responsibilities of the chief of staff largely remain intact, but how that person is selected and to whom that person reports would be changed.
Currently, the county ordinance, which is Section 61 of Chapter 2, states that the chief of staff is "subject to the direction of the chairperson." The proposed ordinance states instead that the chief of staff would be "subject to the direction of the board of commissioners."
Likewise, the BOC chairman currently appoints the chief of staff and the board confirms that appointment. Under the proposed ordinance, the chief of staff is to "be appointed by the Board of Commissioners and shall be directly responsible to them."
Van Ness originally made a motion to hold the first reading of the ordinance during Tuesday's public meeting and waive the second reading, which would result in immediate adoption of the amendment.
Before seconding the motion, Commissioner Oz Nesbitt asked commissioners to enter into executive session to discuss personnel matters related to the ordinance.
When commissioners returned from closed session about 30 minutes later, Van Ness restated her motion to hold the first reading and not waive the second reading.
Van Ness and Nesbitt voted in favor of the proposed ordinance and Chairman Richard Oden cast the dissenting vote.
Van Ness later said that she thinks the change in the ordinance will go a long way toward encouraging unification and cooperation among the BOC because one of the goals and objectives of the chief of staff will be to assist with outlining and communicating the board's priorities.
Oden, however, said he didn't think the amendment to the ordinance was all that significant.
"It doesn't change the day-to-day authority of the chairman," Oden stated in a written response to the Citizen Tuesday afternoon. "All of the day-to-day decisions are made through the chairman as the CEO. So this doesn't change a thing."