CONYERS -- Members of the Rockdale County Board of Commissioners continued a process of outlining goals for the county for 2013, this time prioritizing the objectives that will be woven into an overall plan for the year.
The goals discussion, conducted as part of the commissioners' regular meeting at the county Assembly Hall, was the third time commissioners have publicly communicated on their goals. Commissioners met twice in January to set goals, once in a day-long retreat in Lithonia and again for an afternoon at the J.P. Carr Center.
Tuesday's discussion was not without a short burst of discord when Post 2 Commissioner JaNice Van Ness and Chairman Richard Oden differed on whether their goals should be read aloud. As Oden began to read his goals, Van Ness objected, saying she didn't think the public was interested in hearing him read the entire list. Oden said he was exercising his personal liberty and authority to read the goals. When Van Ness again objected, Oden said, "You are out of order, commissioner," and Van Ness left the Assembly Hall for a brief period of time.
In a document compiled for the discussion, Oden outlined eight overall goals: Performance and productivity improvement; team building and communication; fiscal responsibility and financial management; youth development and enhancement; regional and statewide relationship-building; strategic planning and goal-setting; public outreach and community beautification; and "Rockdale Works" for job creation.
Among his goals, Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt listed filling the chief of staff as his top goal overall. The position is now being advertised, he said. Filling that position will aid in clear communication among members of the Board of Commissioners, he said.
Nesbitt also said he would like the county's executive staff to be able to take advantage of training opportunities offered by the Association County Commissioners of Georgia. If the training was not included in the 2013 budget, Oz asked that the Finance Department try to find the money.
Nesbitt also listed implementation of an ordinance review team through the Department of Planning and Development in order to weed out outdated ordinances and make revisions where needed.
Both Nesbitt and Van Ness listed increased usage of the J.P. Carr Gym as a high priority.
Among other things, Van Ness also said she would like to:
-- Develop an incentive-based program to encourage employees, particularly public safety workers, to live in Rockdale County;
-- Develop clear communication among board members;
-- Create a revenue enhancement program that would match business licenses with county revenue from the state Department of Revenue to ensure that businesses in Rockdale County are reporting sales taxes collected; and
-- Analyze all county-owned property to determine if it is being used or if it could be sold.
Oden said he would take the commissioners' lists of goals and work with staff members to integrate them into a comprehensive plan. The next step would be to develop a timetable for accomplishing the objectives.