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County to consider options of a recreation department after McKelvey, Rhodes appeal hearing

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - In a public hearing that started more than an hour late and lasted more than three hours, the Newton County Board of Commissioners voted to suspend its review of Chairman Marcello Banes' decision to remove Newton County Recreation Commission board members Josh McKelvey and Steven Rhodes and consider its options of creating a recreation department, as compared to the recreation commission model that is currently in place. 

County Attorney Megan Martin said a recreation department would be under the board's purview. At this time, the NCRC board is set up as a separate commission. 

"Upon deliberating upon it, the board wants to look into going from a commission model to a department model so the county would have more control and knowledge when these decisions are being made," she said.

Martin said both McKelvey and Rhodes are considered to still be active members of the NCRC board until the appeal decision is made. 

"Once the board of commissioners decided if they want to keep a commission model or a department model then they'll come back and if a commission model is kept they (McKelvey and Rhodes) will be standing in their place because they were not removed tonight," she said. "The board will then, at that juncture, have to decide one way or another who's going and who's staying. 

"If they decide that they wish instead to go with the department model, I'm going to have to research and see how we need to do that. That's not something I know right off the top of my head."

Martin said she will have to research the possibility of disbanding the recreation commission and then the decision will have to be made.

"The decision will be forthcoming in the future," Martin said. 


Check back to for updates on this story and more information from the three-hour hearing Wednesday.